Six months ago Josh Young announced his departure from Flosstradamus. After 11 years of working alongside Curt Cameruci and helping create what is now the HDYFAM the Instagram post received an emotional response from his fans. Curt continued with Flosstradamus but Josh had other plans in store. It wasn’t the end, as he announced he was going to work on a solo project.
Fast-forward to July this year and Josh, now known as YehMe2, released his second mixtape. Challenging himself to a beat per day for the entire month of May we heard mash ups from De La Soul, Selena, and a ‘Row Row Row Your Boat’ daddy day care edition.
But there’s more to Josh than making dope beats. He’s a supportive husband to his wife Elizabeth, who he regularly praises, and a loving father to his two baby boys. Josh doesn’t shy away from showing the love he has for his family on his socials, in fact he thinks that having a family has changed his perspective on everything including music. He’s proud of being the “Digital Dad” that he is.
Having played his very last shows as Flosstradamus in Australia, as part of Fomo Festival, Young is back in town and about to embark on his Steal This Tour. The tour consists of three intimate club shows in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. Having already sold out the Sydney show we sat down with Josh and discussed his new found creative freedom and the Steal This tour.
Carolina: From Joshstradamus to YehMe2. Tell us what’s behind YehMe2?
Josh: Lizzy came up with it! It felt right because often people would say I’m “just a hypeman” but I was actually producing a majority of the music for Floss. So this project feels like a statement responding to that, also the Pharrell tag sounds slick.
Are you relieved now that you get to show there’s more to you then the so-called hypeman?
I’m just happy to be surrounded by people I love, making music I love.
Steal this Tour is about to kick off. How do you feel going into it as a solo artist?
It’s exciting! It doesn’t just feel like a new chapter for me, it feels like a new book. After years of playing festivals and bigger rooms I’m excited to get back into some intimate clubs.
Last year you challenged yourself to a beat a day and released Steal This Mixtape 1. You did this again in the lead up to Steal This Mixtape 2. What was the inspiration behind these challenges?
Honestly, I had a handful of tracks I’d been sitting on that I wanted to put up on the internet. So I posted the first, a beat I made with a Korn sample and just went crazy from there. I ended up making almost 40 tracks in that month and it lead to the conclusion that I needed to go my own way.
40 tracks, that’s crazy! It sounds like it was a creative peak, did it feel like that for you?
It felt like I unlocked a part of my creativity and productivity I wasn’t aware of.
Where does “Steal this” come from?
All of the music I’ve made comes from the mash up mentality, taking anything and flipping it into a song. I’ve always approached music with a no rules mentality and in an industry so obsessed with money it’s fun to encourage people to juke the system.
How have your fans reacted?
They hated it! [Laughs] nah, it’s cool to see so many people fuck with it. I’m really lucky to make this kind of creative move at this take in my career and have the support I do. Creative freedom is everything to me, and being able to have that and continue to support my family is huge.
Has having a family made you think of making music differently?
Having a family has made me think of everything differently. In regards to music though, I’ve stopped taking it so seriously and started having fun with it again.
How do you think your sound differs from the music you made for Floss?
It’s an evolution of the early work I was making for Floss. I’m taking that sample anything mentality and exploring it more, removing all boundaries, and jumping into the deep end. Making Chicago footwork tracks out of Fleetwood Mac songs, sampling System of a Down, flipping SahBabii into happy hardcore. Shit got stale, so I’m just trying to make it fun and creative again.
Your last shows as part of Floss were played in Australia and now some of your first shows as YehMe2. What do you love about coming here?
In no particular order: meat pies, VB, great crowds, great music, koalas, BBE, footy, and family BBQs.
It’s hard to believe it’s only been six months since leaving Floss. What’s the YehMe2 five year plan?
Stay present and enjoy every moment. Love out loud and continue making dope shit.