Kay Young Talks 'Sweet Dreams' And Lessons From Jay-Z & Jay Electronica
Off the back of her debut single 'Sweet Dreams' New Wave had the opportunity to catch up with newly signed artist Kay Young. We spoke about her influences both as an artist and producer, her journey so far whilst being at Roc Nation and what she spends her time doing during lockdown. 'Sweet Dreams' is available to stream on all platforms.
NW: Where does your love for music and production stem from?
KY : I have a musical family, so I was surrounded by it whilst growing up.
NW: Who did you study while developing yourself as an artist?
KY: Jill Scott, Kanye West, Janis Joplin, Kendrick Lamar , Michael Jackson
NW: How did you get into producing - was it something you studied or taught yourself to do?
KY: Initially self taught -I snuck into my school music block and made my first track. I then went on to study Music Tech and Music Business at college for 3 years.
NW: In school, what kind of student were you?
KY: I was the class clown. I loved to make people laugh and feel good.
NW: What were some of your struggles trying to make it into the industry?
KY: Fear has probably got to be the biggest one but I've learnt to use it to fuel me. It's a feeling I know will always be there but somehow, I work better with it.
NW: What producers do you look up to that also inspire your sound?
KY: Madlib, J Dilla, Kanye, Tame Impala, Kaytranada NW: Will you be looking to produce for other artists in the future?
KY: Yes definitely. NW: Who are some of the individuals you work with that help you create your sound? What conversations do you guys usually have about music?
KY: I work a lot by myself but I've worked quite a few of Joel Culpepper's projects. We talk a lot about how the industry has changed and how beautiful it is to see artist taking back control by having creative freedom.
NW: How did your connection to Jay Electronica come about?
KY: Jay Electronica reach out to me on Instagram, he started following me and the rest is history. NW: You are connected to 2 artists that are recognised as the best lyricists in music, how does it feel to be respected by them?
KY: I feel mad humbled , it also gives me reason to work harder because of who I'm representing. NW: What do you want to learn most from them?
KY: The art of staying relevant whilst staying true to who you are is something that I am learning. Jay-Z is someone that has managed to do this for over 30 years whilst dropping knowledge on how we can do the same. Jay Electronica is well respected in the game by many for his amazing lyrical ability- I'm trying to reach those kinda levels. NW: If there was a song on their joint project you could get a feature on what would it be and why?
KY: A.P.I.D.T.A. NW: What are the biggest changes you’ve seen since being signed to Roc Nation?
KY: I've been exposed to a lot more. I'm having conversations with people that I probably wouldn't have had if it wasn't for this opportunity. NW: Talk me through the visuals to your single ‘Sweet Dreams’ - was it your own idea/creative direction?
KY: The vision for the visuals came from Dylan Hayes (Director) We wanted to show the struggle between good and evil. Having to wear a straight jacket whilst being restrained by the guards to prevent causing harm to myself or others represented that. At the same time I'm trying to escape and run towards the light (the good) Dylan decided that I should hang upside down to really make it that more powerful of which I was excited to do. The bar scene also also represents the struggle, trying to escape whilst pushing against resistance.
NW: What’s the sweetest dream you’ve had recently?
KY: I better not, my mum will be reading this. NW: On ‘Sweet Dreams’ you say ‘my intuition fighting with my ego’ what did you mean by that?
KY: Have you ever had that gut feeling when your about to do something you shouldn't but yet you've dismissed it just because you wanted to show self-importance?
NW: What real life experience (if any) have you been through that embodies that line?
KY: My Ex...lets leave it there lol NW: It seems like you went above and beyond in that visual, How long were you hanging upside down for?
KY: Yeah , we really did. I was hanging upside down for 5 mins at a time. Your body does some weird stuff man! NW: What have you learnt about yourself and the music you make through the process of releasing your first single?
KY: I've learnt to let go and not be so controlling over my music which has opened up a lot of doors for me. NW: You’re very sharp with your pen, have you considered writing for other artists? Possibly in a different genre to you?
KY:Yeah totally! NW: If so, who would you like to collaborate with in that form?
KY: I'd love to work with Florence Welch- I think she is dope! Jorja Smith and Adele. NW: Have you ever found yourself in a creative block, if so how do you break out of that?
KY: I step away from it because that block is a sign that I need to do something other than music such as catching up with friends, going out to eat, have conversations-coming out of my bubble.
NW: What are 3 things you want people to think about when they see or hear your name?
KY: Innovative, leader, that I've got heart NW: Who are you listening to right now?
KY: Ross From Friends, H.E.R, Floating Points, Roddy Rich NW: How are you spending your days during lockdown?
KY: Creating and finishing off music. I'm also sharpening up my DJing and I'm also trying to be still
Watch and Listen to 'Sweet Dreams' below