When Yungblud first got the call from Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds, he didn’t believe it.
“On my tour bus in New Orleans, me phone rings and Dan’s like, ‘yo what’s up it’s Dan Reynolds from Imagine Dragons,’” remembers the 22-year-old star. “I’m like, ‘yeah f*** off, whatever.’ Bang, put the phone down.”
“He rings back and he’s like, ‘it’s actually Dan Reynolds from Imagine Dragons,’ and I’m like, ‘what!’”
After finally believing the singer, the two connected and Reynolds sent him over an idea, the menacing synth and rattling drum beat that would become the beginning of their collaboration, “original me.” The vibe hit hard for Yungblud, but in an exclusive interview with RADIO.COM, he explains that it’s just as much what Reynolds is about that made him want to work with the GRAMMY winner.
“The strive and determination to make people feel good about themselves, and to make people feel like they can be who they want to be, that’s the mutual thing we have with each other,” he explains, gesturing with sincerity. “And that’s what the song was about. That’s what we got in common. Make sure it’s energetic and raw as hell. Bish, bash, bosh – 5 hours later. Take it out of the oven, serve the cookies.”
The cookies in the case have been deliciously successful, with “original me” quickly becoming one of the biggest Alternative songs in the country. Time will tell how it stacks up against the greatest alt anthems, or where it lands in Yungblud’s personal top 5. Here’s what he came up with when we put him on the spot for his five favorite Alternative songs of all time.
“’Taste Of Ink’ by The Used, ‘Jesus Of Suburbia’ by Green Day, ‘A Certain Romance’ by the Arctic Monkeys, ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ by Oasis, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana,” he lists confidently and quickly.
The singer is a kinetic ball of energy and anarchy, wrapped in a sweet smile and a heartfelt exuberance. He tells us about being “misunderstood” growing up, and wanting to bust out of the box that people try to put him in. His influences of Punk and Hip Hop have made him a unique entity, and prime for more collaborations like “original me.”
“I want to move in circles that you wouldn’t expect me to move in, and work with idols and work with people that’s almost a bit like, ‘what? Yungblud did that? Why?’” he says. “But when you hear it, you kind of go, ‘ahh cool I get that.’”
He lists Billie Eilish, Jessie Reyez,and Drake among those he would like to work with. “I’d love to do something with Travis Scott,” he adds. “That’s not happening, by the way, just before clickbait goes on the internet. The way he embraces and loves his fans – Travis Scott really reminds me of My Chemical Romance. He gives people purpose, because they give him purpose. Very similar to the way I feel. The music is out there to allow people to unleash something no matter what that may be, and I think that is so powerful.”
On Friday, Yungblud released his EP, the underrated youth, to tide people over until the full album arrives. “There’s an album coming soon. Very soon,” he says seriously.
“I want to get the album right because I want it to be a concept album.
A world. A universe. And I brought this EP out because I needed to unleash a part of my heart right now, to kind of symbolize what I’m going through, what the fans are going through, and the people I’ve met and the stories I’ve heard.”
Yungblud’s new EP, the underrated youth, is now available everywhere.