The happenstance interview with Swedish rapper Yung Lean in London meant a crash course on how to separate the celebrity from the person
Yung Lean represents what the postinternet youth can achieve in the most post- internet way possible: taking pieces of history we want and refashioning them to ll our own authenticity. The whole of the collective pieces of his identity, some of which I identify with, are bigger than the sum of his parts.
Fueled by teen angst, I relished the thought of hanging out with him, just shooting the shit, talking about whatever is in our heads. To be in his presence means to bask in his status as an icon. What are the chances that me, someone living halfway across the world, would meet one of his favorite artists?
The gut instinct everyone has when they meet their idol is to take a piece of them to keep. This is why we take photos: to freeze moments in time for us to return to.
The beauty of a celebrity, I think, is that we want to be like them. Yung Lean’s movement as an artist, his whole world view that gives him direction, eludes me. His status as a niche icon meant a tighter circle for us who are willing to spend hours getting to know him.
But ultimately it was my mistake to call Yung Lean a celebrity, to atten his underpinnings as a person to a mere act, an aesthetic.
Meeting him simulateneously af rmed and destroyed my image of him. What I attempted to keep suspended in my memory did not give justice to who he was in the esh. Most often, it never does.
Not to sound patriotic, but it’s a very Swedish way of making music. Swedes have always been minimalistic with furniture, brands like Acne and other clothing brands. I think it came naturally. In the beginning, we were just fucking around in the studio and then you kind of step back and you want to do a little less possible but sounding as good as possible. I’m focusing more on the voice, I guess. Critics ould compare it to oy Division o do you eel about this
Great. One of the best compliments you can get. I’ve always felt that we had a little bit of a connection to Ian Curtis and the whole Factory Records thing. I was a huge Happy Mondays fan. I saw New Order live and I’ve always felt a connection with that. It’s the vibe and maybe the whole sadboys and everything, we’re kind of doing what was never really accepted in Stockholm and everyone was either making pop music or traditional music. Who are your style ashion in uencers Kenny Powers, Kylie Minogue, Gwen Stefani, Juicy J. When you re orking on music or clothes ho do you kno hen your vision is complete
Never. You don’t know. You always want to work a bit more on a song or with whatever art you’re doing. You always want to work on it more but sometimes you’ve got to step back and think, “This is enough.” Sometimes your intuition about the song on the rst take could be the best.
Yung Lean performed for a small crowd during the private #RatedOneStar party in London Your last album Stranger” is more minimalistic compared to your previous music