YNG Martyr is the type of hip-hop artist who drives in his own lane. To push the cliché further still, his car is a self-designed one-off, and he rarely adheres to the speed limit.
A proud Wiradjuri man, YNG Martyr today joins the Warner Music Australia roster. And straight out the gate, the 21-year-old drops “It Happened,” his first release through the music major.
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“It Happened” is a kooky hip-hop number with touches of Earl Sweatshirt, a production that could come from anywhere. If you said it was born in Canberra, the Australian capital, you’d be right, and it would be a total fluke.
YNG Martyr is no novice. His independent career has yielded more than 140 million streams for his tracks on Spotify. If there’s a well-trodden path to success, he ignored it. The rapper, songwriter and producer threw the dice with a $15,000 loan, which he dropped on a social media influencer strategy, he then turned his attention to TikTok and Instagram content, and launched his 2019 single “Nike Ticks”.
The track has kicked on past 66 million listens on Spotify, and “Ease Off” has accumulated more than 28 million plays.
Dan Rosen, president of Warner Music Australasia, reckons the new signing is a “force to be reckoned with,” his creative output extending across own marketing ideas, and social media campaigns.
The rising artist also boasts a sizeable YouTube presence, with upwards of 56,000 subscribers and 14 million total views.
“My career has always been very DIY, and in a lot of ways I have done everything in reverse,” YNG Martyr explains. “80% of my listenership is currently in America, which is insane to me, but a big part of me has always itched to bring it back to Australia.”
Signing with Warner Music means “that I can continue to grow independently overseas, but have the backing of a dedicated team within Australia,” he continues. “I am not usually a person who is interested in label deals, but after meeting the team here I was convinced that they had my best interest at heart and they knew what they were doing.”
“It Happened” is accompanied with an official music video, filmed in under 18 hours and directed by Josh Davis, in and around his hometown of Canberra.