Interview – YNG Travs

Canadian rapper Jesse Travaglione — AKA YNG Travs — has just released a brand-new song, aptly titled “For My City.”

The two-minute, 45-second track serves as the lead single from his breakout EP, More Than Music, and serves as an homage to the French-Canadian city where he grew up and kickstarted his fiery music career. The nine-minute project features two other originals from the 19-year-old rapper: “Hold on,” and opening track, “The Code.”

For those entranced by the new wave of R&B and hip-hop, “For My City” is the perfect track for you. Upon a single listen, it’s evident this young and talented musician has been inspired by the likes of many rap legends, as well as some of the key players in the modern scene — taking instrumental elements and vocal delivery inspiration to make a familiar, but modern and unique sound all his own.

But how does he keep it fresh, you might ask? Well, having grown up under the wing of his father — a rock and funk musician and aficionado, YNG Travs pays tribute to those distinctive legacy genres by integrating samples and production elements into his music. The result? Find out for yourself. It’s worth the listen!

“This song was purely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ‘what’s next’ for both myself, and — most importantly — Montreal.”

Check out “For My City” below, and find out more about YNG Travs via our mini-interview.

First off, care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Of course, I go by the name of YNG Travs and I’m a 20-year-old artist from Montreal, Canada.

I was born in Montreal, but live a little outside the city in Laval where I grew up and my story really started. From a young age, I’ve always understood you have to work for what you want in life. Unfortunately, not everyone is in a position to achieve something from that work and that’s just what my team and I are trying to change. I strongly believe that everybody in this world has a gift or a talent of their own that makes them unique, but a lot of people are limited to what they can do with it due to their own situations. Our goal, through not only my music but from spotlighting the talent all over the world, want to showcase a strong independent team of young talented individuals who come together to grow and achieve greatness in whatever path they choose.

Tell us about the recording process behind “For My City”?

Well, I felt like I never really talked about my city much in my music or in general so I knew I had to do something special for this one. I pitched the idea to the team and everyone loved it so we got everything rolling instantly. Originally, the song was written to be rapped very aggressively and it wasn’t until the 4th version of the song where we tried the melodic style of rapping for it and instantly changed the whole direction of the song. With that catchy-melodic approach, we were comfortable with having this song represent this city and my homage to it. We got the jerseys done for the video to symbolize unity and try to really capture that team-oriented presence in it… and of course, they just looked so good! Overall, I personally think we did a great job with the production and recording of For My City which is available everywhere on all streaming platforms and go check out the video on Youtube too!

What was the highlight of 2020?

Last year was definitely a crazy year for me, not only music-wise but also for myself. 2020 really opened my eyes to a lot of truths in this world that were hard to swallow. But even though I learned a lot, I’m grateful for every lesson and test I was put through because I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in today because of it. My mind and my music have never been better, my team is growing and looking unstoppable and our vision keeps getting closer to us every single day we work at it, and that’s all thanks to what 2020 did… so I guess you could say the real highlight of 2020 is what we got out of it!

What do you hope to accomplish in your career in 2021?

Well overall, I really want to keep growing the way we are right now. I’m very grateful for all that everyone at Dance Plant and my team has done for me so far and I know we have a lot more to do. For now, we’re really just preparing for MIDEM in 2022 and MONDO NYC as well as a special European feature we have lined up. It’s going to be a busy year for us and we’re excited about it and everything that comes with it so stay tuned for all of that!

Is there anyone out there you’d like to collaborate or open/close a concert with in the future?

Maybe not what people are expecting from me, but someone I’d really like to work with is Bruno Mars. I personally think the music he makes is so different and as close to that old James Brown and Rick James funk as you can get, while still holding that modern sound. I might have to step a little out of my comfort zone for that one, but I think we can pull it off! Performance-wise, I definitely have to go with either Drake or Travis Scott. These are two artists I’ve watched perform live when I was younger and I can vouch that the energy they bring to wherever they are performing is unmatched. From the crowd to the energy they bring in themselves, the ambiance of the room is spectacular and definitely something. I would love to open/close.

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