Californian kid ieuan is fast becoming one of music's most talked-about new artists. Making waves with 3 independently-released mixtapes, ieuan speaks with a voice far beyond his years, tackling love, loss and youthful angst. After relocating to London and embarking on his first headline tour in the United States, ieuan is poised to set the world on fire.
Unheard Gems: Welcome ieuan to Unheard Gems! We are so excited to finally get to talk with you. How are you?
ieuan: I’m good! I’m very tired but I’m welcoming the bags under my eyes because I think it adds to my “exhausted white boy” look.
UG: When did you first know you wanted to pursue music or when did you start to work on your music?
ieuan: When I was about 14 or 15 I started to take it seriously, but before that I was in a few different bands with my older brother and that really inspired me to get going.
UG: How would you describe yourself as an artist in 5 words?
ieuan: Uhh …. familiar but new, colourful and sad !!
UG: Your new song ‘Virtual Reality’ is your first new release in a little bit. I love this song. It feels a bit darker in the production that some of your previous songs. What can you tell us about this song?
ieuan: I really wanted to make a song that would be the soundtrack to a Black Mirror movie after binging the show last year, I was really inspired by the obscurity and perspective the show gave me so I was inspired to do something similar in my own way.
UG: This is also the first track off of your upcoming EP ‘Childstar’. What can we expect from this EP?
ieuan: A step forward from my bedroom made mixtapes, definitely more personal and ambient as well. I wanted to take my memories and favourite sounds and put it into a project and I can say without any doubt I believe I’ve accomplished that !!
UG: I actually had the opportunity to see you at San Fransisco Pride in 2018 and you had such a fun and upbeat set! Any live performances anytime soon? Is there a place you would love to play a show that you haven’t yet or that you would want to return to?
ieuan: I hope soon! I went on tour last year and it was life changing, it was very last minute in planning but there were so many people that came to see me and I loved every second of it. I would love to do a show in London or around Europe, and definitely return to New York for a show so I can not forget my words on stage this time.
UG: Growing up in the bay area, how do you think that shaped your music if at all? What do you think you will miss most about California now that you are living in the UK?
ieuan: I think that growing up in the Bay Area & San Francisco has sonically shaped my music and lyrical content as well. I was so inspired by the R&B/Hip-Hop that came out of Oakland that was introduced to me when I first got to high school, and I continue to do my best to bring that energy into my music. I miss the autumn in California, it is really pretty and depressing!!
UG: I first discovered your music with your song ‘Pretty When U Cry’. You’ve grown so much as an artist over just the three years since that song. What do you think has changed the most about your music?
ieuan: Since my first mixtapes I believe that I haven’t really changed much, just the quality of my music has gotten better. I have always made sure that my personality comes through in my music and have recently realized that I still do it to this day.
UG: Do you think being a younger artist generally around the age of your fans helps your fans relate more to your music? A lot your music tends to have a youthful vibe to it so what do you hope young fans can take away from your music and just your story as a musician?
ieuan: I think so yes, I have always enjoyed being young and trying to contribute to youth culture in any way that I can. My first album was literally a soundtrack to a high school movie, I wrote almost every song at a house party I went to that year and loved the response to it as well. I hope that young people can see that if I can do it, so can they!
UG: We always like to know who you are listening to, if you could recommend to us another artist you think deserves more recognition in the music industry who would you recommend?
ieuan: Instupendo! He makes such beautiful music, a mix of ambient electronic lullabies with crunchy drums that make me feel like I’m in a video game. Also I have a fat crush on him, but you didn’t hear that from me.
Interview by Hannah Schneider