exclusive: king youngblood takes back their power on the massive “home is only a house”
By Nathan Leigh
October 21, 2021
“I feel in love with the rain
when you hated the clouds”
King Youngblood’s skill at transforming a small phrase into a massive hook is at this point unparalleled in the world of heavy music. The anthemic “Yakubian Antics” still gets stuck in my head nearly daily, and the latest from the outfit “Home Is Only a House” is destined to do the same. Frontman Cameron Lavi-Jones’s winding lead riff snakes its way through the song beneath his lyrics about an ill-fated relationship. The song’s tension between heartbreak and rage mounts throughout before bursting into a fireball of punk rock catharsis.
With a video directed by the inimitable Danny Denial (at this point we’re actually worried about his sleep schedule), King Youngblood’s latest perfectly captures the moment you realize you’re better off without someone who doesn’t see the real you. Explaining, “This is my third music video collaboration with King Youngblood, and directing their music videos just keeps getting better and better.” Danny Denial tells us, “For this one, Cameron and I were both in a similar headspace of rebuilding and the idea of pushing forward against the roadblocks life throws at you. It wasn’t so much about the story as it was the spirit of building (and rebuilding) your passion and your life to survive and live for self-expression through your art. It’s a terrible thing when someone tries to tell you to choose between your art and your relationship. Especially now, rebuilding is a powerful and positive sentiment I think a lot of people need to hear right now, after all the loss the Afropunk and overall music community has faced during this Pandemic.”
Lavi-Jones adds “I had a partner who told me that they wished I would be an orthodontist instead of an artist. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was a statement that was a lot more damaging than I gave it credit for at the time. What they really meant was, “I wish you were easier for me to understand and accept.” I was with someone that I thought was good for me when in reality, they didn’t want me because of who I am: an artist really working to go the distance. The truth is my identity is so intertwined with my artistry that if I wasn’t an artist, I have no clue who I would be. I would be either lost, broken, or gone. Looking back, I can’t believe I spent so much time trying to convince someone who said they loved me to support my whole and authentic self. Writing Home Is Only a House was my way of reclaiming my power and reminding myself never to settle on anyone who would rather I diminish my light than become who I am supposed to be.”
“When we were brainstorming concepts for the video, it was easy. Just show what that breakup felt like and what I learned from it. So I called Danny, cast my homies, threw a masked and vaxxed pop-up show, slapped the footage into Final Cut to edit it myself, and we had a video accurate to how I felt and how I grew. We wanted to show living proof that King Youngblood will never deny our authentic, Afropunk-ass rock and roll selves – not ever again, not for one minute.”
Follow King Youngblood @kingyoungbloodmusic for more.
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