For any independent artist striving for success, all achievements whether small or large can be an incredible accomplishment. If and when the day comes that you achieve super star success, it can be extremely life changing. What can be more life changing than that however is being able to take your gifts and talents and utilize them to help others. Being an impact on somebody’s personal life can be the greatest gift of them all. Charlotte, North Carolina talent YUNG Citizen is on a mission just as that, to give and spread love.
An artist and a producer, Citizen’s reach stretches far beyond the mere realms of music. Although vast amounts of positivity and good vibes can be taken from his discography, it’s his passion for community outreach that places him a category all his own. We had the chance to connect with him recently and had the opportunity to ask him questions based around community outreach, how it impacts his music and much more. Join us as we talk with YUNG Citizen in this exclusive THQ Interview.
THQ: Thanks for joining us YUNG Citizen. To start off, what inspired you to first want to get more actively involved in community work?
YUNG Citizen: As I was growing up I have always been concerned about the choices some of my peers have made that pointed their lives in a different direction, thus taking them off the path to realize their dreams. Now that I am a young adult, I see some of the same mistakes I witnessed years ago being made among our youth. I want to present myself as a positive role model and give back where I can. I am honest enough with myself to understand I can’t save the world. But I will do what I can, one youth at a time.
We’ve been wanting to ask you all about the “Ready Citizens” program but before getting into that, let’s talk about Canaan Grier. How did the two of you come to meet? How would you explain your guys’ relationship?
Canaan and I met at a community awards ceremony called “Community All Stars” held at a local establishment called Social Status. It was sponsored by Jordan brand. We both won awards for our positive engagement within the Charlotte community.
Canaan and I have a really great relationship. We both believe in giving back to our community and the specific give back for us is the youth of our community. Canaan pastors his own church where I am also a member. He allows me to help out there with music when my schedule will allow.
So Canaan and you started this incredible mentoring program called “Ready Citizens”. The program took part at West Charlotte High School. How did this all come about and do you two have plans of expanding out into other local high schools?
Canaan and I started meeting on a weekly basis with my cousin Joshua Harris (head coach of varsity football) where we discussed strategies to mentor his players. We would attend practices and work with the players before practice. During games, we would be on the sideline inspiring and motivating the players as needed. The second season of our involvement, West Charlotte won their conference championship and advanced to the second round of the state playoffs. Several of these student athletes went on to secure college scholarships. Canaan and I take great pride in their accomplishments and have no doubt they will be successful going forward.
As to expansion, we have had meetings with other high school football coaches but nothing has materialized as yet. We’ll continue this journey serving all who have a need for our services.
You’re very active within the church scene as well. Being a strong man of faith, do you feel that plays a pivotal role in having such a positive mindset like you do?
Yes, I am a firm believer, All Praise To The Most High!!!! I do walk in faith. My music and my lyrics are tremendously impacted by my faith walk. I don’t necessarily wear my faith on my sleeve, but I don’t run from it either. I believe it’s not what you say, but what you do. I let my actions speak for me.
You have a forthcoming EP coming this spring entitled “F.I.T”. What can fans and new listeners expect from the album campaign? Is the title an acronym for something deeper?
The title of the EP stands for Feel In Tune. It represents feeling confident in who and what you are. I believe that in order to walk that path of happiness and success, you have to be about Self Love, Self Care and Self Confidence. It has taken me a “minute” to understand and own this for myself. I am now better prepared to continue my journey as an artist and producer with a unique sound in the Hip Hop world. I really believe my fans will see and hear a different YUNG Citizen and hope they will appreciate the music.
— F.I.T EP On the way! (@YungCitizen) January 3, 2019
Speaking about music, how exactly does your love for social work intertwine into your music?
My entire music career has been about shedding light on the social injustices off the nation and of the world. I will always try to bring attention to these matters in hopes to bring about positive change. With this new project, I tried to lighten up a bit and have some fun. But if you listen close enough, you’ll hear snippets of vintage YC, trying to light up may community and the nation.
When YUNG Citizen is brought up in a conversation, what are some of the things you hope are spoken of in it concerning you? What do you want to be remembered for the most?
I want to be thought of as a dope artist and producer. One that was generous with his talents and was unselfish in his support of other artists dreams. Far too often, folks don’t want to help others because they are fearful it will take away from their success. I don’t believe that and those who I have worked with, will testify to that point. There is room for everyone. Your talent will take you where you need to go.
With the current state of rap and hip hop, there’s a dire need for uplifting music. With that said, do you have any ideas or answers on how we can do that?
All I can do is continue to share my music with my fans and the world. My sound and lyrics are not like mainstream Hop Hop and I am okay with that. This is not a slap in the face to any other artists either. I rock with many of those in the mainstream but at the end of the day, you have to be true to who toy really are. My music will do that for me.
For readers new to you, were can we stay in touch and updated with you via internet?
You can find me @yungcitizen on all social media platforms. You can also find me at www.yungcitizen.com. I will have some merchandise on the site very soon so check back and support my mission with a purchase.
YUNG Citizen, we want to not only thank you for speaking with us but also give gratitude for being so unselfish and giving back to others in need. You’re an inspiration to us all! In closing, we’d like to give you the floor to share anything else you feel our viewers need to know. The floor’s all yours.
I just want to remind my current and future fans to be on the lookout for my upcoming EP titled “F.I.T”. I am very proud of the end product and the many musicians who supported me on this project. Staying true to the FIT mantra, get to know who you are, and don’t be afraid to share that person with the world. Trust me, you will be a better person because of it, and the world is willing to accept you more than you think. FEEL IN TUNE!!!! Hopefully coming to a venue near you very soon.