One To Watch: How Nicky Youre got that summer feeling on chill breakout anthem Sunroof
Nicky Youre did not listen to music as a child. Not really.
"I'm the baby of the family," the 22 year old viral sensation says, Zooming in from his home in the US. "My brother and sister always got to choose what we listened to in the car and stuff. I wasn't really paying attention to music."
Instead, he was a fan of movies (spooky children's film Coraline being a particular favorite, which doesn't quite fit the summer vibes, but we'll roll with it) - and a cinematic influence is something you can hear clearly on his brilliantly chill breakout single Sunroof, which is quickly becoming the song of the summer.
As much as it sounds like a modern-day update of the Beach Boys, you can also see the top-down car ride across the Californian coast, like a sun-soaked soundtrack to the most recent Paul Thomas Anderson flick, Licorice Pizza. But what's surprising is that the feel-good bop was actually made when Nicky wasn't feeling at his best.
"I was in my college dorm and I was really sick," Nicky tells us of the origins of Sunroof. "I was feeling kind of bad, so I wanted to make something that would make me feel good. At that point in my life, I was just about to graduate college, I'd made the best friends I'd ever made and things were going really well - and I got the idea of us all being together, with the sun-roof down, just blasting our favourite tunes."
But to really get to know Nicky, and how he came to make music, we need to go right back to the beginning to his roots in Orange County, California.
"I was a big water polo guy," he tells us. "That was my life. And I met one of my best friends who played water polo with me. He knew that I liked to sing, because I would sing every morning before practice.
"We started making music together for, like, four years. And it was terrible, because everyone's terrible at first. It takes some time to get decent at it, I met my manager senior year of college and that really gave me the confidence to be in the industry. If I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it 100%."
Sunroof still keeps that feeling Nicky first had imagining it, sick in his college dorm room of a summer trip, surrounded by his friends. It also helps that it was produced by one of them - Dazy, who is also credited as the song's featured artist.
"There was about 23, 24 different versions of the song," Nicky reveals. "[The other versions] weren't totally different, there's not a super dark take on it, but it was in a lower key at first. The song was way more boring before we switched the tempo. It's at 131 and a half [bpm] right now, because 131 felt too slow, and 132 felt too fast. It's the small things!"
And just in time for summer and some of the hottest British weather ever recorded, Sunroof is quickly burning up the Official Singles Chart. It's not yet hit the Top 40, but it's getting so close - currently up to Number 43.
"[The success] of the track has been really cool," he says of the song, which was originally released late last year. "It's been really nice, because it started off really small and it's been continually getting bigger. If it had happened all at once, like some songs do, I would have freaked.
"It's the craziest feeling ever, but it's reassuring to me that I'm on the right path. Hopefully we can get to do some more similar stuff. But right now, I'm happy and blessed."
Sunroof is out now via RCA in the UK.
Article Image: Ethan Phan