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Yung Ludd - Yung Ludd Newsletter Interview

28 Apr 2022 // An interview by Shade

There's been a lot of NZ rappers making their debut in recent times, with Lyttelton's Yung Ludd leading at the fore. Having spent some time in Auckland in his twenties, he was exposed to a lot of the underground hip-hop scene there which proved to be very influential on his sound. Rapping in his Kiwi accent over mellow, self-produced beats, Yung Ludd spits honest lyricism about everyday life, mental health struggles, and searching for balance.

We spoke to him recently about his new EP Two Tone, his plans for the future and what local music he digs.

How did you become involved in music?

It all started with the Yamaha CP70. That’s a piano we had as a kid, and I would sit at that piano tapping out the melody for Star Wars. Since that point, my parents got me lessons and I’ve been playing keys ever since. I never found the right outlet until I fell in love with hip hop music in my 20s, and making beats became my favourite way to express myself. The last element to coalesce was my voice and the words. I’d been journaling in rhyme for some years as a fun way of getting my thoughts on the page, but stepping up to actually use my voice as an instrument on the beats led to the music I make now.

What NZ bands and musicians would you like to tour with, and why?

Skilaa! Phodiso! Skilaa have to be my favourite local band at the moment, they are all incredible musicians and Chelsea has the most unique melodies and vocal harmonies in the game. Very underrated. I also love Phodiso’s music - it has an energy to it that just makes you wanna move. Both these acts would pop off live, and help make up for my more downbeat style.

Which one of your songs are you most proud of, and why?

I think I’m most proud of That Night. I delve into the nitty gritty of the trouble I got into a couple years back, and I think it’s one of the most honest stories I’ve told. Also I'm singing a hook and there are 3 verses, so it's a meaty one.

How would you describe your music to someone who hasn't heard it before?

Poetry over mellow beats about real life experiences. 

What can we expect to see from you in the next year?

I have new music in the works. Happier music. I think I’m going to shift into single mode and just drop individual songs for a while, focusing on making one at a time rather than a whole body of work. And then I’m going to make an album.

Who are your favourite NZ bands and musicians?

Avantdale Bowling Club. It’s no secret that Tom Scott is a primary influence on me and my music. All of his various rap projects have kept me company at different points in life - I find his lyrics so deep and also so relatable.

Rizvan is one of my favourite local MCs too - his philosophy is unmatched. 

Skilaa again. The grooviest. 

What local albums have you been listening to recently?

Mokomokai. A lethal combination of Ghos and Dusty Melody on production, and Dirty on raps. Native excellence.

The 25th of January EP. Lucky Lance and Christoph El Truento. Honey on Toast and Koke are my faves. 

No Warning. Brandn Shiraz and El Truento again. A lovely mix of new-school raps over old-school cuts. 

Kia Ora 10. To me, DJ Spell is like NZ’s knxwledge or Battlecat. He stays on his grind and the beats are just fucked up good. I’m gonna rap on a Spell beat one day. 

Che Fu - I got Navigator on CD in the car, along with Elimination by Deceptikonz. Fallen Angels is such a spiritual joint. 

Where do you get your inspiration to create music from?

Life. Trauma. Trying to make sense of this bizarre ride we call existence. 

How did you come up with the name Yung Ludd?

It was my good friend, Finn. He was always a beast with the adlibs and I think someone called me a luddite one time, because I was taking pictures on a film camera and probably rocking a walkman. If memory serves, Finn hops in with a “Yung Ludd on the beat” or “Real Ludd Shit” in that trap-a-holics voice and it just stuck. I guess it was a joke to begin with, but here we are. To me it sounds like a rap name, and that hopefully gets people in the door and to the more sincere end of things: the music. 

What rumour would you like to start about yourself?

He wears no shoes, owns no smartphone, pays no rent, and makes beats on tape. This was actually true, once. 

Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?

You’re not going to perfect your first song - make it and move on. Tune into yourself and enjoy the adventure of finding your voice and sound. There’s no rush. Just keep going :)

Check out Yung Ludd on Muzic.net.nz


About Yung Ludd

Born and raised in Lyttelton, Yung Ludd is the rap alias of musician Connor Strati. Having spent some time in Auckland in his twenties, he was exposed to a lot of the underground hip hop scene there which proved to be very influential on his sound. Rapping in his kiwi accent over mellow, self-produced beats, Yung Ludd spits honest lyricism about everyday life, mental health struggles, and searching for balance.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Yung Ludd


Two Tone
Year: 2022
Type: EP
Obsolete: A Mixtape
Year: 2020
Type: EP
Year: 2020
Type: Album

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