Wonderland.

YUNGBLUD

Introducing the new rock’n’roll star.

T-shirt BAND OF OUTSIDERS, shirt THE KOOPLES, jeans BAND OF OUTSIDERS and jacket TIGER OF SWEDEN

Few have had a better 10 months than 19-year-old Dominic Harrison. First bursting onto the scene with his raucous debut track “King Charles” back in April 2017, since then the Northern newcomer – better known under his moniker Yungblud (because “Dominic Harrison isn’t really that fucking rock’n’roll”) – has performed in venues across the world, signed a record deal in the States, and been tipped by numerous music industry folk for greatness. “It’s been so weird!” He laughs. “It has been totally mad, putting the song out and then to be going around the US and Australia and Europe and the UK, it’s crazy! I’m having the best time ever but it’s unfathomable, do you know what I mean?”

Unfathomable is a pretty apt word to describe his rocket to the top. In a time when guitar bands aren’t really being signed, Yungblud’s blend of Artic Monkeys-esc rock’n’roll combined with his early-Jamie T swag (and let’s not forget his young Leonardo DiCaprio meets Sid Vicious aesthetic), has clearly hit a nerve with the right kind of people: he signed to Geffen Records last year. “I walked into that office of a record label renowned for artists that I believe changed things and pushed boundaries, so as soon as they were like ‘listen, we just want to amplify your vision’ I was like ‘fucking yeah, where do I sign?’” He laughs again. “I was always like ‘why isn’t this happening now?’ when I was 16 but it’s been so quick in the grand scheme of things. When I first moved out of London to be a fucking pop star/rock star, whatever I wanted to be, I got so lost because I got caught in a circuit of ‘let me just write what’s on the radio, Bieber’s doing that, Mendes is doing that, fuck mate, that’ll work!’ It just got vacuous and boring because it wasn’t me. I think when I figured out Yungblud and I figured out this is what I want to do, everything just spiralled – the music, the creativity, the look, everything!”

(LEFT) Jumper TOMMY HILFIGER, jeans BAND OF OUTSIDERS, jacket TIGER OF SWEDEN and shoes UNDERGROUND
(RIGHT) All clothing BAND OF OUTSIDERS

Now with three singles out for the world to hear, Yungblud’s captivating songwriting is showcased in undisputed bangers that often call out the issues that he sees in front of him. “I was always so enthralled with rebellion and just saying what you think and not giving a fuck. That always kind of excited me.” He tells me. “Just watching the kind of artist like Eminem come from, in my opinion, the same pocket as someone like Alex Turner, they just say what they think and they talk about real shit. I mean fundamentally I just want all my songs for the rest of my career to have a message.”

His latest release, “Tin Pan Boy”, is a perfect example of this. A bold and biting call to social justice, the track was based on his anger at the gentrification of his childhood stomping ground, Soho. “That was an area I grew up in and where I first picked up a guitar and to see people ripping it down and ripping down independent businesses to replace with Foyles fucking bookshops, like are you shitting me?” He exclaims. “When we’re walking around it’s going to be like 25 coffee shops in a row and it’s just not cool. It pisses me off when I see things that get me angry and things I don’t think are right. I just feel this fucking tick in my head to write. It’s so resemblant of right now. Everything’s becoming so clinical and so safe, the heart and soul has been so diluted. It’s like putting too much water in the squash!”

Shirt THE KOOPLES, trousers and coat TIGER OF SWEDEN

It’s this heart and soul which Yungblud is adamant about showing in his music and is why so many people have found themselves hooked by his pop-punk sound. If you ever get the chance to see him perform live, his passion is evident in the way he throws himself around the stage, spitting ferocious lyrics at the front row and strutting around with the confidence you only have if you were born to do something. “What is me is the message and the attitude,” he explains. “What baffles me is there’s so much shit and it’s such a mental world right now, I can’t believe no one is talking about it in pop music. People are talking about it in grime and urban and I think that’s why it’s doing so well. People are actually saying real shit, but in pop music no one’s talking about it. People are tip-toeing around it and treading on eggshells but they’re not going ‘this is fucking wrong’ and being dangerous about it and that’s what I think should happen. That’s what I’m trying to do. I’m not trying to preach to anyone, I just want to fucking make it fun as fuck, and get people jumping about in a venue with me, but it’s got a message and it’s about something.”

This is guaranteed to be highlighted in the new music he’s planning to release this year, with – hopefully – a debut album to follow. “I’m excited!” He exclaims when I ask how he feels about 2018. “I feel like everything’s kind of bubbling in a pot and it’s cooked and I’m ready to serve the dinner!”

With new material set to be released very soon and a UK tour kicking off at the end of January, it’s a given that Yungblud will continue to surprise and excite us all throughout the next months. Although he is unsure where it will go himself, the danger is what makes it so exciting for him because, in his own words, “if you’re going to be safe, be fucking James Bay.” And Yungblud is definitely not that.

Photography
Finn Constantine
Fashion
Abi Hazard
Words
Elly Watson
YUNGBLUD

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