Interview: Emily Ames

Youngman’s playlist including Shy FX and Celine Dion and why Drum and Bass and Dubstep in the charts doesn’t need defending.

Youngman plays in Leeds with Benga tomorrow 28th of February at Mint Club. 

Song that sums up your Childhood

“Do the Bartman” The Simpsons Sing the Blues

“I Believe I can Fly” R. Kelly

Song that sums up British Youth today

 “Pass Out” Tinie Tempah.

When you ask me a question like that I want to partition. Cause some street kid is gonna have a different song to another. But everybody loves “Pass Out” and it’s always rumoured that English kids drink so much and bruk out so there you go.

Song that makes you cry

“I Can Love you” Mary J. Blige

 Because she’s got so much pain in her voice

Song of the week

“Fever” B. Traits

Song for those that love Drum and Bass

“Original Nuttah” Shy FX and Apache

Song for those who hate Drum and Bass

“My Heart Will Go On” Celine Dion

Song that makes you want to throw up

“So Thick” Neyo

See what I did there. Clever Guy.


Annie Mac said that you were the “future of Pop”. Do you think your music fits in or breaks away from the music in the charts at the moment?

Wow, that was the fattest compliment from Annie. I’m gonna answer it straight and say that I think my music breaks away. We never set out to make pop music, we set out to make our music and our sound. My sound being cutting edge beats, UK based music, fused with soulful, sexy, R&Bish vocals that is different from anything out there right now.


Your father is the legendary D & B Producer and DJ Simon Bassline Smith. How has the scene changed since his time?

My father is still big in the game. Not long ago he had a top 40, he’s on the radio 1 playlist and he’s still at the peak of his career. He’s known as Drumsound and Bassline Smith, 3 of them but one entity like Chase and Status. I grew up in the Drum and Bass scene and its changed a lot in the last 20 years There’s a lot of sub genres and it’s gone quite electronic and techno in places which I love. I love the new drum and bass.

What’s your response to people saying Drum and Bass and Dubstep has become too mainstream?

I think they just need to stop hating. When it comes down to it there are two types of music. Good and bad. The music we make hasn’t really changed in the last 5, 10, 15 years. It has evolved and developed but it is music we like. When people talk to me about my music in relation to popular music, I have to stress that we’ve been making the same music for a while, we always stay true to ourselves, it just so happens that our sound has become popular and that is amazing. The thing you have to remember is that when a track charts it means a lot of people like it, so I don’t think that needs defending. The more people that like our music the better.

Tell us about your involvement with the Workshops “Music and Life” in your hometown Derby.

I just realised everyone wants to be a DJ, Producer, Musician, MC and not a lot of people know how to get from A-Z. The whole idea of the workshops is to encourage people to follow their music career but also their academia and bring them alongside one another. I never ever stopped my education. I got a degree in Business Management and did the music thing on the side. Until you really take off, there is no reason why you can’t do both. It also shows how much hard work it takes to do music because a lot of people see it as an easy way out. It really isn’t.

Who will be the better tour mate, Example or Benga?

I’ve never toured with Example, only a few dates in Australia, so am not sure what that is going to be like. Me and Benga, when were on tour we live together and its fun times. Were starting the Benga Future and Youngman tour today!

Favourite memory of Leeds.

I’ve got a lot of good memories in Leeds as I’m from Derby in the midlands. I remember growing up and driving up to go out in Leeds. Sometimes you just wanna go to normal clubs and listen to R&B and House so we’d go to Call Lane and hang there. I’ve played in Leeds loads but in terms of my childhood, Leeds is close to my heart.

Youngman plays in Leeds with Benga tomorrow 28th of February at Mint Club. For other tour dates check

Youngman’s single “Who Knows” is out now. 



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