Croydon-based MC Yung Fume has long been touted as the next big thing from South East London, and has made a powerful return recently with new single ‘Something Else’ featuring American rapper Young Nudy, best known for his track ‘Air It Out’ with 21 Savage.
The soon-to-be 21-year-old rapper, now signed to American label Payday, releases his new EP ‘Level Up’ on March 30th. It’s produced by Atlanta native Zaytoven, who you might know from his tracks with Gucci Mane, Migos and Future. We caught up with Yung Fume to chat everything from childhood inspirations to the upcoming collaboration with one of the hottest producers in the rap game.
What’s the story behind the name ‘Yung Fume’?
Originally my older brother was called Fume when he was growing up, so as I’m the younger brother I just assumed I was the Young Fume, and over time I’ve just turned it into something I use as my stage name.
How did you get into music?
When I was younger, I was into acting. I was maybe around 16 or 17 and I started freestyling with my friends. I just uploaded music videos to the internet, and gradually as time went on, it started to become a hobby. It was like football is a hobby for some people, and going to the studio and making music was mine. Gradually, it became my job!
How does it feel to be the first UK Hip-Hop artist to be signed to the same label that Jay-Z broke through on?
To be honest, I know my music is very good, it feels like it was more of target, instead of just saying it feels good. I like to say that I’ve hit my target.
Where does your inspiration come from?
It just came from growing up where I came from. I don’t come from a posh area which was my inspiration and made me determined to change my life and get out and achieve more.
You’ve remixed artists such as WizKid, Ty Dolla $ign and Tinie Tempah, do you look to their careers for inspiration?
Future is one of the artists that inspired me. Most definitely the career that inspired me, and the career I want to be in and by networking with them I eventually will be at their level.
How did you end up collaborating with Zaytoven?
To be honest, Payday records came to the U.K. and wanted to sign some London acts. Although my music does have U.K. influence, it also had that sound that they were looking for. Also, my name had popped up a lot, people had mentioned me to Payday before, so they just reached out to me and let me know that they had Zaytoven as a contact. All I had to do was say ‘yes’ to doing an EP with him and they made it happen.
Would you like to work with him again?
Yeah, I want to work with everyone out there at the moment even the biggest producers.
You’ve also worked with Stormzy in the past on his debut EP ‘Dreamers Disease’, how was that?
Yeah he’s really inspiring and also he’s from the same area as I am. It’s inspiring to see a brother be so successful and it inspires me to try to be as successful as him.
Tell me more about ‘Level Up’, your new EP dropping March 30th…
The meaning of ‘Level Up’ is that where I am in my career everything’s levels. I’m always going up the levels, I’ve gone from just putting videos on YouTube to touring London and that’s leveling up and achieving the next level. Another reason is that I’m currently taking the steps to get to America – and that is a huge level up – but I am taking those steps and more things are happening.
Will ‘Level Up’ be completely different from your other albums?
It’s gonna be the same sound, I’ll never change my sound. I’m gonna keep the same kind of sounds but it will be different because of the fact that it’s gonna be produced by Zaytoven. He is the difference between this EP and my other albums.
You’re often referred to as the next big UK rap breakthrough, do you feel any pressure?
No, I don’t feel any pressure at all. I’ve always said that making music is easy. For me, I just go to the studio and make loads of songs. So no pressure, it’s just natural.
What are your goals for this year?
Literally just to tour, and do loads of shows in London.
Watch ‘Never Had’ by Yung Fume (Ft. Jme):