At 18, most artists cannot boast that they have a created a strong fanbase and racked up hundreds of thousands of plays on SoundCloud. Electronic/R&B artist Ieuan stands as a shining exception to this rule — one of his biggest songs, “2YOUNG2DIE,” has over 272,000 streams on Soundcloud. His heart-wrenching “Pretty When U Cry,” a collaboration with electronic artist Mielo, has 284,000 plays on SoundCloud. His first album, Pink Suburbia, is a masterpiece, especially for a freshman album, as it is incredibly cohesive and each successive song makes you question which track is your favorite.
His SoundCloud bio, “18 & gay & from the Bay/UK,” sums up the content of his songs well — most are about boys he loved, boys who hurt him, living out his adolescence, or about the Bay/UK (there are nods to his hometowns in multiple songs). The mix of catchy electronic beats with Ieuan’s sultry R&B vocals has captured the attention of listeners from all around the world. Ieuan is incredibly active on social media, keeping his fans engaged in his music and interacting with them often. His constant communication with fans combined with his bubbly personality have assisted in his quick ascension in popularity.
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His second to most recent release, “The Day U Left Me,” is a somber yet upbeat anthem, and a shining example of the fusion Ieuan has perfected between dark, heavy lyrics and catchy beats. After he sighs out, “my love, can you hear me screaming? ‘Cause I am still bleeding from the day you left me,” the beat kicks in even quicker, under a voice-pitched repeat of “day you left me.” The blue single cover may seem insignificant, but actually marks a shift in Ieuan’s style and sound – while in 2016 everything he released had a pink cover, 2017 indicates a more sophisticated and developed sound with the baby blue.
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One of my favorite releases of Ieuan’s is “Youth,” an unforgettable bop that heavily invokes the sound of rapper/singer Blackbear. The track is currently sitting at over 138,000 streams on Spotify (I can guarantee that half of those listens are from me listening while I am in the shower) and nearly 100,000 on SoundCloud. It is seemingly impossible to listen to the song without wanting to dance, as Ieuan sings about wasting his time on someone while reveling in the fact that they couldn’t take everything away, as he still has his youth.
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Given his current success and the beats that just won’t seem to get out of my head, Ieuan’s fanbase will only continue to grow as more people discover his music. The baby blue era has already started off strong with “The Day U Left Me” and his newest release, “Nicotine.” Along with his fans, I am incredibly eager to see what Ieuan puts out next.