'I want to bring politics into music in a way that's not miserable and boring' says Doncaster singer Yungblud

Yungblud is in a cafe in London, and there’s a possibility he’s attracting more than a few curious glances from passers-by.

Doncaster rising star Yungblud. Photo: Jonathan Weiner.
Doncaster rising star Yungblud. Photo: Jonathan Weiner.

The singer-songwriter with a pop-punk edge and plenty to say is clad in fishnet tights, a pair of shorts and a striped hoodie. He’s wearing mismatched shoes - a Doc Marten on one foot and a Creeper on the other - and he has a face full of make-up.

Upcoming Doncaster music star Yungblud announces huge UK and European tourIt’s a bold look but one that suits him, and he’s not afraid of standing out. He’s all for a healthy dose of individualism and, given his musical idols, it’s no surprise. “I love David Bowie, I love Marilyn Manson, I love Lady Gaga - people like that are sick,” he says over the phone, having described his outfit proudly and in great detail.

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The 22-year-old rising star from Doncaster - whose real name is the far less explosive-sounding Dominic Harrison - has made waves in the music industry over the past few years thanks to his flair for expressing himself, as well as for his hip-hop inspired rock sound and knack for injecting humour into his politically-inclined songs.

The 22-year-old's UK tour dates begin later this month. Photo: Jonathan Weiner.

“I don’t wanna be some 70-year-old geezer in a Def Leppard T-shirt singing about Margaret Thatcher down a pub - I wanna make people laugh and bring politics into music in a way that’s funny and not miserable and boring,” he says.

It’s easy to see why the alternative rocker and multi-instrumentalist has become a bit of a poster boy for Generation Z, with his take on new era punk and his gender-bending aesthetic, his thoroughly current views on sexuality, inclusivity, mental health and community, and his unapologetic manner in addressing such contentious themes in his music.

His rise to stardom has been bubbling under for the past few years, having dropped his debut album 21st Century Liability in July 2018.

Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen on how Channel 5's Our Yorkshire Farm should show the reality of rural lifeHe recently released his latest EP The Underrated Youth, which charted at number six in the UK, and his notoriety in America and Canada - where he has just completed a lengthy tour - is largely down to the popularity of his song Falling Skies, which appeared on the soundtrack to hit Netflix teen drama 13 Reasons Why.

But he is perhaps best known for his single 11 Minutes with US music star Halsey (with whom he was in a relationship until their recent split) and Blink-182’s Travis Barker, which has amassed well over 220 million streams, as well as songs with Imagine Dragon’s Dan Reynolds and Machine Gun Kelly.

“People say, ‘You collaborate a lot Dom,’ and I’m like, ‘Yep and I’m gonna collaborate more because that’s culture’,” he says.

“I’m not bothered about what people say or think, I just want to pull people, young people, old people, from all different aspects of society, because that’s what Yungblud is.

“Yungblud is 50 per cent me and 50 per cent the audience that listen to it; we’re a community of people, all colours, all shapes, all sizes, all sexualities, all whatever we identify as, that’s what we are. But we’re there for one common reason and that’s to be unified, and not be silent.”

From Hollywood to Harrogate - John Barrowman talks about his career as he hits the road with a festive tourHe’s fine with the fame and the attention, despite it being perhaps overwhelming at times. I’m just loving it, because when people ask you for pictures or when they mob you it’s not out of aggression or pestering, it’s out of love, it’s out of community man,” he explains.

“The thing about it is, I don’t ever want to be on a pedestal,” he adds, noting his fanbase. “I’m one of them, and I was looking for them my whole life and I’ve found them.

"Obviously I didn’t expect it to get this big and it still feels like only the beginning but I found people who understand me for who I genuinely am. So every time I see them it just sends me spiralling inside, out of love.”

Yungblud’s UK tour dates start November 19 in Bristol. He will be at Sheffield’s O2 Academy on November 29.