- Yxngxr1 @ The Globe
- Date: Tuesday 14/06/2022
- Time: 7.00pm
- Price: £9
- Age Restrictions: 16+
- Venue: The Globe
Welsh, Indie-rapper Yxngrx1 headlines The Globe in June, following the release of his new album ‘Teenage Motel’, and a sell-out show at Clwb Ifor Bach in 2021.
You pull up to a motel off a non-descript highway in the middle of what could be anywhere. During your stay you meet someone and fall in love. Even though you’ll eventually need to check out and return home, the breakup still hurts. If it’s this temporary, is it real? For Yxngxr1, it’s the thematic basis of his 2022 project, Teenage Motel [STORM GVNG/EMPIRE].
With a whole lot of honesty and heart, it unfolds like a long-lost nineties indie flick, inviting complete immersion. “The loose idea is two people fall in love at a motel, but they realize it’s not going to work out,” he elaborates. “They live fucking hundreds of miles away from each other and probably can’t keep it up. There’s a sad ending, but you could still listen to it and think, ‘That could be me’.”
Born and raised in Cardiff, UK, he stirred up buzz with his DIY record “Tyler” during 2019 whilst holding down a post school day job at Foot Locker. Following its viral explosion, he quickly tallied tens of millions of streams across fan favorite singles such as “Rather Do,” “RockStore,” “721,” “Pigeons,” and more. Simultaneously, he released a flurry of full-length projects, namely Childhood Dreams , I Don’t Suit Hats , YELLOW YELLOW YELLOW , DigiKid , and Digikid 2 . Attracting praise from The Line of Best Fit, tmrw magazine, Buzz Mag, and more, The Guardian also applauded his “lovably lo-fi indie-rap.” Despite his heady rise to success, he continued to challenge himself in the studio, pushing the envelope and breaking the boundaries between hip-hop and indie.
As an artist he is truly a product of the internet generation, being heavily influenced by contemporary music of all genres as well as the online crush of tongue-in-cheek branding, meme culture & virality. But to ensure a cohesive vision to life on Teenage Motel, he has exclusively worked with Birmingham-based producer Milodrama Beats and Taha Beats out of L.A.
“I always kept Milodrama and Taha close, because I’ve grown with them from the start of everything,” he says. “The sound is still gritty. Milodrama’s tracks have more 808s, while Taha’s songs have an indie vibe. I wanted it to be diverse though.”
Conceptually, he watched Wes Anderson movies and combed Pinterest for inspiration from the nineties, tapping into the era’s fashion and aesthetic down to the fonts and ink bleeds. At the same time, he harked back to television series such as Friends and various Nickelodeon staples. “Everyone looks so sick with the baggy cargos,” he laughs.
He introduces Teenage Motel with the single “Sweatshirt.” On the track, dreamy guitar glides over a glitchy beat as he voices echoes on the cozy and catchy chorus before tense rhymes take hold.
“It talks about this kid who has a bit of separation anxiety, so he keeps his girl’s sweatshirt in bed because it smells like her,” he reveals. “He can’t stop thinking about her and won’t let it go. It comes towards the end of the album when they’re drifting apart.”
Meanwhile, “Nice Guy” [feat. Morgan] slips from a breezy melody towards the admission, “She thinks I’m a nice guy. I’m not really like that.” Morgan counters with a female perspective as they lock into a vibrant call-and-response. “It leads to a breakup moment, but what Morgan did is so beautiful at the same time,” he smiles.
Horns swoon between a head-nodding guitar loop on “BMW.” He joyrides in a M3 BMW as the bouncy hook caps off this “fucking banger.”
“It’s really about a sense of freedom,” he states. “When you’re driving a new car around for the first time, you totally feel invincible. You can go anywhere and just say, ‘Fuck it’.”
Elsewhere, he recruited Black Josh for a cameo on “Room 2,” which simmers with a stoned sense of soul over lush keys. Acoustic guitar rings out on “Goodbye” where he ponders “going through a bad time with my girlfriend.” Teenage Motel fittingly culminates on “Exit::checkout at 11.” His voice flutters over melancholic production as a gentle hum fades off into the distance.
“It’s a bit of a sad ending,” he leaves off. “It’s something I hope you relate to though.”
In the end, audiences will relate to Yxngxr1—because he’s real.
“I’m dipping into everything I’ve done on this one,” he leaves off. “It would be my dream to offer something for everyone. It’s quite simple. I’m just someone who wants to make good music.”