YNG Martyr is the type of hip-hop artist who runs in his own lane. To push the cliché further, his car is a self-designed one-off and he rarely obeys the speed limit.
A proud Wiradjuri man, YNG Martyr joins today Warner music List of Australia. And right out of the gate, the 21-year-old drops “It Happened,” his first release through the music major.
“It Happened” is a crazy hip-hop track with touches of Earl Sweatshirt, production that could come from anywhere. If you said he was born in Canberra, the Australian capital, you’d be right and it would be a total fluke.
YNG Martyr is no novice. His independent career has yielded more than 140 million streams for his tracks on Spotify. If there is a well-trodden path to success, he ignored it. The rapper, songwriter and producer rolled the dice with a $15,000 loan he dropped on a social media influencer strategy, then turned his attention to TikTok and Instagram content and launched his 2019 single “Nike Ticks.”
The track has reached over 66 million listens on Spotify and “Ease Off” has accumulated more than 28 million plays.
Dan Rosen, president of Warner Music Australasia, believes the new signing is a “force to be reckoned with”, his creative output extending beyond his own marketing ideas and social media campaigns.
The rising artist also boasts a significant YouTube presence with upwards of 56,000 subscribers and 14 million total views.
“My career has always been very DIY and in many ways I’ve done everything backwards,” YNG Martyr explains. “80% of my listenership is currently in America, which is crazy to me, but a big part of me has always wanted to bring it back to Australia.”
Signing with Warner music means “that I can continue to grow independently overseas, but have the support of a dedicated team in Australia,” he continues. “I’m not normally someone who is interested in label deals, but after meeting the team here I was convinced they had my best interest at heart and they knew what they were doing.”
“It Happened” is accompanied by an official music video, shot in under 18 hours and directed by Josh Davis, in and around his hometown of Canberra.