It takes a special kind of soul to open up your personal life and emotions in song. Luckily there are brave souls in the independent music world today. One that really caught our attention is singer-songwriter Niko Youman. We had the chance to chat with him about his development and his latest folk-emo track “22”. Enjoy the interview here:
I understand you were going by Mr. Neeks in the past. What prompted the move to the more traditional musical moniker Niko Youman?
Well, Neek is my nickname, I didn’t want to go by my full name at first but as I kept going on with music, I figured it was time to give a more personal appearance. Especially since all my music has personal vibes. I’m still Mr. Neeks though.
How would you describe your sound?
That’s kind of hard to say hahaha I’m all over the place really. I would say sad, folky/Emo, I guess.
Which artists have had the biggest influence on your development as a musician?
Well, first I’ll definitely have to say The Beatles had a huge impact on me as a kid. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be a musician honestly. I owe everything to them. But as far as my writing and inspiration, it’s for sure Modern Baseball. And I’m sure anyone who listened to Modern Baseball and then were to listen to me right after could definitely see that. They’re my favorite band!
You seem to be very open in your songs. How do you find the courage to share from such personal experiences?
I feel like everyone has an outlet to express their emotions. Music just happened to be an outlet where I can verbally express how I feel. I’ve always loved writing and poetry, so I decided to take a stab at it. I would also look at painters too. Painters always express how they feel in a visual way, you can see all the emotions they put into it or even see the story they want to tell. I just wanted something similar, and I found that with music. I hope that answers your question hahahaha
Your most recent release “22” is like an open letter. Tell us about how that song came to be?
Well when I wrote that song I was feeling a few different emotions at the time. I guess I felt like I was stuck. I usually confide in my mom and tell her everything I’m feeling, but I mean you can only say the same thing so many times. So I decided to be productive and explain to myself how I was feeling through writing.
Even before that, your song “Broken Hearts On The Window” was another look into your mind. What is your songwriting process for tracks like these?
Honestly, it’s just writing how I’m feeling. Sometimes things just hit me out of nowhere and I’ll start writing. But it’s all organic. I don’t necessarily “make up” a story because I personally like music from the heart.
You have been signed with Disengaged Media for some time now. How did that come to be and what drew you to them?
Well I owe a lot of me being signed to my homie Bush. He promoted my music heavily to all of his friends, who would, in turn, share it with their friends. Then DM started to give a listen and felt like I could take it somewhere. I like that DM is just easy going. It’s not stressful and they’re very understanding. And they aren’t cutthroat or thieves like most major labels hahahahaha
What advice would you give to other artists willing to share their real emotions?
Just do it! Music is a way to express yourself, so just be realistic. I think it’s easier to catch listeners being real instead of being like the rest of what’s popular.
What is next for Niko Youman?
Well, I think just more music that people can cry to hahahahaha. And also some new music videos!
Find more music by Niko Youman on BANDCAMP.
You can also find him on social media at: