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YT Speaks On Going Viral, Oxford University and Debut Mixtape ‘Real Life’ | @yungtolz

YT music poses for a portrait photo after talking with Serena Khan at 9bills. Photo credits: Amos Mukombero

Going Viral

Q: Did you expect arc’teryx to blow up the way it did?

@cultureforce

Hypebeasts be like… 💧 #hypebeast #arcteryx #fashiontiktok #ukfashion

♬ Arc’teryx – YT

 

Um, nah, it’s weird [because] I literally made it, in my uni room, and I was like, Yeah, this is really catchy.  This is something here.  We thought it was a cool song that something could happen with it. But like, obviously, we could never have predicted the scale it really did go up [by]. The trends didn’t really start on tiktok until like, about like nine or 10 months after we first dropped the song. So like it was completely unexpected. [I had] basically like forgotten about it at that point. So like seeing that happen was quite crazy. Yeah, it definitely wasn’t something I expected. And definitely not at the time that happened.

Q: Now that you’ve had a viral hit, do you feel any pressure to make your songs go viral?

I remember, at a time after it first blew up, in that moment, I remember being really worried about that. Thinking “I’ve got to follow this up now”.

I had labels reaching out to me, and I guess they wanted me to recreate something like that. But I really wanted to stay true to myself. The song went up, by me making the music that I made organically right? So I felt that the best steps to do is to continue just doing me organically and doing what I’ve done. That made that move happen in the first place and so like nowadays not make completely different music. I haven’t tried to make another song like it and like seeing as I’ve done it now I know that I can do it. So it’s not really a pressure on me. I’m not like, “oh, I need to do it again I don’t think there is a rush. I’m really just more focused on organically making the music that I like making and I’m sure that things will happen… The next moment will happen when it’s time.

Q: If you could choose one artist to feature on your music who would it be?

I guess kind of like a dream feature for me would be like Chief Keef. But I don’t know if that’s someone who would fit my style. There are other artists like Playboy carti like have inspired me. Hopefully, at some point I get to work them. I take inspiration from, all genres of music, the first music I was listening to was gospel.

Q: Who are you listening to right now?

Loski, BK the ruler, Ice Spice, Kwesi, Coults, Santo resbi, C milano, milano, pierre, destroy lonely. Those are some cool names making an impact right now.

New music, ‘Real Life’ mixtape

@andfriendsnyc

uk rapper yt who did the song arcteryx song dropped a new album and it’s my fav rap project of the year so far #ukrap #newmusic #rap

♬ Birthday Cake – YT

Q: What was the inspiration for the tape?

I was just talking to Len (Executive Producer) one time about how I needed to drop a tape but I really wasn’t like good at like curation or making albums and stuff.

He like kind of just told me is “you don’t need a direction or curation – Sometimes just drop 10 hits”. I guess that kind of stuck in my head. I’m just gonna make the 10 best songs I can make and then just like, put it together and drop 10 songs. It ended up being 11 in the end.

It’s been three years since I launched a solo project. So I was just like, yeah, new sound. I really want to push the boundaries and show people the evolution and the progress.

The goal is to make a crazy sound… create something different sounding to a lot of what’s going on in the UK.

YT – No Oyster

 

Q: what was the most difficult thing about making this project?

Making music has always like come quite easy to me in the sense of like rapping. I make all my music in my room. I punch in, I don’t really write. I mix and master all my own music too .

Dropping a project, it’s quite a different feeling to drop in a single so like, it’s quite a big statement. And like I said, especially when you haven’t dropped a whole project in a while like I had so like, I guess one of the hardest parts, like is kind of the self belief. And especially if you’re like, know that you’re not really playing it safe or like the music that you’re making is kind of  sonically a risk, I guess? Like yeah, finding the courage to like, put that out and believe in yourself and back your project when you’re not sure how it’ll be received by people. But yeah, I mean, I guess the projects is out now. So I guess we overcame those obstacles.

Life Outside Music

Q: You’re a full time student at the moment right? What’s that been like?

Yeah, I’m a fourth year student at Oxford uni. I study philosophy and French. Um, what’s it like? Um, it’s cool. You know, actually, I actually like the uni. I like the town as well. It’s just like, SO MUCH work.

After leaving school, uni is kind of just the thing to do. I have Nigerian parents who I want to make proud. So that’s what I’m on so I’m finishing up my degree right now. I started making music before uni but it was during uni I really discovered my love for the art. [It’s been difficult because] my heart and my passion is in music but I still have to sit there writing essays and have lectures clashing with times when I want to be in the studio in London. I guess that can get quite frustrating at times.

So like, balancing it and I guess, trying to stay focused on the degree when you know that that’s not really what your passion is. And that’s not what motivates you, it has been a difficult challenge, but especially in a place like Oxford. But, I mean, I’m here still and hopefully I graduated by God’s grace. I know I’ve learned a lot there. And I’m thankful that I stuck it out in education.

*insert tweet here of the interview*

Q: So after graduating from Oxford Uni you’re just going to leave it all behind?

In some ways, I feel like the stuff that you learned can come in anywhere. So like even if I don’t become a philosopher or French translator,  hopefully, like the stuff that I learned, I can always use and I guess, to be fair, the people who know [my] music, sometimes I incorporate some academic stuff into bars even.

I hope I can make a living out of music like, ultimately that’s the goal.  That’s what I love and I know that’s like what I’m passionate about. But yeah, who knows. When I was trying to drop out of uni, my parents weren’t letting me, telling me that “you never know”.

Careers in the arts, sports and media aren’t as safe so you never know when things go up. I believe in myself. And hopefully I can make a career out of music. But yeah, a degree might come in useful anywhere. So so we’ll see. For now, I hope to be able to pursue a career in music, and I’m not in love with the idea of going down [any career path]. I hope I don’t end up in an office, I guess.

Sound Tag Inspiration

Q: Who is the girl that does all the intros to your songs? “Tola, you make this music and all these boys think they can rap too but they canttt!”

That’s a close friend of mine Catyiah. it’s not a nice story. It’s quite a sad story. Unfortunately, she’s passed away. But like, that was a voice note that she sent to me, like a couple of weeks before she unfortunately passed. And so like, I guess, after that, I was just going through our conversations, and I found that voice note. And then I made that the tag and then that’s the voice that people hear that. So I mean, it’s quite peak, because at the time it was kind of funny. I hate to be a downer!  It’s really beautiful to me. I’m happy  that she kind of lives on in a sense. I can’t lie. I think that’s one of the best tags out there. To be honest, I love by tag. Shout out Cat.

Check out YT on socials and his music here: https://linktr.ee/ytmusic

Interview conducted by @SerenaKhan

 

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