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  • Jack Loftus

NOTEWRTHY: An Interview with yvng bando boy

Welcome back to NOTEWRTHY. For those of you that don't know me, my name is Jack and I write about music for UIC Radio. A few days ago, I had the pleasure of getting to sit down with someone and conduct my first ever interview. This is that interview, but in text rather than audio. Please enjoy!



Jack: So, for those who don't know you, who are you and where are you from?


yvng bando boy: My name is yvng bando boy and I live in Idaho.


J: Where did the name come from?


ybb: So, my friend Sam and my other friend Zach, in our freshman summer, so 2020, they wanted to get me into rapping, and I was basically trying to be a wannabe Tay-K clone, so that's where it really came from, but they were trying to come up with names. I actually wasn't even there when the name came up, but they were hanging out at one of their houses, trying to think of names, and then Zach's dad walks in, they look at him and ask "Yo, what's a good name?" and he goes: "yvng bando boy!" They immediately called me and were like "We have a name for you."

J: (Jack laughing) That's a sick origin story, to be honest. It just adds to the entire thing that not only were you not there for it, but your friend's dad came up with it.


ybb: The best part is, I didn't even know where the name came from for like a good year! I had no idea and I never questioned it.


J: So, how would you describe the music you make?


ybb: The kind of music that scares h*es.


J: I hate to agree with you here, but I think you're right!

(Both laughing)


ybb: Yeah, I think that explains a lot to be honest.


J: Hey, it's still good music in my opinion, so as long as you enjoy it, who really cares, right?


ybb: Very true.


J: So, from what I gather, you can speak Japanese and Korean, as well as English?


ybb: Admittedly, my Korean is kind of bad now and has gotten a little shaky, not gonna lie.


J: Hey, it's better than mine which is none. I only asked because I saw you went to South Korea over last summer on your Instagram, so I assumed you spoke it decently.


ybb: Yeah, it used to be a lot better, but I haven't had much practice since so I'm basically back at square one. But Japanese, I do speak quite a lot of. Not as people think I can, but I'd say I can speak a pretty good amount. Although, I've been slacking a bit on it recently just because I've been playing Elden Ring every night.


J: So, how did that come about, you learning those languages?


ybb: So, when I was 7 I moved to Hong Kong for my dad's job, and we lived there for a few years, so that's probably where most of my childhood memories come from, and so I have a lot of nostalgia for Asian culture in general. I also started watching anime when I got back to the States, and my school was offering a Japanese class, and I was like "This is sick!" Also, like I said, the culture was nostalgic for me, but also really cool, and it made me want to learn more about it, especially the language.


J: Yeah that makes sense. It connected to something you had prior experience with, so you wanted to explore more of it.


ybb: Yeah, exactly. I'd say I do more research into the actual culture than I watch anime now, so there has been a shift for sure.



J: I think you mentioned this earlier, but how did you get into making music in the first place?


ybb: Yeah, it was my homie Sam. We were really bored in 2020 and he had been trying to get me into it for a while, so we made a kinda crappy "Tay-K style" song on his computer, and then I just started taking it a lot more serious than my buddies and even now, some of them who got me into it HATE the music I make now. But it's whatever honestly.


(Both laughing)


ybb: I remember one time, it had been like 6 months since I made my song because I made the first one to just get them off my back, and then they basically locked me in a room and said "YOU"RE WRITING LYRICS AND NOT COMING OUT TIL YOU'RE DONE!" They basically, through force, made me get into it. Not the best way to get into it, but they made me take it a lot more seriously and yeah, here we are.


J: (Jack laughing) Ay, well I'm glad that they did because I enjoy your music.


ybb: I mean, I'm glad too because now I'm sitting here getting interviewed and this is pretty cool.


J: Yeah, I mean, even though I'm not a huge blogger or anything, I'm glad you think this is cool.


ybb: Yeah man, it doesn't matter the size of it, I'll take any publicity!


(Both laughing)


J: Awesome. I remember back in June of last year when I made a TikTok about your stuff and you responded to it thanking me, I was blown away to be honest.


ybb: People actually say that to me a lot and I don't really understand it to be honest. They almost put me on this pedestal and they say "OMG, no way you responded!," but I literally see every DM and comment. That may just be because I'm on my phone too much, but yeah, any time someone comments or DM's I see it.


