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I’ve Always Been Ahead of My Time” Yung L Speak About His Yaadman Kingsize Album


Yung L ‘Yaadman’ or ‘Mr Marley’ joined the interview via the Zoom link, his blase demeanour was soon replaced with animated candour– I’d told him I was a longtime fan of his music since his 2013 breakout days of SOS when I was in my last year of senior secondary school– and he’d taken a moment to reflect on his run in the music industry. He’d jokingly called himself an old man and threw in the ‘I go soon leave music for una’ joke. 

Eventually, he would open up about the harrowing flipside of being ahead of his time with an alternative and wildly eclectic take to dancehall in an industry where hits songs were borne on the back of Afrobeats and Afropop. He would also share his excitement to finally becoming duly recognised following the release of his second studio album and third musical project.

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This project is Yung L’s Yaadman Kingsize, an 11-track musical buffet done up in his unique style of Afro-dancehall which the Jos-bred singer passionately labels, ‘Afrozimm.’ Here’s what Yung L had to say about his album, the process behind it, how he was able to find the will to stick to his craft, the future of Afro-dancehall and more.

Yung L Yaadman

Yung L

Not everyone is in on Rastafarian lingo, can you kindly breakdown what Yaadman means? 

It’s not my word, if you check the dictionary, it means a black confident street guy. It’s someone that is free and loves to have fun and I think that expresses me as a person. It came to me at a point when I became one with myself.

The album in itself is such a delightful serve of Afro-dancehall, what was at the core of its creation and what was the inspiration behind it? 

I’d say growth in general and my life. Like how you were telling me you heard SOS when you were in secondary school and now you’re done with uni so obviously you know growth has taken place from then to now. The project is just a reflection of myself as a person, how confident and free I am to create the type of art I want to. I’m having more fun with the music, myself and the music are having fun.

As a young man, I didn’t quite understand the powers we had, now that it’s come to me it’s like a full 360, it all makes sense now.

You’ve been getting quite the reception following the release of your Yaadman Kingsize, Yung L, how do you feel about that? 

I’m excited because I was scared, I’ve always been ahead of my time, so sometimes people catch up with my music 2 years down the line. But when I did it then, I was just having fun. I’m excited that they love this one and they’re catching on now. Songs like Rasta that I thought would be too much, or Womaniser, or Yaadman, I’m surprised by the people that love that record. I’m excited that people have accepted not just one song but the full project and everyone has their own song they love.

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