Photo: Aaron Nathaniel Saltzman x Young & Sick
In a world where Instagram influence is gradually trumping tangible forms of expression, Young & Sick is a stark reminder of authentic artistry. The Dutch-born, Los Angeles-based artist truly lives and breathes his craft as a singer, producer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and visual artist. As each facet of his work provides creative impetus for the others, Young & Sick (Nick van Hofwegen) maintains a consistent flow of inspiration that clearly manifests itself in his very distinct works of art.
Take the Ones To Watch logo for example - for most of us, the logo is a simple, sleek representation of the platform's acronym. For Hofwegen, on the other hand, it presented an opportunity. We couldn't be more thrilled when he offered to reimagine our logo, and are strongly considering a full site makeover to match the magnificent eye-spying, stereo-bumping, pizza-sliming beauty below.
He revealed on the delicate process behind this latest creation,
"When I sit at my table working, I get in the right mood by listening to new age music. Then I'll likely smoke a potent relaxing herb out of a handcrafted glass cat. And after that I don't think about it too much. I just let it flow. When I become a fan of something, or a music site in this case, it's always really fun to reimagine something important to it (a logo for example)."
The OTW logo is not the only profound piece of art that Young & Sick is debuting today– we've also got a stripped back, solo piano rendition of "Ojai" from his forthcoming Ojai EP.
While the original "Ojai" sports retro synths and groovy basslines, the piano version dismantles all of the shimmery production to uncover the song's true foundation: a slightly melancholic reflection of our tendency to resist the harsh realities of today's world. Hofwegen sings of quite literally not wanting to get out of bed because "I feel everything / And it’s all too much / And I feel everything / And it’s all bad news."
As Young & Sick shared,
"When you strip back the production of a track, at the end of it all, is a song. I've always loved stripped back interpretations songs. It leaves everything bare. Just pure songwriting. There is something really beautiful in that. My good friend from the Netherlands Mike Roelofs edited the piano part and recorded them in his home studio. "
“Ojai” (Solo Piano) and the full Ojai EP are set to release on January 26 via B3SCI Records, including a physical 7" vinyl release available for preorder here. Your exclusive first listen is below in the meantime, followed by a Q&A with the budding artist.