Multi-instrumental UK artist, Youngr expands his sound via “Nightcrawling,” a pop-inflected electronic effort that marks Youngr’s return to Armada Music. Youngr’s collaboration with the Amsterdam-based imprint in 2018 led to the release of “Turn Around.” Flash forward to 2019, and Youngr not only has a record deal with Armada, but also a statement record, and an accompanying visual that jointly underscore Youngr to be a dynamic creative asset to the Armada family.
“Nightcrawling” is immersive in its sound. It steadily fills speakers as its piano chords, which take center sonic stage, rise in tandem with the track’s guiding vocal. The track’s music video focalizes Youngr’s musical acumen from its onset. The camera follows Youngr and his impassioned piano-playing, mist enveloping the producer, who’s stationed amid a thickly wooded, dimly lit forest. Natural light and the absence thereof are of equal symbolic weight in the cinematic context of the visual. Dancing Astronaut caught up with Younger to learn more about the making of the “Nightcrawling” music video.
You said that “Nightcrawling” was inspired by the feeling of “getting through a tough time and having someone there to help you through it.” It seems that this notion translates to the music video, which starts out in dim colors and gradually brightens. Can you speak on the production process for the visual?
[I devised this idea in collaboration] with my good friends Mikey and Chris Rosenfeldt. I had the simple idea of walking through the forest, playing instruments as they came into the song, and that developed into this whole idea, like you said, of starting [the video] with real dark, moody lighting and ending [it] in bright, natural daylight. So we actually all woke up around 3 AM to set up in the forest (trying to avoid being attacked by wild boar) and started filming around 5 AM. [We filmed] until the sun was fully up, wrapped up around 1 PM then had an epic nap, woke up, and edited it that night.
You also noted that you wrote “Nightcrawling” with your friend and writing partner, Tim Woodcock. What was the songwriting process like for this record, did the lyrical pieces fall into place pretty quickly?
Yeah, the whole tune felt really natural, and me Tim have written tons of songs before. I actually woke up with that piano melody in my head, so I ran downstairs to record it, and the beat and vibe just fell out really effortlessly. Then Tim worked his magic with the words and melody; he sings the chorus. I took the demo back to my studio in London and [finished it].
Many listeners will know you from your Youngr bootleg of “Sweet Disposition.” That effort really foregrounded your multi-instrumental acumen. When it comes to writing a song and your general creative process, how do you merge the instrumental and electronic worlds?
It’s never really been [my] conscious thought to merge them. I usually start writing a song on the piano, so it has that raw feeling from the get go. It actually takes a lot of effort for me to start writing a beat and turn it into a song, I never find that to work for me. I also love the emotion you can get out of a guitar, and that raw low end you get from a bass guitar [specifically]. Don’t even get me started on live drums, I’ll be here all day.
To answer the question, I think I just fucking love the sound of real instruments, but I also love what electronic music makes you feel, especially house/dance; the euphoria it can bring.
What’s next for you on Armada?
I believe there are going to be a few more singles, then hopefully an album towards the end of the year.