J: Honestly, I think it's cool that you interact with people the way that you do. I know with a lot of other bands or smaller artists in general, they do still interact with their fans, but to a much lesser extent. I reached out to another small band with a similar question about their music a few months ago and they never responded, so that was a little disappointing.


ybb: Hey, ratio to them, bro. I'm just that much better.


(Both laughing)


J: So, what's your favorite song that you've made?


ybb: It's probably "I LUV ADDERALL." I think that ones pretty good, along with "SHOOT SHORT," both of which were off of the last EP. I don't know though, because a lot of the stuff off that project is different from the rest of the stuff I made.


J: Yeah, that makes sense. When I was listening, I was thinking "This is definitely different from the other stuff, but I still like this." Obviously, I'm still a big fan of the earlier stuff you made like "IP MAN" and "INTHEVICINITY," but the new stuff is still good too.



J: So with the release of the new EP, WHOGOESTHERE??? (2023), what was the creative process for that? Given that you said you changed things up a bit with that project, and it's very clear too.


ybb: Not gonna lie, I made that whole EP in the span of about a week. I am prescribed Adderall, but it had been a while since I had taken the full dose. I was feeling extremely burnt out, so for that week's span, I took the full dose I normally should and just went crazy on the mic.


(Both laughing)


ybb: So yeah, that was basically the inspiration for the first song, and then it worked really well because I was able to make a lot of music in that time and now I've got some unreleased stuff to sit on too.


J: So, I've seen from your cover arts and you mentioning it earlier, but I gather that you're an anime fan, so I have to ask: What's your current favorite show and favorite character? If you can't think of one, a top few also works.


ybb: Oooooooo, good question... I'd say, if we're talking all time Tatami Galaxy (2010), Devilman Crybaby (2018), or Samurai Champloo (2004). All time top 3. Currently, a big contender is Vinland Saga (2019), same with Chainsaw Man as far as manga goes.


J: Great picks. I'm actually watching/reading the manga for Vinland Saga, and it's amazing, so I totally agree with you there. So I think I asked you this a while ago when we talked a different time, but will we see a full album from you?


ybb: Absolutely. I'm building a vault right now. Basically, I had a really bad habit for a while of making a song and then dropping it immediately, so I had nothing stored up for releases, which in turn didn't really give me a chance to sit with the stuff and refine my sound. Now though, I have started to do that, so I'm gonna build a giant vault and then pick some bangers to drop as an album. It's probably gonna drop after I move to Japan, so it won't be out for a hot minute. I'm probably just gonna drop a bunch of singles for the next couple of months.



J: You've worked with several artists before, such as KiD KAMi, Kei and OMINVS, but who's your favorite that you've worked with before? As in, what's your favorite collab you've done?


ybb: Probably "MAKE EM DROP" with ISSBROKIE. I'm such a fanboy of him, and having a song with him is just amazing. I'm probably gonna do another one with him soon. I've been trying to work with a lot of people from karmam0b, because I really mess with everything they've got going on. I also loved working with OMINVS, who you mentioned earlier. He's a g.


J: Is merch ever on the horizon?


ybb: Maybe, I just need to come up with designs. I can get shirts and stuff made through a friend, but I need ideas. It will probably drop around the same time as the album, just because it doesn't really make sense to drop merch for no reason. Plus, I'm really into fashion so I want to make sure it's high quality stuff and looks good. I see so much merch that's just a basic design on a basic blank shirt and it's so disappointing to see, especially from bigger artists.


J: Starting to wrap up here, what are you most excited for when it comes to the future of your music?


ybb: I'm really excited to see what comes when I go to Japan, because I know a lot of people in the underground scene over there and it's crazy. I want to do more music videos and shows, and there's a lot of people over there that can make that stuff happen in the high quality way I want it to. I have friends with little to no following over there, but they're still able to do shows and put out insane videos because of how easily accessible everything is over there with that. I'm gonna be putting a lot more content out once I get over there.


J: Alright, well that's pretty much it from me. Thank you for taking the time to sit down with me and talk, it's been a pleasure.


ybb: Anytime, man! It's been really fun.



You can find yvng bando boy on Spotify @yvng bando boy and on Instagram @kid_squeeze

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