Quickly rising Portland-based independent artist Young Lit Hippy is back and recently released a new trendy single entitled “Symbolize.”
“Symbolize” rests on a beautiful acoustic production with an uplifting, catchy soul vibe, finding several atmospheric, energetic trap, soul, and hip-hop influences where the artist’s unique voice can shine. In addition, the piece is interwoven by dope bass lines that perfectly frame the vibrant catchy mood that gives the song a unique ambiance.
Young Lit Hippy conversed with us and answered our distinctive 8 Questions. Check it out below.
HYPEFRESH: So tell us, how did it all begin? What encouraged you to start playing and making music?
Young Lit Hippy: It all started in high school. I’m from a small town neighboring Portland, Oregon, where there’s not much to do, so we would drive around listening to music and smoking weed for entertainment. One friend, in particular, would occasionally throw on a beat and start freestyling, and I would sit and listen.
Eventually, everyone was jumping in on beats we found on YouTube, and I think it was LimeWire at the time, and it was all just for fun. Before this time, I was more into writing poetry. It was something about the freedom of expression through creative thoughts that were addicting to me. Music became the outlet that furthered that interest.
HYPEFRESH: Talk me through your creative process when you write new music.
Young Lit Hippy: My creative process for writing new music is about the present moment. How I’m feeling at the time and where my head is will determine what song I will create. This process changed throughout the years, as I used to sit and write lyrics before even going on a microphone to record.
But for me, sitting and writing became a barrier to my creative potential. Sometimes I would catch myself sounding like I was reading off a page instead of just expressing my feelings without holding back. When I didn’t hold back, the true magic started to happen, and I began to develop my voice, extending my ranges to areas I didn’t think I could.
So now I get on the microphone right when I’m inspired by something. It could be inspired by a simple melody I made on fruity loops or a full beat sent to me by one of the producers I work with; sometimes, I’ll make a song, change the beat, and keep the lyrics, which is what happened in my new music “Symbolize.”
HYPEFRESH: Can you tell us about your new single, “Symbolize”?
Young Lit Hippy: Symbolize is a song about what ultimately defines me. What I stand for is what drives me. The first verse mainly focuses on struggles and the feeling of loneliness and not feeling understood. The second verse is more about the aftermath of the hard times.
Enlightenment and realizations come to light, and plans for a better future. It evolved into understanding why I had to go through things. The experiences made me a stronger person and a better me. The song’s creation was me rapping to another beat, and it was more of boom bap drums and an acoustic guitar.
It was cool, but it was just that. Nothing different about it. It just sounded like another rap song. I shelved it for a while and was working on other stuff. About 4-5 months passed, and I came across the song again when I looked back at my unreleased music catalog. The lyrics stuck with me so heavily. Even after all this time, I connected with what I was saying, so I knew something special was there.
I immediately got goosebumps in my car when I played it for the first time, and I knew this was it. I muted the beat and sent just the lyrics to a talented producer I work with (Alex Hopkins), and he sent me back basically what you hear today. After 2-3 more months of mixing and mastering, I finally got it to a point we were both satisfied with, and we decided to share it with the world.
HYPEFRESH: What do you like most about being a music artist?
Young Lit Hippy: My favorite part about being a musical artist is the creation. I have three addictions in life, caffeine, marijuana, and the flow state. Concerts are cool, too, music videos and all that is cool, but nothing beats the feeling you get when you’re in the “flow state.” It feels like an out-of-body experience, like the thoughts isn’t even coming from me.
It’s weird to say, but that’s how it feels, and I can’t see myself being happy without being in that state at least a few times a month. I’ve recently dived more into the production side and self-engineering for the last few years, which has helped me tremendously when creating songs. It has given me the structure I needed to understand creatively my objective and what I can bring to the table.
HYPEFRESH: What projects do you have coming up? Can you give us any info on them?
Young Lit Hippy: I’m working on a project right now. The project is called Stargazer and will have ten songs. I plan on releasing it at the beginning of next year, but there has yet to be an actual release date. I connect with the universe on a spiritual level and always would be the kid looking up at the stars.
I had the telescope my dad bought for me, and I would always look up at the planets. I can’t dive into the project details, but Symbolize is one of the singles there. I went from rapping on “Drake-type beats” or “J Cole-type beats” to building my unique sound lyrically and musically; that is genuinely me. This is me uncensored, unashamed, mature and driven to become the best me.
HYPEFRESH: Do you have any advice for our readers who may be trying to enter the game of music?
Young Lit Hippy: I can tell anyone reading this advice not to hold back and trust the process. It took me a decade to indeed find my sound for real. This wasn’t an overnight thing, but what kept me going was my love for music. I am genuinely passionate about the craft; without that, I wouldn’t be doing this. Don’t try to sound like anybody else. Just sound like you! No one else can be you, which is your biggest strength. There is no right or wrong in music. Please make what you believe in and make it quality. Make it sound better than just good.
HYPEFRESH: How do you solve productivity/scheduling problems and reduce overwhelming situations?
Young Lit Hippy: Productivity has always been a struggle for me as a creative. I constantly bounce all over the walls creating a bunch of random ideas. But to make that something more, I have to create a schedule. What has worked for me, and still does, is a day-to-day list. I will write my goals for the month, and then I’ll break that down into four weeks.
What do I need to get done weekly, and then every morning, wake up, look at what I need to do that week, and write down three things I could get done that day to contribute to meeting my goals? Some are more notable projects, and some are small, like Twitter posting. But as long as I keep that structure, I guarantee progression because I’m checking stuff off my list and holding myself accountable.
HYPEFRESH: Name Three things you can’t live without when recording in the studio.
Young Lit Hippy: I can’t live without three things in the studio: good lighting, weed, and some snacks. These three things always put me in a good mindset for creativity. I also find myself putting my phone on airplane mode. When I’m in that flow state, I like to disconnect from the outside world.
The lighting is so important to me. The color, the brightness, and everything about the lights will define my mood in a studio. I like it to be dimmer, and depending on what type of song I’m doing, the lighting color will change. Red if it’s a more gritty heavy hitting song, and light blue is the leading mood. I like a more relaxed vibe, and also yellow and purple.
Stream “Symbolize” on Spotify