When Yung L ‘Yaadman’ or ‘Mr Marley’ joined the interview through the Zoom hyperlink, his blase manner was quickly changed with animated candour– I’d instructed him I used to be a longtime fan of his music since his 2013 breakout days of SOS once I was in my final yr of senior secondary school– and he’d taken a second to mirror on his run within the music business. He’d jokingly referred to as himself an outdated man and threw within the ‘I go soon leave music for una’ joke.
Eventually, he would open up in regards to the harrowing flipside of being forward of his time with another and wildly eclectic take to dancehall in an business the place hits songs had been borne on the again of Afrobeats and Afropop. He would additionally share his pleasure to lastly changing into duly recognised following the discharge of his second studio album and third musical challenge.
This challenge is Yung L’s Yaadman Kingsize, an 11-track musical buffet completed up in his distinctive fashion of Afro-dancehall which the Jos-bred singer passionately labels, ‘Afrozimm.’ Here’s what Yung L needed to say about his album, the method behind it, how he was capable of finding the need to stay to his craft, the way forward for Afro-dancehall and extra.
Not everyone seems to be in on Rastafarian lingo, are you able to kindly breakdown what Yaadman means?
It’s not my phrase, should you verify the dictionary, it means a black assured road man. It’s somebody that’s free and likes to have enjoyable and I believe that expresses me as an individual. It got here to me at a degree once I turned one with myself.
The album in itself is such a pleasant serve of Afro-dancehall, what was on the core of its creation and what was the inspiration behind it?
I’d say progress on the whole and my life. Like the way you had been telling me you heard SOS whenever you had been in secondary college and now you’re completed with uni so clearly progress has taken place from then to now. The challenge is only a reflection of myself as an individual, how assured and free I’m to create the kind of artwork I need to. I’m having extra enjoyable with the music, myself and the music have change into one.
When I used to be youthful, I didn’t fairly perceive the powers we had, now that it is come to me it is like a full 360, all of it is sensible now.
You’ve been getting fairly the reception following the discharge of your Yaadman Kingsize, Yung L, how do you’re feeling about that?
I’m excited as a result of I used to be scared, I’ve all the time been forward of my time, so generally folks meet up with my music 2 years down the road. But once I did it then, I used to be simply having enjoyable. I’m excited that they love this one they usually’re catching on now. Songs like Rasta that I believed could be an excessive amount of, or Womaniser, or Yaadman, I’m stunned by the people who love that document. I’m excited that folks have accepted not only one tune however the full challenge and everybody has their very own tune they love.
You’ve all the time been on the fringes of the mainstream regardless of being forward of your time, how has that been for you and the way had been you in a position to hold creating music regardless of this?
It was just a little bit lonely however what saved me going had been followers I’d meet on the airport or those that’ll message me on Twitter, or name me and inform me in regards to the influence of my tune on them. It may be lonely whenever you really feel such as you’re not a part of the business and other people know you’re gifted however everyone seems to be afraid to offer you your props.
It exhibits the great and dangerous of being forward of your time as a result of it will possibly get lonely there and also you simply really feel like lots of people are usually not catching on. So I’m stunned and excited by the reception of this challenge as a result of I’ve been round for some time now however individuals are score this 10/10 and I’ve been within the business for some time and I’ve put out different dope initiatives so that is superb. It’s giving me extra ginger and I’m excited to see the place it goes from right here.
Before this, whenever you began doing music, you had been a rapper and now we’ve you doing Afro-dancehall which is exclusive, how did you uncover your sound and the way do you preserve its high quality?
When I began as a rapper, I had an enormous rap tune in Jos, I believe I used to be simply discovering myself as I used to be rising however I wasn’t too targeted on the end result, I used to be simply having fun with the method. I’d all the time recognized there have been foundations of dancehall music from once I was younger, listening to the music and stuff, however there was additionally basis for highlife music and large influences for hip-hop. So I believe my coming to dancehall was meant to be. J-Town contributed as a result of we’ve that vibe, people who hearken to dancehall, reggae, people who costume that approach. But usually, afro-dancehall referred to as me as a result of I may have been a rapper– I used to be a ok rapper, I’d give myself 7/10. But I ended up doing Afro-dancehall which is a obscure time period for the style, I name it Afrozimm although, as a result of Afro-dancehall means you do African and dancehall music however whenever you hearken to songs like Rasta or Puna, you possibly can hear the Afro, the dancehall, and a few rock. So I mainly have dancehall as my most important style and bend genres into it.
I all the time need to create stuff and I experimented on this challenge so much, a tune like Rasta, hasn’t been completed earlier than. And I all the time need to do one thing that the subsequent era can get pleasure from.
You went from working with Tiggs Da Author, to Abood Khiery and co on Yaadman, you clearly have a watch for collaborations, Yung L, how did you choose artistes to work with?
