YNES on artistic success, creativity and touring

By April 29, 2022 Features, Interviews, News

How do you define success as an artist?

It’s hard to judge, because I guess the sense of achievement never lasts too long – that’s what makes artists keep pushing to be successful. Nowadays, I’d say if I’m pissing off the right people then I’m happy.

What about as a person?

To not be defined by your day job I guess. To not buy into expectations of what you should be wearing or what brand of car you drive.   

How do you look back at Pretty Sure now?

I appreciate everything it’s done for me, and I’m proud of me for releasing it in 2019! But I’m very much ready for a new era.

How has your live show evolved over your career?

Tour was the first experience I had with backing tracks – which was something totally new to manoeuvre. It’s been weird ‘hiding’ behind a guitar this time, and with my lyrics being as quick and expressive as they are, I really felt I wanted the freedom to move around the stage and perform rather than play. That sounds so douchey, but yeah. Anyone that listens to me knows that lyrics come first – the instrumental itself is not technical by any means. So playing and singing was really sort of a hindrance to how much I was able to express the lyrics over all else. I finally feel as though I’m at a point where I can start building crowd energy through performing.

What would you say your biggest challenge as an artist is?

Finances. I’m bored of hearing myself talk about it, but it really affects everything you do. It’s not as black and white as people assume – like there are musicians with rich parents and there are musicians who grew up in social housing. There’s a spectrum in between.

I’m privileged in terms of health and family life – both these things mean I can work full-time and live at home which further my opportunities. However anything past this is a case of budgeting – if someone’s parents kit out their garage as a rehearsal room they’re already saving £12 an hour here. If they can afford to not work – they have more free time to spend honing their skills. You know what I mean? Everything is financial in the industry.

What’s the best thing about being you, as an artist and a person?

Everything is romanticised.

What would be your message to any young people that are inspired by your work – people interested in making music, for example?

Fake it til’ you make it. Make your music videos on the cheap. Upload bad quality demos. Use free apps if you can’t afford photoshop. Never think that not being technical or polished enough is a bad thing – most people don’t have the balls to be messy. Tell people it’s part of your brand as if it’s intentional. Eventually it’ll become your brand.  

What would you like your legacy to be?

For people to argue over the pronunciation of my name.

What have you got coming up to share with us?

I’m releasing an EP this summer and touring alongside the release! Very excited to get back on the road.  

What is your message to people who have supported you, and to those who have yet discovered you?

To those who have supported me – you’re the only reason I’m able to do what I do. Both in terms of motivation and in terms of touring. Thank you. For those who have yet to discover me – please check out my music, so I can reach a point where my family actually believe I’m a musician.