We had the good fortune of connecting with Yugs and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yugs, what inspires you?
I’m inspired by connection! Connection to people, connection to nature, connection to art; connection to anything that’s alive in some shape or form really! When you connect with someone or something, you get a different perspective and start to see life in a different way. That’s why I love making music because to me it’s something anyone can connect to, no matter what language you speak or where you’re from. When it comes to my music making process, I love working in person sessions with artists to connect with them and get inspired by their vibe. I’m also inspired by experiences, whether that’s hiking the in the mountains at sunset, going on a long road trip, or dancing my heart out at a concert with people I’ve never met.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I really want to make music that gives people some peace of mind when they hear it. Whether that’s something to relax to, or jam to, just something different that inspires and lifts them from whatever they’re going through; music to close your eyes to.
My goal is to make music that is constantly evolving. The overall feel of all of my music is lofi, but I like to use that as a starting ground to mix it with every genre I can try my hand at: drum and bass, alternative rock, trap, house, you name it.
To get where I was today, it took a lot of people helping me and showing me the way. It hasn’t been an easy journey and I’ve thought about stepping back multiple times due to the stress. The number one thing I tell myself and any artist that I meet is: “Keep doing your thing”.
This reminds me that I’m making my art and sharing my art from a place of love, which is really grounding. If I love what I’m doing, and the people I love appreciate it, that’s all that matters.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’d pick them up from the airport and call up Cosmo’s Pizza to order a large pizza with a tub of spicy ranch. After we eat some ‘za, we’d go to Axe Whooping to their “Rage Room” and play hard rock music while we destroy old TV’s with baseball bats (this is a REAL thing you can do there). Then, we’d go on a hike in North Table in Golden. For dinner, we’d get Italian sandwiches from Snarf’s. After that, we’d walk down South Broadway to see if anything was happening. We’d hang at the Mutiny Information Cafe and read some comics. Then, we’d end the night by dancing at Milk. The next morning, if it was a Saturday, we’d go get Deby’s Gluten Free donuts in Aurora because that’s when they are fresh.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to shoutout the people who helped me along the way to making my music dream a reality.
First off, there’s my best friend and fellow artist Ben Weinstock, a rapper who goes by Benjamin Elias. He’s like my brother. We grew up going to a Jewish summer camp called JCC Ranch Camp in Elbert, CO together and we both ended up pursuing music, him as a rapper and myself as a producer. As I was just starting out, he was there to both encourage me and give me real feedback as I started learning how to produce. Working with him on his first EP gave me the spark I needed to really take my music dream seriously and continue to follow it to this day. Even though he lives in Tel Aviv, Israel, we still keep in touch and support each others music to this day.
The second person I want to shoutout is Ian Ellsworth, a producer who goes by Illswrth and Silver Needles. My biggest struggle in the beginning was producing drums in my beats. I had no idea where the kick went, the hat went, or the snare went. I was stuck using GarageBand drum loops until Ian took the time to sit down with me and teach me. He introduced me to a variety of electronic music genres that has inspired my music today. I wouldn’t have been able to make my first album Yugs without him, and I’m super grateful.
Last, I want to shoutout Ru Johnson. She’s a staple in the Denver music community, and she made my last project Nostalgia Ascending possible. When I pitched her a genre bending alternative hip hop album that featured artists from the Latin, Hip Hop and Indie scene, she believed in me and helped me make it happen. She connected me with artists like Trayce Chapman and Jay Triiiple, and even helped me get my first set at UMS. That project, which I put my heart into, wouldn’t have come to life without her, and I’m really grateful for her and everything she does in the community.
Personal Photo: Robert Mayper
Other Photos: Katiria Rodriguez, Cam Welch, Yael Gottlieb
Album Cover Artist: Chris Dominguez