Dominic Richard Harrison aka YUNGBLUD (his manager called him Young Blood, because he was the youngest on the roster) jumpstarted his career as an actor, making an appearance on the shows “Emmerdale” (2015) and “The Lodge” (2017). He's stressed on quite a few occasions that he loves acting, but that he’s focused on music at this point.
Acceptance, equality, and freedom
At first glance, you might merely see a young emo singer with a strange appearance, a weird blend of Hip Hop, Ska, and Indie Rock elements, and maybe consider him a fleeting fad. But YUNGBLUD comes from a musical family. His grandfather played with T. Rex at one point, and his father is a vintage guitar salesman, so there’s definitely music in his “blud”. And there’s a rebellious message of equality, freedom, and acceptance in his work that might even turn into a movement. Dominic has a lot to say and he’s saying it without any constraints. He did have a hard childhood, because he suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and felt unaccepted most of his childhood. Many teenagers can identify with that.
Mixing with celebrities
Since the release of his first album “21st Century Liability” on 6 July 2018, he’s been gaining a lot of attention. And not just from his fans, quite a few celebrities have noticed him as well. But his career started to scale after the release of a YouTube video for the song “Falling Skies”, a collab with Charlotte Lawrence (a rising star herself), in August 2018. The song was featured in the hit Netflix series “13 Reasons Why”, which in turn boosted YUNGBLUD's music career.
In one year, the number of YUNGBLUD’s SoundCloud followers grew by about six times, while monthly engagements on the channel jumped from 500k in June to 1.5M by September.
In February 2019, YUNGBLUD collaborated with drummer Travis Barker (Blink-182) and singer Halsey (his girlfriend at the time) on the song “11 Minutes”, and fans adored the tragic love plot of the song. His monthly YouTube views started rising after the song's release, and there was also a notable increase in Spotify followers – sevenfold in just one year. In October 2019, he had about 480k followers and 7M monthly listeners on the online music streaming service. We can compare these numbers to another hot new Rock act on the scene, Badflower. The American band had about 100k followers on Spotify and about 1M monthly listeners in October 2019. Both numbers are quite good for newcomers, but YUNGBLUD is far ahead in this “race”.
In June 2019, Machine Gun Kelly released a video for the song "I Think I'm Okay" featuring YUNGBLUD and Travis Barker, and they even did a couple of gigs together. A lot of people were googling the name YUNGBLUD right after the song was released. At the time, YUNGBLUD also published a video for "Parents", which has gotten over 20M views since the release and proved that his solo songs are just as popular as the collabs. Since May, his YouTube engagement rate has more than quadrupled.
YUNGBLUD is really popular on Instagram, what with his unusual looks and extravagant outfits. In one year, he's managed to gain over 1M new followers on the channel.
In October 2019, YUNGBLUD did yet another collab, “Original Me”, this time with singer Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons. Within just one week of the release, the video got over 2M views on YouTube. Altogether, the youngster has managed to increase his YouTube following tenfold in barely one year.
The bottom line: YUNGBLUD’s success lies in him being nonconforming, attracting celebs to his circle (he’s followed by artists such as Marshmello, Post Malone, P!nk, and Billie Eilish on social media), and most importantly, having the ability to really speak to young people with socially conscious lyrics and posts.
He’s someone whom teenagers and college students can adore and identify with, also due to his relatively difficult childhood. His attitude toward his fans is probably best explained in his own words: “YUNGBLUD is about connection. I just want to connect to people on a real level so everyone feels less alone.” There’s no reason for his fanbase to stop growing, and if he stays true to himself, the sky's the limit for this “Young Blood”.
Cover photo: David Dillon/Leeds 2019
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