The singer-songwriter, who grew up listening to the influential British band, has spoken about how the sample came about, including convincing singer Robert Smith to allow it.
Yungblud (real name Dominic Harrison) explained to Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 earlier today (August 30) how he retroactively sought permission for the sample.
“As I enter a new vector of Yungblud, I wanted to dance. I remember when we were making it I was like, ‘I just want to dance!’ I remember we were writing in the studio and the session wasn’t going well it was like midnight. I was thinking about packing it in and going home but then we opened a crate of Bud Light, started putting songs on that we loved and this came on [The Cure’s ‘Close To Me’], and I was just like, ‘Yo we should sample this,’ and every producer in the studio was like, ‘No, but the publishing.’
And I’m like, ‘Shut up about the publishing, get it off iTunes, cut it up, and loop it… let’s go.’ That’s what I said to them I was like, ‘If I can somehow convince Robert Smith to allow me to do this, I don’t care. Like, I’ve won.’ It was beautiful. I just wanted to make on this record music that me and my mates want to listen to. That was the formula. And obviously we grew up with this song.”
He continued: “Previously I’d met Robert Smith in London at the NME awards 2019. I’m very much the new kid on the block. The 1975 are over there and Robert Smith is over there. And I’m smack bang in the middle freaking out like, ‘I do not deserve to be here,’ trying to catch Robert Smith’s eye. And I took my mum to the NME Awards.
“About two hours into the awards show, I’d lost my mother and I turn around and she’s talking to Robert Smith and I’m like, ‘NOOOO!’ So, I walk over and I’m like, ‘Alright mum, hello Robert, honoured to meet ya,’ and he was like, ‘I love what you’re doing,’ and then I got his email through some connection.
“Then I emailed and was like, ‘Hello Robert Smith of the Cure… ‘Close To Me’ – probably the most iconic British beat of all time. May I use it in the song?’ And I was like I don’t know what I’m gonna do if he says no. But he got back in a couple days. He types in all caps, Robert. He was like, ‘HELLO DOM, YOU CAN USE IT ALL GOOD HERE, LOVE ROBERT.’ Called my boys up and was like, ‘I’ve sampled ‘Close To Me’ they’ve let me use it.’ It was like a mosh pit – my boys in the North were like, ‘YOOOOOO!'”
Harrison went on to discuss what he loves so much about The Cure.
“I put on eyeliner because of Robert Smith. They represented and personified my happy and my sadness all at the same time. As a 15-year-old kid in the north of England in the rain made me feel like I could express myself without filter without conforming. They taught me conforming was death. When I would put on The Cure, I’d celebrate the idea that nobody wanted to talk to me,” he said.