Entertainment

Yungblud talks ‘stigma’ of fame and still being ‘the boy in the black dress’

Yungblud finds it ‘strange yet beautiful’ that he is still fighting the same battles he was fighting as a teen (Picture: Samsung)

Yungblud might be known for his fearless image on stage, but the Doncaster-born musician refuses to be confined in the boxes people try to put him in based on what he looks like.

The 24-year-old singer has fostered a community of youths who see themselves reflected in him, but admits the confidence to embrace his authentic self took time.

He told Metro.co.uk: ‘I would kind of dress the way I dress on occasion – I’d put my f**king skirt on in between four days of jeans and polo shirts to kind of get a little fix if you like.

‘But then my confidence grew and once you kind of find a family, then no matter what anybody says about me, it doesn’t matter because I’ve got them. It’s like “keep it coming man, I don’t care,” and that kind of gives you this confidence to be like I’m going to dress the way I want, I’m going to walk the way I want, I’m going to talk the way I want, because this is who I am.’

With his fame skyrocketing in the past couple of years, Yungblud – real name Dominic Harrison – found he was being scrutinised a lot more, with people making assumptions about him based on face value.

‘With success comes a lot of stigma and conversation around Yungblud and I think it’s hard because on the one hand to some people I look scary,’ he says. ‘On the other hand, to some people I look fake, but they will never know who I am because they’ve only seen me so surface level.

Yungblud performed in London with Aries Moross and the London Community Gospel Choir (Picture: Samsung/Music Bank)

‘And it’s such a strange yet beautiful thing that I’m still fighting the same battle I was fighting when I was 15 years old.

‘I’m still the boy in the black dress, trying to be themselves. People still want to put me in a box, but it doesn’t matter because I have millions with me on this journey.

‘It’s like what does that what does the eyeliner and lipstick represent? It represents freedom and the freedom to express yourself. It’s so kind of powerful and beautiful to me.’

Many have tried to confine Yungblud into the parameters of what they expect punk to be, but he says the movement is a state of mind rather than defined by what you look like.

Yungblud performed an open-air concert outside Samsung KX on Thursday (Picture: Samsung)

He says: ‘It was very much emphasized that I was a “punk musician” and I am not a punk in the way that people see that on the surface level.

‘Punk became such a f**king stamp – it became a f**king food aisle at Asda and it’s not that. You cannot call punk a cereal box, it does not belong in an aisle in a supermarket.

‘What does it mean? What’s the definition of the word, the definition is freedom. I think one of the biggest punks of the past five years is X Gonzalez. Michelle Obama is a f**king punk, Rosa Parks is a punk. Gandhi was a f**king punk.  

‘What does that word represent? It represents the freedom to express a state of mind has never been seen before. And that’s why I want to put on the clothes and put on the makeup, that’s what that expresses.

‘So people can judge me all they want. they have no idea what I am saying. I think that’s a beautiful thing.’

Yungblud is used to people finding him ‘scary’ or ‘fake’ when they can’t see below the surface level (Picture: Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Yungblud performed an intimate open-air concert outside Samsung KX in London’s Kings Cross on Thursday evening, having announced the show just hours earlier.

As with all of his concerts, Yungblud’s shows are a safe space for his fans to express themselves without having to hide.

He says: ‘It was such a sick show, the idea that Samsung had was insane. I always love doing little secret shows like this and causing absolute chaos, it’s in our culture but now we get to do it in a in a place and in a way that I would never have done it before. 

‘I got to work with an artist that I’ve dreamed about working with for so long, Aries Moross, who is so incredible, and we share the exact same ideologies and we kind of push the envelope in terms of gender and sexuality.

‘All I give a s**t about is providing a space where people can be themselves. The song that we sang with the London Community Gospel Choir, and the art piece Mars is about a young trans woman that I met in Maryland who felt like she couldn’t be herself because her parents would not accept her for the girl that she was.

‘It’s such a magic moment to sing this with a choir – normally we don’t play ballads and slow songs at our festivals, but that’s going in our Reading and Leeds slot because it’s been so well received and so celebrated, and to be honest, it’s what I f**king represent.’

With some of his first post-lockdown shows under his belt, Yungblud is keen to get back out on the road to meet more of his following face to face once more.

‘It’s been the hardest year of my life, but it’s also been the most enlightening year of my life,’ he admits. ‘I’ve figured things out about myself as an artist, and as a person that I would never have done. It was a lot of reflection but I am ready to just tour for the next 10million years now. I’m ready to get back on the road.’

Yungblud performed at Samsung KX to celebrate the launch of the new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3 devices. The special gig was inspired by the new foldable smartphones, that give users unique new ways to work, watch and play using three live window displays.

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