Words by Keane Fletcher

We’re calling it. YNG ONE is one of our favourite discoveries of recent months. With only two prior releases to his name you could be forgiven for not stumbling across this Canberra-based hip-hop artist sooner sooner. But take our word for it. One listen to the impeccable production and song-craft on his singles ‘Casket Dreaming’ and ‘White Lighter’ and you’ll be convinced this Canberra-based musician has what it takes to go all the way. 

‘I think that music is one of the best ways to acknowledge the vast amount of people out there who feel a type of way… I believe that it is one of the most effective ways to release some of what you feel, without having to explain to someone why. It’s just all left on the track.’

With his latest single 'Hold It' dropping today, we sat down with YNG ONE (and his lucky white lighter) to talk all things music and inspo and the 27 Club. Check it out below!

1- Where in the world are you based at the moment? 

I am currently in Canberra, Australia.

2- How would you describe your sound? Who are your musical influences?

My sound developed naturally from listening to artists such as Frankie Valli and Robbie Williams when I was younger. I am also super into RnB/Melodic rap artists like YoTrane and FrvrFriday, and it all just inevitably fused together to influence how I produce my sound.

3- What’s your songwriting process like?

My process is merely listening to a beat, free styling over it, which generally results in mumbles (haha) and during this process I like to swap the flows up, ultimately giving me a selection of melodies which I then choose from.

Very frustrating to choose between melodies sometimes though, for real.

4- Can you tell us a bit about the story behind ‘White Lighter’? Does it have any connection to the infamous 27 Club and the myth that some of its most famous members (Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin) died with a white lighter in their hands?

Ah, the White lighter. To me, the white lighter never had any negative connotation as I don’t believe in fixating over an idea that appears to represent something so negative; however the song does make some reference to the '27 club' but isn’t solely based on it.

Funny thing about this song though, I have carried a Bic white lighter in my pocket for like 6 years, mainly because no one would choose that colour, making it easier to pick out a lighter thief, and it stopped working in like 2017. A couple days after finishing this song, I kid you not, I was playing with the lighter and it started working again so I still think my white lighter is lucky - for me at least.

5- ‘Casket Dreaming’ deals with some heavy subjects: loneliness, the price of success, and the toll ambition can take on your relationships. Do you believe music is a useful tool for shining a light on difficult topics? 

Casket dreaming was my first ever song I released under the YNG name, and definitely carried a lot of what I feel and felt, particularly in the time it was written. So to answer your question, yes, I think that music is one of the best ways to acknowledge the vast amount of people out there who feel a type of way and I believe that it is one of the most effective ways to release some of what you feel, without having to explain to someone why. It’s just all left on the track. 

6- Tell us a little bit about the YNG Collective and your involvement with them. How do you usually go about collaborating on a song together?

The YNG Collective consists of 6 members: YNG Martyr, YNG Frisby, YNG Daku, YNG Silicon, YNG 2m, and me, YNG ONE.

As a group, we are very big on the mastermind concept that enables us to think, grow and manifest together in order to gain success, which of course is a very subjective. This enables us to be transparent as well, and considering how big the group is, I believe it is so important for group functionality. 

And as for collaborations - I actually live with Martyr and 2M so it has become a daily thing to share and collab on tracks, and now has become the meeting place for YNG to get something going. So, the only thing we, but mostly me, require in the studio now is a box of Cheds and Aloe vera drink.

7- If you could change one thing about the music industry what would it be?

I would change the perception that the music industry has, which is if you’re signed, you’re safe. That just ain’t it chief. Hard work is essential; no matter how popular you are as an artist. 

8- What's next for you?

My new track ‘Hold it’ which is hella different, but a bop nonetheless, and something extra special in November, but I won’t say too much other than keep an eye out. 

Follow YNG, Follow the Universe.

Thanks for stopping by Hipland!