Listen to the raucous tunes of England’s pop rebel Yungblud

By
Photography Thomas Giddings

Published March 12, 2018

YUNGBLUD IN NEW YORK, DECEMBER 2017. STYLING: ANDREW MUKAMAL. ALL CLOTHING: COMME DES GARÇONS HOMME PLUS. ALL JEWELRY: YUNGBLUD’S OWN. HAIR: TAKAYOSHI TSUKISAWA/STREETERS. MAKEUP: JEN MYLES/STREETERS. SPECIAL THANKS: SPRING STUDIOS.

“The music I grew up listening to had a message. If I hear, ‘Bitch, get down,’ or, ‘I love you so much, grind on me,’ one more time, I’m going to be sick everywhere,” says Dominic Harrison, the 19-year-old singer-songwriter known as Yungblud. Hailing from “the grim North,” as he refers to Doncaster, England, Harrison makes pop-punk protest music, skewering everything from soulless consumer culture (“I Love You, Will You Marry Me?”) to blokes who don’t respect women’s boundaries (“Polygraph Eyes”).“Our priorities are totally off,” he says. “I’m just saying what I think, and it’s pouring out of me. Hopefully, it sticks.”

Before Harrison became Yungblud, he was, unsurprisingly, a rebellious kid who found release in the songs of the Clash, N.W.A, and Eminem. He dropped out of school at 16 and moved to London on his own to pursue music. He briefly attended performing arts school, but found it stifling, so he chose instead to write songs that tapped into what he was thinking and feeling. “If it’s real, and it’s not full of shit,” he remembers realizing, “it’ll resonate.”

After generating buzz in the U.K. last year—especially for his raucous live act—he was signed stateside to Interscope, and in January he released his self-titled debut EP, comprised of catchy hooks and biting lyrics. Pop music, says Harrison, is one way to put into words his generation’s concerns, and he, for one, has no intention of shutting up. “I think if you stand still, you get forgotten, and I’m not here to get forgotten,” he says. “I don’t want to be an old man in a pub singing about Margaret Thatcher.”

YUNGBLUD’S DEBUT EP YUNGBLUD (INTERSCOPE) IS NOW AVAILABLE TO STREAM.