Since exploding onto the scene with his 2018 debut album 21st Century Liability, YUNGBLUD has traveled the globe and brought his rebel-minded rock-and-roll to an ever-growing legion of fans. In the midst of his nonstop touring, the London-based artist has built a one-of-a-kind bond with his audience—a deeply felt solidarity that served as a major touchstone for his new EP, the underrated youth.
“This EP is about all the people I’ve met and the stories I’ve heard in the past couple of years,” says the 22-year-old singer/songwriter/musician otherwise known as Dominic Harrison. “My fans are constantly telling me about the incredible things they’ve gone through, like coming out to their parents or transitioning to another gender. With every day, every gig, every DM, it’s become less and less about me and more about this whole collective of people coming together to fight for what we believe in.”
Working with producer/songwriters Zakk Cervini (Machine Gun Kelly, The Used), Chris Greatti (Grimes, blink-182), and Matt Schwartz (Cold War Kids, Kylie Minogue), YUNGLBUD approached the making of the underrated youth with greater clarity and grit than ever before. In a deliberate departure from 21st Century Liability, the multi-instrumentalist enlisted his live band for the recording process, injecting even more energy into his notoriously amped-up performance. “We’ve barely been off the road at all for the last two years, so we know each other inside out at this point,” says Harrison of his band. “This EP is all of us in a room together just pouring our hearts out, and I think you can really hear that in the music.”
With its uncompromising and unpredictable sound, the underrated youth unfolds in songs both exhilarating and intensely thoughtful, such as the impassioned lead single “original me.” A collaboration with Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds, the fuzzed-out anthem speaks to the urgency of self-celebration—a concept partly inspired by YUNGBLUD’s onstage gender-bending. “Dan and I were talking about how sometimes I wear dresses and fuck with gender norms, so we decided to write a song about being unconditionally yourself,” says Harrison. “Your biggest superpower is your individuality, so you have to completely embrace who you truly are.”