UK rapper/producer Young Jade is a man of many talents, crossing genre limitations as often as he adheres to them. He’s been kiling it production-wise lately, and I’m confident that he’ll continue to drop his best work to date over the next few months.
1. You’ve recently focused on producing, and you just dropped the Fusion Deluxe beat tape under the JDR alias. Have you found more enjoyment in making beats as of late?
Around the end of May I was feeling so burnt out with music, I was trying to record vocals and every take just sounded emptier than the last, I couldn’t write clearly at all. I put out Fusion Drive in June just as something to have out but started making a few new beats too. I just found the fun in it again. “POOLSIDE / CHANEL” and “FIRST AWOKEN” are the two I spent a lot of time on, “Deluxe” is mostly stuff I found hiding in google drive.
2. Your track ‘One Way Out’ (and the arguably even stronger remix) is spectral, haunting, and features a great singing performance. Will we see similar material in the future given your recent pull away from rapping?
Thank you so much! I’m not going to rule out rapping because there’s some amazing feeling in being able to project so much emotion in so little time, but long term I’m thinking of new ways to use my voice. “One Way Out” was such a one off at the time of recording but when it dropped a few months later I saw it as a way to mark the end of my current style. Evolution isn’t always something you’re even aware of as it happens. Shoutout to sixtythree666 and TLD on production.
3. When using other people’s production, who are some of your favourite people to work with?
Traveller, Yung Mordo and Sixtythree666 are three great producers, and I really like glo!, lil amethyst, whyzoo, brokebwoy, and Illegal for type beats, but I’m trying to move towards a system where everyone I collab with is aware of it and active as part of it.
4. Do you think the UK has a strong underground scene? Are there any artists/producers that you’d like to highlight in this interview?
I’m not that informed about the UK underground, but I defo feel that the UK is a place where strong creativity is rewarded. We aren’t as tightly knit as the American scenes but that stops people from getting locked in one genre. For example Blxckovt dropped a fantastic album a few weeks back which has more of an emo sound whereas people like Lancey Foux are rising (to mainstream levels) quickly off of a post-trap type sound. It’s not a scene you can easily define, at all.
5. Who inspires your rap flow and lyrics? Do you feel that you pull from/are influenced more by UK hip-hop or American sources?
American for sure, because it is the mainstream, but I’ve got some heavy UK inspirations too. I can’t really judge what influences are the strongest in the finished products, but to name a few inspirations I’d say The 1975, Travis Scott, Bladee, 2814, Jon Hopkins, Earl Sweatshirt, MF Doom, Tyler the Creator, Playboi Carti, Yung Lean, Skepta, Solange, Lil Uzi Vert, and ECCO2K.
6. ‘Lavender’ is definitely my favourite rap track from you. What would you say your strongest vocal work is?
Again thanks so much. One Way Out is probably the most effort I’ve put into a vocal performance. There’s still a long way to go though. What I want to do changes so quickly I can’t say for sure what I want to develop.
7. Why the name ‘Young Jade’? Is it related to your real name?
“Young” is a reminder to always be learning and “Jade” is a combination of self-value and humility. I’ve been thinking of changing the name up though, but I’m not sure what I’d change it to. I’ve considered becoming one of those dudes with like 30 aliases but I’m not sure which way to move.
8. You mentioned to me before that you’ve done a few shows, have you got any more lined up?
I’ve done a couple guest performances, and they were such great fun, but I’d want to build a bit more of a discography and much more of a following before I do my own show. It’d be a dream.
9. Any last things you’d like to add? Thanks for being a supporter, I really appreciate it.
Massive thanks to you for having me on for this interview, and for working so hard with 108mics! This was a lot of fun.