[Q&A] 19&YOU Shakes Up the Alternative Pop Scene with Their Self-Titled Debut EP

By Alissa Arunarsirakul // May 25, 2021

As fate would have it, 19&YOU all began with a study abroad program in Australia, but these four fellas would’ve never expected what their alternative pop act would’ve grown to be today. Comprised of Cameron Graves, Jackson Leitch, Liam Wallis, and Noah Taylor, 19&YOU has managed to win over the hearts of their organic fanbase through quality songwriting and intoxicating melodies time and time again. Now ready to make their mark on the alternative pop scene, 19&YOU has unleashed their incredible self-titled debut EP.

On their self-titled debut EP, 19&YOU shared,

“Our debut EP, ’19&YOU,’ touches on heartbreak, transition, and longing. We started writing this EP when Noah came to visit us (Cam, Jack, and Liam), when we were studying abroad in Australia. At that time, we were all going through heartbreak and decided one night to make a song using that shared experience. That was the start of 19&YOU. We write from experience and relatability, which is why we believe our fans will be able to really connect with the tracks on the EP.”

To celebrate the release of their new music, we recently chatted with 19&YOU about Australia, pre-release nerves, and of course, their self-titled debut EP.

HH: For those that don’t know, how did 19&YOU come to be? 

19&YOU: Cam, Jack, and Liam were living together while studying in Australia. When Jack’s childhood friend, and writer/producer, Noah, came to Australia, he needed a place to crash so he stayed with us. Within the first hour of Noah arriving, we started writing our first songs with no intention of starting a band. Everything clicked really fast and we wrote a total of four songs that week alone, which later became the first four songs for our debut EP. When the pandemic hit in March, it wasn’t an option to stay in Australia any longer, so we decided to reunite with Noah and move to LA. That’s how the band came to be!

HH: A year ago, 19&YOU definitely wasn’t what it is today. Back then, did you ever think you’d have the dedicated fanbase you have today? 

19&YOU: We’re super thankful for the people that support our music and we didn’t expect things to grow as fast as they have. We’re very grateful for the people who have followed our journey up until this release and are excited to continue to provide them with more amazing music!

HH: How does it feel to have your self-titled debut EP out in the world?!

19&YOU: We’re elated! We’ve been sitting on these songs for so long and it’s nice to finally be able to share them with everyone. Each song represents a special memory for us and it’s nice that people get to now experience those songs with us.

HH: We love the thrilling sonics in tracks like “ADRENALINE” and “BORED!” How do you decide what the instrumentation on each song will sound like?

19&YOU: Since we were still fresh to writing together, we honestly just tried playing different sounds and if it felt good, it stayed. For “BORED!,” the song started with the opening guitar line, which Jack played the day before in the studio and the rest of the song was created after that. When we worked on “ADRENALINE,” we already had the melody and lyrics for the whole song, so Noah just picked parts and sounds that he felt best served the vocals. It’s a very organic process and we’re very happy with how tracks turn out!

HH: Between the four of you, who would you say was the most nervous about this EP release?

19&YOU: We all were a little nervous, but our lead singer, Cam was the most nervous. It was nerve wracking because this was the first time his voice was being displayed to the masses (he was a guitar player prior to becoming lead vocalist).

HH: What’s your favorite memory from the “ADRENALINE” video shoot?

19&YOU: The “ADRENALINE” shoot was an absolute blast. Our favorite memory is working with our director, Johnny Esparza. He made the whole shoot seamless and brought fresh ideas, which he executed well. We decided to do a video for the song right before the song came out so it only gave us a little bit of time to plan, shoot, and edit the video. In the video, there’s a montage of iPhone videos that we took while in Australia and after moving to LA. 

HH: If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?

19&YOU: We all have pretty contrasting music tastes, but do agree that “The Birthday Party” by The 1975 is an absolute banger.

HH: What are your hidden hits?

19&YOU: “Nirvana” by Elliana
“Matica” by Mario Puglia
“electricity” by Jayde

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