Yeek Drops In With ‘Blackheart’

The 26-year-old singer/songwriter is steeped in skate culture and a diverse musical palate

Yeek by Grace Pickering
Grace Pickering

Yeek straddles a divide between hip-hop, downtempo electronica and guitar-driven indie rock. Handled in less deft hands, it might come across as cluttered and unfocused, but the 26-year-old singer/songwriter knows how to strike a balance.

"I grew up listening to a lot of what my parents listened to and what my eldest brother listened to. My eldest brother got me into hardcore and punk when I was like five, so I was yelling a lot of lyrics. On my parents' side, we'd go on a lot of road trips, and they'd be pumping this whole album of Earth, Wind & Fire's greatest hits to Steely Dan and Prince. My dad got me into classic rock, and my brother would also listen to a wide range of music like the Cure and the Smiths and hip-hop and new wave stuff," Yeek told me over the phone this week.

Listen to Yeek's brand new EP below.

That eclecticism bled into his immersion in Florida's skate culture during the early '00s, instilling in him a love of videos and reinforcing his diverse musical palate. 

"I always skated when I was a kid. I used to film a lot of skate parts just with friends. We would just like mess around in middle school and post videos to YouTube when YouTube was just starting," Yeek said.

"Mark Appleyard’s part [in Flip's skate video 'Sorry'] had this Placebo song, and it was the first time I experienced seeing an edit and realized there was different kinds of music in skateparks," he added.

Now that he's moved to Los Angeles, Yeek is still very much active in the skate scene, and it's kind of become a home away from home.

"Florida was more of a place to be in hibernation mode and hide away. That gave me a lot of time to solely work on my music. Going to Los Angeles has allowed me to make more friends and find more opportunities. As common as that sounds, it's true, there’s a lot more opportunity here," he said.

Still, Yeek's closest circle in LA is composed of Florida transplants who are similarly engrossed by the patchwork quilt of skate culture -- even if they aren't all Mark Appleyards.

"I’m not that great at skateboarding. I’m more of like admiring the culture, the people around it and the people in it," Yeek said.

"I f------ suck at skateboarding," he ended up admitting. 

Yeek headlines Che Cafe on Sunday, June 10. Get tickets here.

Rutger Ansley Rosenborg has been an Associate Editor at NBC SoundDiego since 2016. Find out more here, or contact him here.

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