Blake Yung is a budding artist from South Carolina who has been residing in LA for 2 years now. Initially, Blake Yung used to go by “Capo Cheeze” before undergoing a rebrand into Blake Yung. Today we had an exclusive chance to interview him:
ARN: What was your initial drive to start making music?
Blake Yung: When I was in middle school I always played sports (football, baseball) but it just got to the point one day where I was looking for something more to focus my time into. I always wanted a guitar so I remember my parents finally getting me an acoustic guitar for my 15th birthday. That right there was really the turning point where I first got that initial spark to start wanting to make music ALL THE TIME. Idk what it was but I instantly quit playing on all the sports teams I was on and just starting playing guitar constantly and writing songs and riffs in my bedroom.
ARN: How did you find your voice and style as an artist?
Blake Yung: Subconsciously I probably adapted a lot of my style and influence as an artist early on from 80’s and 90’s rock and roll bands like Guns N Roses, Motley Crue, Nirvana, etc. I was heavily influenced by the fashion and music style of gritty rock music at an early age. I was always watching concert videos of Axl Rose and slash performing on stage with Guns n Roses and knew it was what I wanted to do from the get go. I wouldn’t go on to discover my voice until at least 3 or 4 years later when the band I was playing guitar in at the time broke up so I then I started getting in studios and recording rap music just for fun. In those days I was really inspired by Biggie Smalls and people who were spitting real bars so I hadn’t found that melodic flow yet that I’m currently known for! It took probably 4 or 5 years of just being in the studio constantly and experimenting with different sounds and techniques before I finally got comfortable with my voice and started really feeling myself when I got behind the mic. This process probably started around 2012.
ARN: How has South Carolina and LA helped shape your sound?
Blake Yung: I can’t say that South Carolina really helped me shape my sound because I was always musically influenced by music from other parts of the country, but I can say that SC helped shape me into a real go getter and a true hustler! Were I’m from we all have a certain mentality where its get it out the mud by any means necessary and that always stuck with me even after the move to LA. We never really had any real big opportunity’s for our music scene or any spotlight shined on us for the longest time so a lot of us grind with that chip on our shoulder because we know what’s its like to have to work harder than most of our peers to get an equal shot at this. Being in creative hub like LA has helped me shape my sound tho by having access to bigger and better studios and being constantly surrounded by people that have the same goals as me. I think it really has forced me to take myself more seriously.
ARN: Working with a producer that is recognized in the game must feel good. What was it like working with Supah Mario?
Blake Yung: It feels good for sure but it feels even better because we are friends at the end of the day so that always make the process more comfortable. I don’t think many people know it but me and Mario are both from South Carolina and actually were neighbors at one point when I was living off Broad River. We’ve known each other for years and he actually produced my first ever rap song when I went by Big Cheeze lol. He was there when I only had a small local fan base at the time and was one of the only people willing to keep sending me beats and working with me until I started finding my voice in this music shit. Sometime around 3 years ago I had sent him acapellas to a song so he could remake a beat for me and what he sent me back was co crazy that we both decided right then and there we were gonna work on a whole project together entirely produced by him. Our process is usually me starting an idea or song based off beats that he will email or text me, then once I have something that I’m comfortable with we will get In the studio together and finish it.
ARN: Can you walk me through the creative process for Dronez?
Blake Yung: It was just one of those days where I was at my house writing to a pack of beats Mario had sent for the project. This beat in particular was more left field than the others so I wanted to try something different in terms of melody ideas and a concept. Dronez was really one of the songs on the project that pushed the boundaries of what I thought people would expect from my debut full length. I think the idea of writing a song about being abducted by aliens has always been something that I wanted to do also. By the time it was finished I just knew I had something REALLY different sounding. I think the fact that its such an experimental song and has an interesting vibe will be a breathe of fresh air in todays climate where people are dropping similar sounding music so frequently. Thats honestly what this whole project is about is me just making the music that I want to make, and not what people expect to hear from me.
ARN: Tell me more about your upcoming project “Leader of the Lost Souls.” What was the inspiration behind it?
Blake Yung: I feel like our generation is hurting pretty bad right now and I feel this weird entitlement to use my voice and platform to try and help change peoples perception of these negative things like drugs and depression! Instead of feeling like you DON’T fit in because you are going thru these emotions, I just want people to realize that they are not alone and that we are all hurting together! I think just being there for others that feel like you do is important because a lot of the fans that follow me are younger people that feel like they aren’t being heard or feel that nobody fully understands them . I remember the feeling of what it’s like to be young and feel like that and I want to give people something they can be apart of. I think we are seeing and hearing more songs about mental health and heartbreak during 2020 as a result of the current state of the world we are in. It’s important that people realize it’s not wrong to feel this way and it doesn’t make you any less normal than anyone else because you have these thoughts of depression or you use drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism. Everybody has their own vices at the end of the day.
ARN: What’s the most important part of your story so far? The thing you’re most proud of.
Blake Yung: Honestly how far I’ve come… like I said I come from a city where no one has really done what I’m trying to do yet so knowing that I’m on the right path and working towards my goals every waking moment is most important to me. Ive seen so many people give up or quit once they get a little momentum because they aren’t really focused on their goals. Just knowing that I never cheated the grind is what I’m most proud of. Im hustling to be around long term, not just someone who gets a buzz and fizzes out in a few years.
ARN: Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Blake Yung: Young Thug… he might not know it yet but its gonna happen soon LOL.
ARN: Who influenced you most throughout your career?
Blake Yung: Thats tough because inspiration for me comes in forms of so many different things. It could be something as simple as traveling. If I had to say WHO tho id probably have to say my Dad because he’s deff the biggest boss I know to this day and just growing up and seeing his work ethic is something I’ve strived to carry with me everywhere.
ARN: What do you want your legacy to be? How do you want to be remembered?
Blake Yung: I want to introduce a new sound of music. I’ve always been a leader at the end of the day not a follower. Id like to be remembered as that.