Roc Nation signed, British musician Kay Young made her Jäger Soho Vinyl Session debut on August 20th introducing her freshly released ‘Middle Matters’ EP, a signature boom-bap and melodic style of Hip-Hop set to define an original generation of Black British Music. Kay Young, an entertainer since a very young age, was putting on shows for her parents, themselves musicians, or amusing her school friends with impromptu live shows during lunch times. With a fire for music blazing, Kay went on to teach herself to play drums and to use the computer programs necessary for recording, quickly becoming a self-sufficient artist and producer in her own right.
As both a female producer and rapper she refuses to be sidelined and wants to help spread a message of strength and self-belief. She says her new music is “for people who might be at a certain point in life and thinking of quitting.” The 6 tracks of her new EP ’Middle Matters’ encapsulates the impressive artist’s versatility over her production. Holding both boastful raps, balancing vulnerability and honesty while equally harnessing the essence of classic Hip-Hop. Multifaceted, intriguing and with co-signs from some of music’s most powerful figures, Kay Young’s EP solidifies herself as one of the most exciting names to watch right now. We caught up with her to find out more.
You have recently participated in the Jäger Soho’s Vinyl Sessions, where artists perform live and record the tracks straight to vinyl. What was it like recording music in that way, and are you a vinyl lover or collector?
It was amazing! Knowing that you’ve only got one shot to get it right was added pressure but we nailed it. It’s definitely a unique experience. It is something that I have gotten into. I stumbled across a load of Vinyl’s that my late auntie had been collecting from the 60’s. We found them in a suitcase of which my family said I could look after.
I never knew she was such a collector and her taste in music was so vast.
How would you describe your sound? Do you think categorising or labelling music is arbitrary or restrictive?
There is definitely soul in my music. I’m 100% honest when I create which tends to resonate through my sound. But I play around with a lot of genres, I create whatever I feel in the moment. Catergorising/ labelling can be restrictive- but I get it, people are quick to compare you to other acts when you are a newcomer. Overtime people will start to distinguish who you are.
I’ve always said that if you want to compare me to someone else, it’d better be a good comparison. haha
You have been making music from a really young age, who were your biggest musical influences growing up?
My Dad first and foremost as he was the first person I saw with an instrument, Church was another big influence- Gospel music is embedded in you from a very young age- I guess that’s where I get the soul from. I mean Prince and Michael Jackson set the bar for true artistry. So for me there’s a level of knowing that I should always do my best.
You were discovered by Jay Electronica on social media by participating in a 30 day beat challenge. What was your reaction when he slid into your DM’s? What advice would you give to other budding artists and producers?
In all honesty, I’m still trying to comprehend everything that happened. I thought it was a prank that my friends were playing as I due one haha! I just couldn’t believe that little old me from Brockley, London making beats could attract someone as big as Jay Electronica- I will forever be grateful to that man for helping me further my career.
Before getting your big break, you took a 6 month break from music? What drove you to make this decision and what made you decide to keep pursuing music?
Music is all I’ve ever known and I remember thinking that there was so much of life that I hadn’t experienced- plus I felt like I no longer had anything to say because of that.
I definitely learnt and experienced a lot during that break which sparked new ideas that needed to be heard.
Your new EP is entitled ‘Middle Matters’, could you talk more about the meaning behind this title?
This is about my journey through life. I’m not where I used to be and I’m not where I want to be but I am on my way there- I’m in the middle which is where you do the most growing. I may not have it all together but I am celebrating the smalls steps I’m making towards being better.
Middle Matters notably has no features, as both a rapper and producer do you find the music making process a singular activity?
I find creating by myself an enjoyable process- I do often call on other musicians to lay some live parts down which helps as I often want to know what someone else can hear which will add to my sound.
I felt like I had something to say so it didn’t feel right to have features on it and it’s a short EP. Maybe for the next project.
Being a rapper and a producer, both very male dominated professions. Have you faced any discrimination, and what advice would you give to female artists who want to be in the industry?
I haven’t really had any bad experiences because I haven’t had to rely on others to get my music done. The only thing I do get, not so much now, is men questioning me over and over if I really made the music- because they find it hard to comprehend that a female created it.
My advice to female artists trying to make it in the industry is learn as much as you can about the business you are getting into. Trust your own voice and try and connect with other female artist for support.
How has lockdown affected your creativity as an artist? How do you envision the future for the music scene post-corona?
I’ve been in a creative space during lockdown which has been a blessing. I do hope that artists will be able to still make a living from music- It could be a case of having to adapt to a new way of doing things without having to compromise our art..
If you could choose three dream collaborators for your next release, who would they be and why?
Oooh this is a tough one Kendrick Lamar, Jorja Smith and Solange
Finally, what can we expect from Kay Young in the next couple of years?
More albums, music for animation , I would also like to produce an album for Adele.
Latest posts by Maya Elese (see all)
- INTERVIEW | ROC NATION SIGNED RAPPER & PRODUCER KAY YOUNG DISCUSSES HER NEW EP ‘MIDDLE MATTERS’ — September 3, 2020
- INTERVIEW | APPLE MUSIC’S REBECCA JUDD “I WANNA BE THE ELLEN OF RADIO” — March 9, 2020
- REVIEW | ‘J DILLA CHANGED MY LIFE’ AT THE JAZZ CAFE, LONDON — February 6, 2020