The 22-year-old singer – whose real name is Dominic Harrison – left his hometown of Doncaster, North England, to move to London to attend an arts school when he was 16 and quickly embraced a wild lifestyle that was very different to his more reserved friends.
He recalled: “Me and my best mate, James, lived in this cheap place with a house mum called Marge — £75 a week in Osterley. I thought, ‘That’s manageable.’ I was spending all my money on beer and whatever, and James was the straightest person you’ve ever met, it was like Lucifer and Jesus.
“Marge would call my mum and be, like, ‘He’s been out for four days now.’
“My attitude was, ‘I’m in London, at this school where I can be expressive, I’m going to find myself, I’m going to drink whatever I want, s*** who I want, experiment with drugs and gender.’ Every single piece of brain, I was going to figure it all out. But no, it was the same set of rules, probably worse.”
The ‘Weird!’ hitmaker loves to experiment with his sound and admitted he finds the music industry “depressing” because people are so keen to label him or pigeonhole him into one area.
He said: “That’s what I found so depressing about the record labels and the press. One day I wear a dress and fishnets, the next a suit. One day I want to do a hip-hop track, the next a metal one. That’s who I am. Who cares? That’s my generation.”
Yungblud is thankful his mum was a “free spirit” when he was young as she let him experiment with his image from a very young age, regardless of what other people thought.
Recalling a school disco when he was nine, he said in a recent interview: “I decided to straighten my hair and paint my nails, wear a Nirvana hoodie and skintight jeans. In Doncaster, going to school looking like that, the reaction was, like, ‘Who is this satanic child you’re bringing up?’
“But my mum was a pretty free spirit. If I wanted to dye my hair, she loved that. There was probably a bit of, ‘If he expresses himself now, he’s not going to go mental when he’s older.'"