Name: Yung Juko
Hometown: Lafayette, LA
Noteable mention(s): Acquiring more than one million YouTube views on his first single.
Yung Juko’s music documents a lot of his life experiences in the streets; whether it’s things he’s seen others endure or what he’s gone through himself. The video for “Trust Nobody” was shot in Live Oak Manor in Abbeville, LA; “Learn From The Streets” was shot in different sections of Lafayette, LA where Juko is from.
The Boombox: Your single “Trust Nobody” has more than one million YouTube views. This is just the first song you ever recorded, right?
Yung Juko: [Yeah], first song that I ever recorded, and it’s crazy how it’s just spreading right now.
The video is pretty graphic – ending with a child shot in the head. What story are this song and video supposed to tell?
This world is crazy. [The song and video] show the heartbreak that people go through everyday. You can’t trust your friends or your family – it’s sad to say that. And it’s probably [a reflection of] stuff that’s happened in my life too. I think using a kid was the best example. I don’t know why, I just felt like it was.
Since “Trust Nobody” is the first single you ever recorded, when did you actually hit the studio to create the track?
I actually recorded the song like a few months ago – I would say like five or six months ago. It’s crazy. I still wake up like, “Dang, this really happening?” It’s crazy [that this is the] first song [I] ever recorded.
You have pretty interesting story regarding the beat for that song.
Yeah, that was crazy. It’s like it was meant to happen. I hit [Jarrel, the producer] up on Instagram. [I] sent him the song, and he was just shocked. So we just worked something out from there. It’s the craziest story, right?
You sing R&B, but it’s clear your music has a hip-hop influence. Are you total songbird or do you rap too?
I spit a few bars. I really started off rapping, but…I always had that feeling that I could sing because music would come on and I would just start singing along. Throughout the years I started getting better at it and I took it serious, [and] I got hooked on the singing. I really started to take it serious right now because [“Trust Nobody”] is going crazy.
Do you have a larger body of work coming for fans to hear? Like a mixtape?
Yeah, it’s called YNFA (Your Next Favorite Artist. Hopefully it will be out this year.
You have a new video that just dropped called “Learn From the Streets.” Like “Trust Nobody,” it has a pretty deep message with visuals to match. Does all your music come with a purpose?
Some of [my songs] are messages, but not all of them.
“Trust Nobody” peaked at No. 1 on Billboard‘s R&B chart and No. 2 on the Hot Singles Sales chart. As a new artist, what were you thinking when you heard the news?
I found out through my manager, Brandon. It’s crazy. My city, you know, they still in shock, especially my family. It’s crazy. I came a long way.
You have some pretty big footsteps to follow coming from Louisiana. Do you think you can help bring the movement back to your state?