Upon a viral success, the Vancouver musician has been making waves internationally
Rachel D’Sa // Editor-in-Chief
Photography by Jack Perkins
Jordan Heaney, aka Yung Heazy, is the demon everyone’s listening to. In the two short years that he’s been releasing music, the online sensation with a devilish aesthetic has accumulated over 16 million Spotify streams and nearly 200,000 monthly listeners. Heaney sat down with me to discuss his newly-released EP titled Lullabies at his current studio and place of residence.
The soft rustle of greenery scored my journey up the walkway to a pale blue Ambleside house. I was greeted by a woman watering the property, who remarked that it was hot out and the plants were getting dry (Heaney’s grandmother, I later found out). “Are you looking for Jordan?” she asked. I nodded, and she guided me towards a front door flooding with music.
Heaney welcomed me into a room filled with colourful instruments, recording equipment and a red and black gaming chair. A black Crosley record player sat on a clothed table by the doorway of a kitchen, just across the room where Natalie, Heaney’s girlfriend, was doing some tidying.
Settling on the floor with a glass of water, Heaney got into discussing his favorite song on the Lullabies EP. His cover of the Her’s hit “Cool With You,” a soft, dreamy jangle pop tune, hit particularly close to home for him. The Liverpool duo passed away earlier this year in a car collision while on tour in America.
“The Her’s cover I felt was important to do,” said Heaney. “It felt so random that this band that’s so talented—on the rise—went down in a way that kind of expresses like oh, this kind of thing could happen to anyone.”
Heaney discovered Her’s on youtuber Alona Chemerys’ channel, which pairs still images with music Chemrys likes. With over 448,000 subscribers, it was Chemerys that propelled Yung Heazy into the mainstream. In 2017 she uploaded a video soundtracked by Heaney’s “Cuz You’re My Girl.” Since then, the video has accumulated over four million views.
“She doesn’t know how she found [the song] either. She just scoured the internet and it was on SoundCloud. It was [a] one in a million chance that she found it.”
Bedroom pop like Heaney’s is a genre that stems out of musicians recording, producing and marketing their music from the comfort of their bedrooms. Recent bedroom pop sensations like Clairo, Cuco, Cosmo Pyke and Gus Dapperton all got their start by uploading their music onto streaming platforms.
“It’s weird, the internet—because bands aren’t making it out of scenes, they’re making it out of Spotify algorithms,” he remarked. “That’s just totally insane to me—that it’s possible now without going through this bullshit, all this, like, sign to a record label that you don’t really understand [stuff].”
Heaney wants to put people to sleep with Lullabies. Among the Her’s cover, Lullabies also includes two acoustic renditions of “Cuz You’re My Girl” and “Girl, I’ll Take U Anywhere.” The two playful love songs contrast the fourth song on the EP, “FML.” The track, which features Club Sofa’s Payton Hansen on vocals, was written by Heaney when he was fifteen.
Heaney hadn’t always been a solo artist. After moving on from his previous project, Frogpile, he got into production out of necessity. “I couldn’t find anyone to record me and I don’t have the money to hire a producer. I didn’t even know what that meant,” he recalled. “After ‘Cuz You’re My Girl’ it was like, I had already been fucking around with my own bedroom recording shit, but it made the process easier and quicker for me, because I could just do it. There wasn’t any politics around, like, ‘I have to talk to one person, talk to another, then we have to plan to get together to really talk about it, to do it, to maybe put it out’. It was just like ‘Cool this is an idea, I like that, let’s do it.’”
“My last name is Heaney and I was listening to Kayne kinda’ stuff and I was like oh, Yeezy, Heazy, Heaney, Heazy. And then I put everything together and it was a total joke,” Heaney remembered.
Under Yung Heazy, he releases twangy, bedroom pop music heavily influenced by The Beatles and Mac DeMarco, to which he’s often compared.
After just one year of performing as Yung Heazy, Heaney took to a world tour in 2018 and has been quickly growing his fanbase. To celebrate the release of Lullabies, his band put on a magic show at the end of their set at a live show in Washington.
“There was this magician there that was not very good, like, he only had one trick the whole time. So we did that trick. I put one of my friends in the audience so he left this huge number on a piece of paper, and then I was asking people to think of a number between one and a billion. Then, finally, my friend got the right number and we were like ‘magic is real!” and then we showed it and everyone went nuts,” he laughed.
Heaney’s certainly not as big in Vancouver as he is elsewhere, in places like California and Indonesia. And yet, the Vancouver music scene remains his favorite—he argues it’s the best scene in Canada (yes, even better than Toronto and Montreal). While he romanticized the Montreal music scene for a while, Heaney dove deeper into Vancouver’s music scene and discovered that its quality of bands, community and support just can’t be beat.
Revealing his beer-printed socks, Heaney stood up from his cross-legged position to join me on the couch. We took a listen to his newest project—an unreleased track titled “I Ur Boy,” part of an album of the same name that’s currently in the mixing and mastering phase and set to release January 16.
Visit yungheazy.com or follow @yungheazy on Instagram to keep up with Heaney’s upcoming shows and music releases.