Blake Yung is no longer remaining “Low Key,” as evidenced in his long-awaited debut single. The South Carolina native formerly known as Capo Cheeze is the definition of versatile, finding his identity as a former rockstar turned MC. The 28-year-old is no stranger to the entertainment industry — a walking testimony to all those with a dollar and a dream. Read more..
Currently residing in Tarzana, real name Matt Young has barely been in LA 6 months and somehow finds himself in sessions with some of the biggest names in music spanning all genres. What began as songwriting and toplining for others soon transitioned into his own art, currently spending his waking minutes perfecting his first full-length project. Production alone is handled by Supah Mario (Drake) and Mark Batson (Eminem, Alicia Keys, Maroon 5).
For those who don’t know, who is Blake Yung?
I’m a hip-hop artist and topliner. Been doing music for probably 10 years now. Just changed my name to Blake Yung from my other name, Capo Cheeze. I’ve been under this new alias for 3 months, literally put out my first new single under my new name. Still trying to figure that out.
What made you change your name?
Just going for something a little more international, instead of being boxed into an urban type mindset. I started writing a lot for other people, working on pop records and toplining for different people. Trying to approach a wider audience.
Who have you written for?
I’ve been working with this girl named Ashlee Keating, a pop artist. She’s got some good songs out. Kevin Pollari, he’s got a bunch of stuff out right now. He’s from Atlanta but based in LA. E.B. which is Eazy-E’s daughter, she’s managed by my manager. I’ve been helping her. Omar Kadir, Canadian guy who lives out here. Emani 22, super fire.
So you started out songwriting?
Well I started playing guitar in a metal band, then transitioned into hip-hop. Literally started writing for other people this year, so I’m sort of new.
Can you talk about turning from rockstar to MC?
It’s pretty much the same. I was in a metal band, it was 5 of us. I played the guitar. Nobody really took it as serious as me. People not showing up to practice, slacking off, etc. I figured “yo if I do hip-hop, I could literally get a beat, do everything myself. Be my own brand and move at my own pace.” I didn’t really have to answer to anyone, that’s pretty much the main reason I decided to do it.
Why should people fuck w/ you?
My music is dope! I definitely got a good message. You should be who you are and not worry about what anybody else thinks. I know it’s kind of cliche, everyone says that, but that’s really what it boils down to. I’m for the people and I’ve got some good music.
Being from Colombia, South Carolina, how does that play into your life and career?
Colombia is a small town so everybody knows everybody. You gotta work really hard where I’m from to get the recognition that you deserve, so I took that with me on the road out here. Brought it into my work ethic and really try to work as hard as possible.
What were you seeing growing up?
Well I have a half-brother and a half-sister, so I was like an only child. My sister lives in California, my brother’s back home, so I had to entertain myself. I played sports growing up, then got into music when I got my first guitar at 15. Ever since then, just hit the ground running. Haven’t stopped at all.
Are you able to incorporate the guitar with the hip-hop?
Absolutely. I have some tracks I play some solos on. On the production side, definitely dabbling here and there when it comes to producing my own stuff. Nothing too crazy yet, but working on it for sure.
How important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
It’s really important actually. Since I’ve been out here I’ve had a lot more opportunity and have definitely found a better direction for myself to go with my music. It’s really important to be in a big entertainment hub. LA is the capital for that right now.
You’ve been here for 6 months. Favorite part about the West Coast?
The weed. [laughs]
At what point did you realize this music thing was for real?
That;s a good question, probably as soon I split from the band. We were actually on the verge of getting signed to a deal and going on tour, so I knew I was cut out for it at that point. As soon as I started doing hip-hop, I put all of my marbles together. I’m like “I gotta make this work,” probably 4 or 5 years ago in 2015.
You recently dropped “Low Key.” What was the mindstate in recording this?
It’s really just a fun song. It started as a song I originally was gonna send to someone else. I cut the hook, then my manager’s like “yo I really like the song.” We listened to it more and decided to keep it. Really going for a club vibe, something super melodic but chill with some trap drums. Something fun really, nothing too serious.
How was the release party in LA?
It was awesome! It was super fun. The DJ spun the song a couple times, all my good friends came out. We had a little quick turn up vibe, just networking. It was cool, a short little event. I’m trying to set one up in South Carolina as well. Spread it to my hometown.
What is it you want fans to get from your story?
It goes back to my message: I really want people to understand they could do anything and anything is literally possible. In this day in age, you can just be yourself. You don’t have to worry about being boxed in or feeling like you gotta be this and that. Just be whatever you wanna be.
What can we expect music-wise?
You can expect a lot. Definitely a full-length album this year, lots of singles and videos on the way. Hopefully my first writing credit will come out this year. Been doing a lot of writing but none of it’s out yet. That’s all in the works right now. Some shows coming up, hopefully hit the road and go on tour this year or next.
What are some goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?
#1 records, that’s the main goal. Just to keep spreading and progressing every time we put out a record. Expanding the fanbase. Basically taking over inch by inch if we have to.
What are some of the struggles being independent?
Of course budget and financial, that’s always a struggle starting out. That’s really the biggest thing, getting people to take you seriously. Obviously without any press and writeups, it’s tough at first. When you start a new sound, a new wave, people are afraid to get behind it until they see other people supporting it. When you doing something new, it’s always rough at first.
3 things you need in the studio?
Gotta have the weed, gotta have some water for sure, and some fire food.
What kind of food you like?
I’m all about the street tacos out here. Always pizza, any type of sandwiches. Gotta have candy like Sour Patch Kids. Whatever you need to set the vibe. Welch’s® Fruit Snacks. [chuckles]
How important is social media for your career?
It’s pretty important, but it’s not as important as most people think it is in our generation right now. I’m a firm believer that if your music and brand is good, you don’t really have to do all of that stuff, like reach out and do all these viral videos. We live in a very interesting time. It’s definitely a tool, but you should use it as tool and not solely depend on it.
Favorite person to follow on IG?
Action Bronson. He’s a funny guy. That’s definitely my favorite person.
What’s the best encounter you had with a fan?
The thing is, I’ve only been out here for 6 months. Most of my core fanbase is back home in South Carolina. Since I’ve changed my name, I haven’t been directly back to see anyone yet. But people tweeting me in general from random states. From the work I did with Speakers Knockerz in some small town in Milwaukee telling me to come do a show, it’s crazy. The shit can travel that fast through the internet. They’re young kid, like 14 to 16, it’s like wow. It’s pretty nuts.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to do what you do?
Don’t waste time overthinking stuff like I did. Just dive right in immediately. Don’t let anyone tell you what to do. Don’t worry about what anyone thinks about you. Don’t spend time on any of that shit. Focus on your craft because everyone has the same 24 hours. It’s really what you could do with your time even if you don’t have a lot. Use what you have and slowly roll the ball forward.