WPGM Commentary: Kay Young On Her New EP ‘Middle Matters’ – Track By Track


I’m Kay Young, a rapper, singer and producer from London and my EP Middle Matters is my most honest body of work to date. It’s about growing pains, the expectations that society puts on us and understanding that you haven’t failed in life if you are still trying to figure your stuff out.

In order for you to understand my creative process, I’m going to have to give you a break down of each track for it to make sense.

The project was created in my bedroom studio – at the time I was just creating music with no real plan to put out an EP. But then I realised that there was a running theme throughout most of the songs and the conversations that I was having with people on this topic were similar to mine.

It was at this point that I decided to make a project out of it as it was a conversation that needed to be had.

Lets start with:

“Cruisin”

The song is me speaking my thoughts out loud whilst trying to make sense of it all.

Someone had just giving me a copy of Abelton as I wanted to try out another DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). Abelton is the best software that I have used for putting down ideas.

“Cruisin” was the first song I made that night. I remember coming up with with the chorus and laying it down real quick before I lost the idea. I then bounced the track and went for drive whilst pumping it real loud… thats when I came up with the verses. It was a wrap after that!

“Going Through”

“Going Through” is about my late Grandma who laid down the foundation for me. It’s about acknowledging the fact that I could do better but at the same time not dwelling on it so I continue to push through.

85% of this song was created on the Teenage Engineering OP-1, which I’ve stupidly sold. The driving force of the track are the harmonies and the bass which was played by Krzysztof Syposz – who took the track to another level.

I really didn’t realise the impact that it would have on people. I’ve had so many people reaching out saying how they cried upon hearing the song.

There is power in vulnerability!

“Giving Thanks”

This song is about giving thanks despite the circumstance that you are in – trying to find the silver lining in your situation. I wrote this at my cousins house the the day I got kicked out of my house… I remember thinking that this song is going to be big.

The production was inspired by Mary J Blige’s “I’m Going Down” song – it’s very 60’s! I decided to add some live horns which was played by Nick Briggs and Gavin Fitzjohn blessed the track nicely.

“Don’t Wait For Me”

This song is about me telling you how focused I am. I’m not the type to bring home to you mum- I’m not ‘Wifey’ material haha. I’m about stacking up my money for a house and doing my music. The rest can come later, so please don’t wait for me.

Production wise, it’s quite simple. It’s very 90’s… but it was over once I added the James Blake “Retrograde” sample on the drop. I started playing around with the pitch and it sounded so much better compared to the original version. I almost want people to think it’s a different person on the track.

“Ego”

I had come out of a relationship not too long ago and I was looking for some attention. Someone to text me in the morning, someone to go out for drinks with and feed my ego. But I never made it clear to them that, that was all I was looking for – it’s a very dangerous game.

The song starts of sounding very RnB’ish but then switches up in drum & bass. I wanted to create a sound that complemented my ego running away. Plus I’m a fan of drum & bass.

“Sweet Dreams”

I wrote this song after a dream that I had. In this dream, I was playing both good and bad. I knew what was right for me but at the same time I kept on being led astray to the things that weren’t for me.

And sometimes the things that aren’t for you are often packaged in such a way that its too hard to resist. I just remember there being this constant battle and I was getting pulled in different directions.

I sampled Howard Blake’s “Night Tapestry”, which is the running theme throughout. But then I decided to switch up with a trap sound to pick up the pace. I also changed my flow to compliment the switch up.

I’m so happy for this project has been released out into the world and that people have been able to relate to it on so many levels – it makes me feel like I’m not alone.

Listen to my Middle Matters EP below!

Words by Kay Young // Follow her on Twitter + Instagram

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