The double-troublemaker Young Valentine finally releases his debut album. Besides the fact that the whole project is a badass manifesto of limits pushing and bursts in free-speech expression, the electronic pop, boundaries-crushing project is a killer itself. Young Valentine uses Trouble-Trouble to stick it to the man, to prove himself to every single fucker who cut him down along the way.
Last year, the Romanian artist based in Bucharest had his first live performance, which included a single from the now well-put together album. He then told Cultartes about his exodus to the big city, when he fought all odds (a gay artist whose teacher adviced him to simply quit music!), only bringing with him few poorly recorded demos and his attitude.
“It’s a dangerous thing to take a leap and get alive out of it, ‘cuz you wanted everything and more. But in the end, we all get along somehow. I figured I could write about my journey and turn everything into music!”, he explained at that point. But that’s the thing with Trouble-Trouble – it’s not about his journey per se, but more about most dreamers’ journey. And that’s what Valentine is, a dreamer. The project is, indirectly, a punk-filled guide of instructions on how to use every bit of talent in yourself and turn it into gold while getting over the shit treatment life can sometimes gives you.
You must know by now that we’re long past those times when metalheads were sitting at different table than DJ’s. If someone asks me these days what’s “my favorite kind of music”, I spit on his face. I admit, it took me a while to see that music is not about the sound, but more about the message – as in any other kind of art.
And after listening to Young Valentine’s debut album a couple of times I came to conclude that I seem to enjoy pop music as well, I guess. I mean, for instance Man is a Criminal, that’s a kick-you-in-the-crotch-spit-on-your-neck, hardcore stuff! Not to mention tracks like Nasty Boy, Motherfucker or, of course, the homonym Trouble-Trouble, which not only keep your inner club-boy ceaselessly shaking his head, but throw in there some of the musician’s personal experiences and “walks of shame”.
The rich, encouraging sound, comes together with a heavy dose of original text meant to raise you up from the dead. The whole album is fresh, with a sweet sour aftertaste, mainly caused by the reflected ideas combined with a shady back story. The young artist clearly doesn’t give a damn about opinions (this one included!), and what he does, is creating a total mess. Now imagine a party. A party where people come and drink and have fun, and maybe get a BJ in the restroom. Cut to: the afterparty havoc – confetti, sticky floor, disco ball casting colorful lights on some weirdos making out in a corner. You’re left without a drink, and the bartender is long gone. But you’re thirsty. So what you do is picking up drinks leftovers from tables and mix them up in a huge, sweet cocktail. Trouble trouble is that cocktail!
I particularly agreed with Ioana Simion, who wrote Young Valentine’s Manifesto of Les Enfants Terribles, coming together with this album’s release, who said that “Valentine isn’t talented, I am not talented, none of us is talented, because the only real criteria are hard work and persistence”.
In conclusion, Trouble Trouble is, altogether, a libertine experiment. Young Valentine designed his musical debut as an art statement, in which he red flags his failures and faces his obstacles, armed only with some lyrics, headbanging rhythm, a lot of will and a ballsy attitude. Listen to Trouble-Trouble starting today.
Photo: Valeriya Turussova