Young & Sick is the Dutch-born, LA-based Nick van Hofwegen, whose artistic endeavors flourish in music and beyond. Described as a "one-man collective," the Young & Sick moniker serves as the conduit for his exciting, electronic-tinged pop-leaning musical projects. After a couple years away, the multi-instrumentalist is back with an upbeat yet introspective new song "Ojai" and accompanying visual.
Written in the small Southern California town of Ojai following the artist's recent travels across the American South, Young & Sick has dropped his latest take on everyday personal struggles. With lyrics describing the mental weariness one can experience dealing with the weight of the world, set against an almost contradictory danceable melody and funky instrumentation (unabashed guitar solo included), "Ojai" perfectly expresses the internal chaos we all feel sometimes.
Hofwegen shared the moment of inspiration behind his new track:
"I was staying at a hotel [in Ojai] called The Rancho. I just had a few drinks and I was in the sun, and I just let a very apparent feeling hit myself, hit me. I got to make a song about taking too much on your plate and how that affects you and how you can have, like, a micro-meltdown because you’ve put too much on yourself."
As if the producer's musical talent wasn't enough to talk about, Hofwegen is also widely recognized for his creative work in the fields of art, design and even fashion. Combining his passions for music and visual art whenever possible, the artist designed all the hand-drawn, playful monster characters showcased in his new "Ojai" visual. If his style of artwork seems familiar, you might be surprised to learn that Hofwegen was the one behind the impressive artwork for Maroon 5's 2012 Overexposed album, along with Mikky Ekko's 2013 single "Kids," and Foster the People's 2011 album Torches.
Currently, Hofwegen's other artistic ventures include a design partnership with footwear company Bucketfeet, celebrating "Ojai" and upcoming new releases with a shoe designed for each song.
"Ojai" will soon be released on a limited 7" vinyl, available for pre-order now via B3CSI Records. A fresh debut for Young & Sick, fans can expect two more tracks on the way as part of a forthcoming digital EP bundle.
If you can't wait for new Young & Sick after jamming to "Ojai," make sure to revisit his self-titled album in the meantime: