Success isn’t always a straightforward path. For Jordan Heaney aka: Yung Heazy playing music took many forms and hadn’t tracked in a major way until someone curated one of his songs for a video on YouTube. Since then Heaney has been riding the wave of success to his new album ‘Whenever You’re Around I Hate Everything Less.’ We caught up with Heaney on his North American tour to discuss riding the wave and why he’s kept things DIY. Yung Heazy, continues his 2019 North American tour with upcoming shows in Washington, DC, Atlanta, and Brooklyn.
Northern Transmissions: How did this album start as a Valentine’s gift and move to a legitimate musical project?
Jordan Heaney: When I realized it was taking off, I thought I should record another song just to see if I could do it in that same feeling. I record everything myself, and it’s a pretty simple setup, so it’s casual for me to do. I had a few songs on the backburner so I went for those.
NT: On this note what exactly happened when Alona Chemerys helped your song go viral on YouTube?
JH: When I put up the song initially it had 100 plays on Soundcloud so I don’t know how she found it. She found it and then put it up without telling me about it, and then one of my friends sent me a link to a playlist it was on. It already had like 30 000 views, which was crazy. From there I had all kinds of people contact me, and some label interest.
NT: Considering this isn’t your first really musical project, how does it exactly differ from what you’d been doing in the Vancouver scene?
JH: I’m in another band called Frogpile and it’s a bit rockier and more progressive you could say. We play with more complicated arrangements, so it’s quite different from the loving and chill music I’m doing now. I didn’t have any big ambition for the songs when they came out, it was just another outlet for my creativity.
NT: You handle all instrumentation and recording yourself but how much of that reflects your skill and preference versus means to hire people for now?
JH: You really do have full control. I’ve worked with producers before and it’s just such a hit and miss process. I’ll have an idea of what I want to do and I’m not always the best person to communicate those ideas. When it has to go through a bunch of people, it’s just strange to me. Here I’m just working with myself and if something goes wrong, I have to fix it. I still have an extremely DIY setup, and I know how to work it so I’m getting better at using it.
NT: How has this made trying to switch over to the live sphere?
JH: The live show is definitely more energetic. The arrangements themselves don’t change much but we’ll play with solos and other things. The players in the band are solid, and I’m confident in how it sounds so it was a pretty seamless transition.
NT: Going off of your previous recordings, did you really want to evolve your sound to flesh out the record and your previous tracks?
JH: Most of the songs on the album I wrote after the fact, so I was consciously writing new songs for the album. The other part was different, with these older recordings that had the same dream-pop sound but were maybe a bit sadder. It all fits together really well though.
NT: I understand despite how fitting much of your early album art is you also had that come out of the online pick up in fans, so how did you decide to incorporate it?
JH: Yeah this girl called April Lawyer, who goes by Bape.ril whose from Tucson, Arizona. Alona put my song up on YouTube and put some of April’s art and it just fit as a mix and match. I think it perfectly fit the song. I was able to contact April and we started collaborating on stuff!
NT: Going forward with the project are you locking into what you’ve started here or are you hoping to make big jumps for your new music?
JH: I have a lot of songs ready for the next album that are mostly in the same vein. It’s pushing the envelope more, they’re not all love songs and it’s not just clanging guitars everywhere. I don’t have too much control over it, I write the songs and they come out as is.
NT: Was Yung Heazy a name idea to play on peoples’ expectation of what kind of genre that would fit to?
JH: You could say that. It was a joke name that I came up with, and then by the time I had almost a million views I wasn’t going to change the name, I’m stuck with her.
Words by Owen Maxwell
North American Tour
6.5 Philadelphia – Moca
6.6 Washington DC – Songbyrd
6.11 Atlanta – The Drunken Unicorn
6.12 New Orleans – Hiho
6.13 Austin – The Sidewinder
6.14 Dallas – Three Links
6.15 Houston – Axelrad
6.16 San Antonio – Paper Tiger
6.18 Phoenix – Rebel Lounge
6.20 Orange County – Locker Room
6.21 Los Angeles – The Factory
6.22 Sacramento – Cafe Colonial
6.26 Portland – Analog Cafe
7.7 Seattle – The Vera Project