How I Accidentally Stumbled Upon the Most Promising Artist Lurking in LA’s Underground Music Scene
yvng wav is a chimera made of peak-Yeezy, good intentions, and the aura of Vlad Dracula.
It is approximately 7:25 am and yvng wav has recorded roughly three, 8-minute freestyles and walks out the vocal booth to smoke a spliff that seems to be essentially a glorified cigarette. With his latest single GOAT ENERGY just hitting 20k on Spotify, yvng wav is set to be an artist to be wary of in 2020.
yvng wav asks for sparkling water from his assistant and we listen to what will become the first track on his new EP, ‘a castle made of ice’ which will feature a collaborative effort between himself lil xelly (as seen on Fader Magazine) and Atlanta’s budding producer AFTER DVRK. yvng wav and lil xelly ran into each other at a studio session while xelly was recording in Los Angeles. The song file is titled “trauma ties” and the very first utterance is absolutely haunting. It is like being pierced with a knife and somehow I want to keep feeling this sensation. yvng wav and his engineer silently move their heads in rhythm and chainsmoking as they play the track. It occurs to me at once that this artist is different. I ask him about his process and he seems politely annoyed and just says, “the mic is a mirror” and starts to ramble slurred sentiments about how there are many “nuanced” and “complicated” human emotions that we do not have words for (sic). I gather from the broken statements that his sound is an attempt to give form to these sensations and experiences that are a bit more complex than happiness, love, fear, or sadness.
Self-produced compositions follow the xelly feature. “ouroborous” is the simultaneously beautiful and painful second track followed by “fear and loathing” (the title apparently refers to being frequently compared to “young johnny depp” and being constantly asked if he is high on LSD when he, in fact, is not) the EP takes a sonic shift here and in hindsight the fact yvng wav produced these two tracks is glaringly obvious. It sounds and feels like him.
the EP concludes enormously with “I never wanted to be here” with production from cxrtbain. I realize at this point that yvng wav has a plan and a vision: every song on the project is viable to be a favorite whilst not being anything like the previous song. This is a person that simply operates at a different level than the rest of us- I would go as far as to say seems he seems a bit lonely even. This is an outstanding and unique 3rd entry and likely will be recalled fondly down the road in wav’s career.
We had a moment to sit down with yvng wav to discuss the new music and more.
1) What keeps you motivated when it comes to your music?
it sounds kinda corny but what keeps me motivated is the genuine messages I get a chance to read from fans. 1 female fan told me that she been moving around group homes, she feels outcast & like no one likes or relates to her, but my music is a place to feel less isolated. I think that’s what music was to me when I was growing up. a sanctuary/safe place to escape to & a museum to enhance life when everything was painful or shitty. I like that I can help ppl with what I love to do.
2) When you think of “Vintage Media Group”, what comes to mind?
Vintage Media Group: timelessness. classy. refined tastes. classic content. art.
3) Being that you are from Los Angeles, what is the state of Hip-Hop there? How would you title your style of music?
I actually ain’t from LA I try to keep it really low key where I am from (and it’s complicated) but I think that in this industry your city can really color your audience’s view and change (for better or worse) da way they consume ur music. I don’t want that. just experience me for me. and for the record I do this bc I HATE da music that comes from my area… maybe not hate but it hurt my ears. not my vibe. the state of hip hop here is like everywhere it’s not all shit n not all dope but it’ definitely nothing like my sound rn. I’m confident in that. my style is like. “post-apocalyptic trap” + motivational anime OST… lol
4) With your most recent EP “A Castle Made Of Ice” is Smooth, Can you give us some details on how you came up with the EP?
I basically had a feature promised to my boy in ATL after dvrk who like one of the only ppl I recognize out of my immediate camp and we had xelly at the studio so I knew we had to use that record as a building point. tbh I built the rest of the EP off that energy and that space I was in mentally after we knew I had to drop some gas soon. and then my boy prod. cxrtbain shot my engineer a beat at the last second and it made it on. the EP title is just where I’m at rn. ima king in a castle of ice all alone with my ppl. my heart is cold. the world is cold and full of hate right now. let’s make the place a bit warmer. demonstrate love and support to our brothers, sisters and fellow human
5) Where can your fans & supporters find you online? Via Twitter, Facebook, etc.?
Mostly on Instagram tap in wit me on twitter cuz I’m new there. everything is @yvng_wav
6) Who are some of your influences?
these days whatever I put out last is my main influence. I grew up on like tina turner soul shit my mom instilled the soul. then old school hip hop (jay z, Jedi mind tricks) and then eventually found my way to like.. Metallica, explosions in the sky and even like Bon Iver is hard as fuck to me.
7) Any Last Remarks?
thanks for 20k on GOAT ENERGY. dat was an unexpected surprise. thanks for having me and stay safe in these times.