Young Pop Renegades 2021: Origin – The Origins (Part 2)
In a unique project which released today, October 1st, 11 independent pop artists have come together to bring you an all-new compilation album of catchy, original pop music called “Young Pop Renegades 2021: Origin”. Spearheaded and dreamed up by pop/EDM artist Matthew Parker, the project includes heavy hitters Sajan Nauriyal, Neon Feather, and Chris Howland as well as others, and lyrically covers many “young” topics that relate to finding yourself, having dreams for your life, and being who you were meant to be. The album is made up of largely 2-artist collaborations and a few solo artist tracks, but also includes what the artists have dubbed a “mega collab” as the final track, a massive collaboration made by all 11 artists on the record–7 vocalists and 5 producers.
I connected with all of the artists involved with the project to find out the origins of Origin with 3 original questions (and, yes, I enjoyed writing that!). Part 1 can be read here. Here’s part 2, with the final part being posted on Monday (just you wait to see Monday’s article!!).
Tell us a bit about your song(s) on the project. (Track name(s), inspiration, process, who you collaborated with etc).
My song on the project is called “trees” with Xander Sallows. The process of creating trees was interesting. Xander and I talked together and we really wanted to nail this young and “rebellious” pop vibe. We began on a project that sounded ok but wasn’t our best, so I scrapped it. Then I started working on a new project and we kept coming back to this fast drum pattern, with a punk rock vibe. Then Matthew recorded that dope verse guitar and it all came together. Writing the lyrics was definitely a grind, but we settled basing this song around the line “dreams don’t grow on trees”. As the youngest colab on the album, both Xander and I are chasing our music career dreams, and this song really speaks to our mentality that we have to put work into our goals, and they don’t just happen overnight.
I have two songs on this record. I have the first one, “next to me,” that I wrote with my friend Sajan Nauriyal. My other track is a tune I wrote with my friend Ben Lawrence called “summer was fun.” I made the beat for “next to me” the day after I got home from a retreat in beautiful southwest Arkansas this summer. I was super inspired by nature and a feeling of closeness to the Lord from that week. I started with the phrase “I’m floating when you’re next to me.” Sajan took the phrase and ran with it! I’m super proud of how that one turned out. I wanted something smooth, but still cinematic- and hopelessly, hopelessly romantic.
“summer was fun,” to be honest, is a bit of a sad song in disguise! Ben and I wrote it toward the end of the summer. Both of us were feeling a lot of uncertainty about the future. We wanted to write a song to celebrate a fun summer, but also to acknowledge that fall might be harder than we hoped for. The good news is that no matter what the circumstances in our lives are, we have people we can still hold on to. And we needed a funky beat drop for obvious reasons.
I wrote “thin air” with Jilian several years ago, recorded her vocal that day, and just sat on it not knowing where it belonged. When Matthew approached me about this project, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to break that vocal out, and built a new track around it. So happy it’s finally out in the world.
merry go round is a complete 180 compared to the sad songs I normally make. It’s a really fun and dark song but mainly fun. It’s like Bad Habits from Ed Sheeran but funkier and [with] more emotion. It was so fun to make because it gave me a better understanding into Matthew’s production. I was able to take some tips from watching him make the beat and then also help with writing when we did it together. It was just cool to work with Matt because he just loves making music and having fun and that’s how you make the best stuff.
summer was fun is also very different from my normal songs. Especially lyrics more than anything. Sam has always been a mutual friend for the friends I had. When we finally started the song sadly the first session was a dud but after talking more and becoming actual friends in the process, the song also began to form. We wrote the thing throughout a few sessions and I’m just really glad for auto tune because that chorus was tough to sing lol! But anyways Sam killed the beat and his verse and I’m really happy he asked me to be on it with him for the project.
“bucket list” is my only song on the album, outside of “nobody”, the INSANE mega collab that closes everything out. Produced by Chris Howland and Matthew Parker, “bucket list” really speaks to all the lovestruck dreamers out there. We all have a bucket list, filled with adventurous things we’d love to do someday, but one thing tops them all. Finding someone to do it all with! (Fun fact: Matt and I wrote the lyrics for this, and we went through 3 or 4 full drafts before finally deciding these were the right fit for the track!)
I had two songs on the project. Sam Bowman and I collaborated on “next to me.” He sent an incredible instrumental he’d built out and we moved from there! Additionally I wrote and produced another song on the project titled “dreaming.”
The song is called “i must be dreaming”. The song I really started at the beginning of 2021 and back then lyrics were totally different and bad. But when Matthew told me to join the album he asked me if I had songs or ideas for joining to the album and I sent Him this one, and he liked it so then he wrote these awesome new lyrics.
I have 2 songs on this project, “trees” (with Nitro X) and chameleon (with Jacob Stanifer). trees is super special and personal for me, it’s about working hard to achieve your goals and aspirations, and that’s exactly what I’m doing being an artist. “ chameleon” is super fun for me as well, Jacob is a good friend of mine, and we have made a song together in the past called “can’t get enough” which is a very fun song. With “chameleon” we wanted to get into some deeper themes of personal identity, and we pulled off some emotional lyrics within a fun pop beat.
Xander Sallows and I teamed up for a fun one called “chameleon.” It’s about struggling to be yourself in a world that tells us to fit in. I know for me, I often default to just adapting into whatever situation I’m in. Sometimes when we do that long enough, we forget who we actually are.
My second song on the record, “enemy,” is a song about the warfare that often happens in our minds and keeps us from reaching our potential. Sometimes the only thing stopping us is ourself. “enemy” is about fighting the lies, negativity, and self-doubt we experience.
I sent Matthew a batch of beats I had sitting in the vault, and one of those ended up turning into “Bucket List” by JSteph. For that one it was an Alley-oop sort of thing. I just threw JSteph and Matthew the ball and they dunked it. Then for the mega-collab “Nobody” I had the pleasure of making that big first drop, which was super fun. Matthew sent me an early version of the song where it literally builds up to the drop and then just goes into silence. So it was left totally open ended for me to run with. It was just like, “your move, what you gonna do?” and I had never really worked that way before, so it was a cool change of pace.
I’m listed as an artist on 2 songs on this album, although I had minor roles in helping make other songs. I did vocals on “i must be dreaming” and I did vocals and produced “merry go round” with Ben Lawrence also lending his amazing voice to the track. As Matias says in his answers, he sent me a beat and I was like “woah….” then I wrote “i must be dreaming” in like a day and sent him back the vocals–the rest is history. As for “merry go round”, Ben Lawrence was in town and I was like “hey, wanna come over and write something?” It wasn’t even necessarily going to be for this album, but by the time we’d written something, I was thinking “This could work for the Young Pop Renegades album!”
Be sure to check back on Monday for part 3, the best and final part!