In this age of social media hype and YouTube celebrity, Matthew Young is something of a reluctant 21st Century popstar-to-be. Although the young Aucklander is a bonafide internet sensation – two of the songs on the Fruit EP have already clocked up almost 5 million Spotify streams – he says self-promotion doesn’t come naturally to him and maintains that he hates social media.
There’s also some unlikely musical quirks bubbling beneath his smooth future R&B. For example, his streaming smash ‘Hey’ was inspired in part by Rupert Holmes’ cheesy hit ‘The Piña Colada Song’, and there’s a similar guilty pleasure vibe to his other smash, ‘Collect’. In fact, the sounds of early 80s R&B seep through most of the songs on Fruit; there’s even an unexpected cover of the 1985 Kate Bush hit ‘Running Up The Hill’, here slowed down and transformed into a fragile electro ballad. The songs on the EP emerged after Young suffered a mental breakdown at the tail end of 2015, but there’s no sign of nerves on this assured EP – and let’s hope his spirit of modest subversion continues to infiltrate the charts.