I caught up with a young artist named Yen5k. Yen is an up and coming independent artist from the Midwest that mixes rock and drill music together. Down below we talked about his upbringing, musical influences, role models, and many other things.
1. How old are you and where are you from?
I’m 21 years young & was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I was always back and forth between Chicago & North Minneapolis, growing up when I was younger. I was usually staying in far south side Chicago or Eastside Chicago with my granny or my aunties, but a lot of the time, I stayed with my mom North Minneapolis since she was a single mom who raised me by herself
2. When did you find your love for music and why?
I always had a special love for music ever since I was young. I was genuinely fascinated with music & it never gets boring because it’s so many different genres. When I was growing up, my older brother Mega. used to have a studio in the crib, so I used to watch him in the creative process & that’s when I became inspired. I say that was around ‘09 or 2010. Eventually, when I got old enough to have a computer on my own, he hooked mine up and put FL Studio 8 with vsts on it & drumkits. I high-key got good at making beats pretty fast, so I just stuck with it until I started rapping. Shout out Ralio & JT at the North Minneapolis YMCA; they taught me how to use Pro Tools & Ralio sat down & taught me how to make beats on FL Studio. I can’t even explain how much I appreciate them opportunities because I don’t know what I even would be doing right now if it wasn’t for me learning that shit, to be honest.
3. What artist if any, influence your music/sound?
Believe it or not but, I take a big chunk of inspiration from a UK band called Bloc Party & rock music as a whole. The energy and the image behind that shit always were just raw as hell to me, even now & when I was younger. Around the time I got to middle school is when I had just started to get deep into the trap music wave, even though I grew up on Gucci Mane & OJ da Juiceman. But middle school is when Chief Keef came out hot as hell on them Young Chop beats. That was a crazy era to me because that’s when they had turned the trap sound into a unique midwest, futuristic, melodic, energetic drill sound. That was crazy at the time cause I never heard anything like that before. My homie Daigo was my main inspiration to take rapping seriously too ever since he got killed. He was talented as hell. Another artist that influenced me with Autotune was T-Pain. He just always knew how to put a record together without the autotune overpowering his natural voice.
4. Does your location play a role in your sound?
Yeah, I think I would say it does. Since I grew up always listening to Footwork music, Bop music, & the Melodic futuristic trap/drill sound. I feel like the Midwest just got that distinctive sound that people take a lot of inspiration from us.
5. What are some important things the people should know about you?
Everybody who knows me; know I am a real stand up guy. I honestly don’t think I know one person who can ever say that I am not a relatable person. I mind my business and stay out of the drama, working on music, or kicking it with the guys or something. I got positive energy so, people genuinely enjoy just being around me.
6. Do you have any projects coming out soon, and if so whats the name and date?
I have been just focusing on dropping music videos & singles for right now. I might come out with one more project before 2021, but only if my plan goes the way I want it to go. Everybody needs to know I got nothing but heat in the vault, so stay posted.
7. What advice would you give to young artists in your position?
My advice to the young artists is to try & create your sound and not completely copy from another artist. You are going to eventually have to realize that if you copy somebody, you are not going to progress to your unique place where everybody needs to be. Also, try to be consistent with your sound because people could get confused and stop listening to you.