I didn’t plan to work with these folks once I was making the document, it was once I was making the songs issues began to fall into place. For occasion, after I made Womanizer I realised I needed a second verse however I don’t need it from me and determined that Tiggs could be the perfect individual for it. It was the identical factor with Rasta, nevertheless the tune I needed Seun Kuti on was Puna however once I performed him Puna and Rasta, he needed that. I’d already made the document and I all the time needed to work with Seun so I reached out to him and he jumped on it.
Right now, I do know some artistes I need to work with however I don’t know what tune and the way we’re going to do it.
Then the outro with Abood Khiery and the others, I discovered them on Instagram, they had been making dwell music and I recorded it and performed it each night time. It was very therapeutic for me so I put it within the challenge so it will possibly assist somebody the way in which it helped me.
What of working with Shank? We haven’t heard from him shortly and also you introduced him out in your album, how was that?
I needed to embody the afro-dancehall pioneer, I needed to massive him up and provides him his flowers whereas he was nonetheless right here. When Shank got here on the market, there wasn’t something like that. He took a leap of religion and did music that no one was doing and you’ll say he was forward of his time and it was solely proper that once I did a correct dancehall tune on my album, I needed to get Shank and I’m glad he got here by way of and killed it.
You simply spoke about afro-dancehall again then and now you’re the face of it, the place do you see it transferring within the nearest future?
That’s why this challenge is essential to artistes like me that do Afro-dancehall, as a result of there are usually not a number of us, so there’s no alternative to fail because it’s not a prime style and you must all the time launch high quality songs. I believe this can now give confidence to those that need to make music on this style and have been influenced to alter their fashion. I’m glad that with this challenge and my artistry, I can encourage folks to do afro-dancehall. Which is why it’s essential I introduced out Shank.
Before the discharge of the album, you had Eve Bounce remix with Wizkid, would you say it opened doorways for you?
Wizkid on Eve Bounce was an ideal vibe made in heaven and we made a traditional that may all the time stand the step of time. There are people who didn’t learn about me earlier than Eve Bounce and I believe that’s the great thing about collaboration. Even working with Seun and Tiggs, there are a few of their followers that received to know me then. It’s the identical factor with Wizkid who has a big fanbase and that helped me attain new folks, and it’s all the time thrilling to get new followers.
So after that and the airplay it was getting, did that provide the ginger to create extra and push out the album?
It did, that is why this album was meant to be out final yr, I all the time have songs and I began engaged on others as quickly as I used to be completed with the remix, however I didn’t know what the challenge was going to sound like. I deliberate to launch it in August and pushed it until December however each artiste was pushing out initiatives then. The challenge was particular to me so I needed to be affected person and I’m glad I put it out in January.
On Police and Thief, you appeared like a person that wanted to get one thing off his chest, how would you say the indiscriminate use of power from members of the police has affected you?
I believe should you haven’t skilled police brutality in Nigeria, you’re most likely one of many fortunate ones as a result of I used to be talking from expeience. It’s loopy, I wrote that tune about 2 weeks earlier than the #EndSARS protests, so it wasn’t actually impressed by it. It’s what I’ve witnessed firsthand, I’ve dreads and I prefer to drive so I’m all the time on the street so I’ve had run-ins with police.
One time, my tailor was arrested after leaving my home they usually claimed he was an armed robber in the meantime they only rounded folks up on the bus cease. Police and Thief will not be even nearly #EndSARS, it’s about corruption as an entire in Nigeria, it’s corruption within the police, corruption within the authorities, corruption within the streets, within the church and the mosque. We’re all responsible and we have to search our hearts.
The #EndSARS protests introduced out the spirit of activism in everyone, celebrities as effectively. What function would you say celebrities must play in discussing sociopolitical points and what’s your tackle them being a voice in these instances?
It goes with out saying that artistes are like mouthpieces as a result of they’ve people who hearken to them, however I’m additionally not saying it’s best to stress anybody to try this as a result of it has to come back from inside and never performatively. If you don’t really feel it deep, and should you don’t need to do it, don’t do it. But I really feel prefer it’s on each artiste to talk on the instances that you simply undergo, it’s like a journal. I don’t all the time discuss politics, should you hearken to Aye, I discuss life on the whole about associates, household, life on the whole, politics, corruption and many others. I simply really feel an artiste has to speak about this stuff however don’t get carried away speaking about them as a result of you should chop life, there needs to be a steadiness in every thing and that’s what makes you a rising human.
So Yung L, what subsequent for the Yaadman album?
Visuals! I’m massive on visuals for this challenge that’s why I needed to go all out on Yaadman to offer the sickest video within the metropolis. The loopy factor is selecting what songs to make a video for as a result of I at present don’t have the cash to shoot a video for all of the songs, however that’s what I’m going to deal with, movies for some songs. Rasta will probably be getting a video.
I additionally need to work on the deluxe model, I’m going to succeed in out to some artistes and I hope they decide up.