The UK Native’s Duet With Halsey Paves His Way To Global Success

BY: Alexis Eichelberger

If you haven’t heard of YUNGBLUD yet, you will soon –– it’s inevitable.

The 21-year-old Doncaster native looks like Harry Styles’ punk alter-ego, complete with black nail polish and eyeliner. He’s amassed a dedicated European following since the release of his first EP in January 2018, and six months later the release of his first album 21st Century Liability prompted a European tour that will span most of 2019.

Now, YUNGBLUD is crashing onto the mainstream American music scene with the release of his single “11 Minutes,” a duet with Halsey featuring Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker. The heart-wrenching anthem is radio-made angsty pop, slyly pairing an up-and-coming rocker with one of the biggest voices in pop music for almost guaranteed chart success.

“11 Minutes” and YUNGBLUD’s previously released work reveals him to be one of the latest artists to join the wave of genre-benders evolving the music industry. His work, all of which he has co-written, has the kind of categorical ambiguity charts are boasting more and more.

YUNGBLUD’s intersectional approach to genre puts much of his work in conversation with American artists like Lil Peep, whose blends of rock and rap are as much influenced by pop punk as they are hip-hop. Both Lil Peep and YUNGBLUD are the byproducts growing up during emo’s peak era, as seen in their work both lyrically and instrumentally.

Songs on 21st Century Liability like “Polygraph Eyes” and “Medication” have clear hip-hop influences, and protest songs like “Machine Gun (F**k The NRA)” are unapologetic, showing he’s unafraid of pointing fingers and making music with a heavy-handed message.

YUNGBLUD’s gritty rock, harsh lyricism and high-energy authenticity got him started, but “11 minutes” will rightfully allow him to ride on Halsey’s coat tails to mainstream American radio build his following beyond Europe.