BIMM London Music Business undergraduate Yo Preston recently contributed to a track by one-man-band sensation Youngr, which was included in Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist. We chatted to the young songwriter about his approach to the collaboration along with his experience of studying at BIMM so far.
Your song ‘Drive’ was recently featured on Spotify’s New Music Friday Playlist – what did that mean for you?
It’s always the best feeling when people recognise your work, especially in such a crowded and competitive industry. I listen to NMF every week to hear music from my favourite artists early, it’s an incredible feeling to have my work amongst those artists.
How would you describe your writing style?
I grew up listening to people like Justin Timberlake and Craig David, melodically I think you can hear that in my songs. I like writing songs from scratch with the producers I work with. I take a lot of influence from what’s going on in the production in the session and try to convey what I want to say in a way that heightens the production too.
How do you approach writing for other artists?
I try to find the balance of how the record should feel if they were writing it on their own and what I can add to the mix stylistically. Youngr is a great person to write for. He’s one of those artists that you can say “It does what it says on the tin”. His songs are mellow but catchy and very hooky. His production tells a story in itself. I felt like I knew exactly what he would have wanted when I got the instrumental.
You’re studying Music Business here at BIMM London, how is that helping you develop your career?
Being able to learn more about the specifics within the music industry has given me the confidence to carry myself and discuss the business behind what I’m doing with other people. I would say it’s imperative for any artist/writer/producer to understand at least the fundamentals of the landscape they’re working within, BIMM is a good hub to gain that knowledge.
Do you feel like the London music scene has influenced your music style at all?
Yes and no. I think I take influence from quite a few things, the music scene in London being one of them. I feel since moving out of my small town of Harrogate to London, my tastes in music have become a little bit darker and my eyes are more open alternative/left field music. I’ve collaborated with a lot of writers and producers that are part of that scene since being here. The beauty behind collaborating with other writers and producers is that you get to infuse different styles and influences. I like pushing my craft into different areas with other people and seeing where I end up. However I do feel that there’s always a part of my writing style that I’ll always want to remain authentic to me and not veer off to far if that makes sense?
What’s the best thing about studying at BIMM London?
Being around like minded people and never being to far away from good talent.
What else can we expect from you in the coming months?
I’ve spent the last 6-8 months writing a lot of material for my artist project. I’ve worked with some incredible people on it! Next month I finally get to put out the first original single, we’re just finalising a date. I can’t wait to get my own stuff out there and to start performing it live.