Since the release of his debut single “Dark Star,” 22-year-old R&B singer-producer Jaymes Young has seen his star continue to rise.
Having dropped out of high school, he pushed himself to follow his dreams and pursue a career in music. Only four months after arriving in Los Angeles, he was signed to Atlantic Records.
It’s been an exciting time for Young, who’s since released an iTunes EP and a mixtape which has surpassed 1 million downloads. Not to mention a recent tour supporting the buzzworthy London Grammar.
“They’re really generous people,” Young told Variance following his stint with the U.K. outfit. “Anytime we needed something, they’ve helped us out. And vice versa. Also, they’re big [in the U.K.] too, so the crowds have been great.”
Part of the reason for Young’s rise can be credited not only to his original material, which is brilliant, but his clever remixes. Giving him additional visibility, he’s grabbed the attention of audiences that might not have previously given his soulful tunes a listen.
“There are a lot of young kids that are super into EDM right now,” Young acknowledged. “It’s either EDM or just indie electronic that’s got a really big grip on the youth right now, and I think if they can take a song that they might not normally listen to … they can take the lyrics they want, they can take the parts they want and build the whole remix off of that one thing.”
Although his music has risen quickly, it was Young’s management that encouraged him to release an EP in the first place, something he admits became a catalyst for his career.
“We just got together one night and we were like, 'let’s put this out tomorrow. It’s ready to go. It’s not the most professional recording, but it sounds good.' We were passionate about it so, and if they had not encouraged me, I probably would not have put as much out, but I definitely would have put some things out.”
Already being compared to the likes of Mikky Ekko and The Weeknd, Young points to a much more mainstream pop act as influence for his music early on.
"I like every song on Songs About Jane [Maroon 5’s debut album]. It was such an important album for me in high school,” Young recalled. “It was much more instrumentally creative, and I thought that there was a little bit more honesty in that album and a little bit more vulnerability. Now it’s all just a lot more cocky confidence, which is fine, but I went through a really bad breakup at the end of high school, and that first album really connected with me because it felt real.”
As for his own debut record, Young hints that it’s on the horizon. “I’ve got nine or ten songs already demoed out; they’re already written and the material is there. It’s just a matter of kind of cultivating it a little bit more and polishing it. I want to get it right."
The Dark Star EP is out now. Listen to the title track below.