“People ask if I’m going to save rock music and I’m not,” describes Dominic Harrison who is professionally known as the moniker Yungblud. “I’m just playing rock music and I’m connecting to people. Having something to say is the most important thing. There is no new genre that is ‘in.’ The new genre is to be authentic and represent something.”
Harrison started generating buzz in 2017 as this wild child alt rockstar reminiscent of old punk attitudes like Sid Vicious. He was loud, in-your-face, and demanded your attention. In 2019, Yungblud began making even bigger strides, most notably with his collaboration with Halsey and Travis Barker, “11 Minutes,” which was accompanied by a striking music video that visually shows the five stages of grief and the toll that can have and other mental health issues, something the singer has been vocal about in the past.
“Youngblood” has been a phrase that has been bouncing around in the pop rock world for a few years now — from Fall Out Boy’s Youngblood Chronicles, a companion visual to their 2013 album Save Rock And Roll to 5 Second Of Summer’s hit 2018 single “Youngblood” — but the alias Harrison has assumed feels much bigger than a flashy name to stick on the back of your denim jacket.
“I want to build a community that isn’t just a fanbase. We’re undeniably close; we’re about something and a message and that freedom.”
That community Harrison speaks of is multiplying and quickly. Mainly because Harrison is taking what he grew up with — rock — and taking it into his own hands. And his audience is not only listening, but they’re forming a movement.
“I got bored with it,” says he of what is traditionally known as “rock music.” “I was so much more inspired by modern hip hop music. It represented what rock does. It represented what The Clash does. It represented what the Sex Pistols does. It represents undeniable freedom and progression. For me, rock music wasn’t doing that. So I was kind of like, ‘fuck it.’ I wanted to do something different.”
“The more places I go, the more I realize we want the same things. We all want a sense of unity and equality. Division is such an old concept, to me. To divide is boring, to unite is incredible. It makes you feel like you’re part of something. All of my life, I never felt like I was apart of something until now. I am only 50% of what Yungblud is; the other 50% is [the fans].”
And those members of the Yungblud community really are the future. At 21, Harrison is part of the generation of young, post-genre musicians like Billie Eilish, who are paving the way for their peers. The youth are responding because they aren’t the polish pop stars of the past but rather, vulnerable, exposed, and unapologetically sad and angry as fuck.
“Young people are more intelligent now because we have access to more information. We genuinely give a fuck. We’re a generation that isn’t afraid to give a shit. Nowadays we gotta be [political] because look what’s going on in the world. It’s important to be informed and we want to be informed.”
“I write about mental health because I suffer from it and it’s real to me. We’re part of a generation where it is finally being taken seriously. All I want to do is spread awareness for people who might not understand what someone like me is going through. I want to write about what is true to me. Like I said, we’re a community of lonely but because we’re alone together, it makes it a little less lonely.”