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How 24kGoldn’s ‘Mood’ became the first smash hit of 2021
Emo rapper-singer 24kGoldn is ready to shine.
It’s been a rapid rise for 24kGoldn — whose debut album “El Dorado” comes out later this year. The summer after his freshman year at USC — where he had a full scholarship to study business — he became a TikTok sensation with his platinum 2019 debut single “Valentino.” He followed that up with an aptly titled EP, “Dropped Outta College” (he’s technically on leave), featuring the single “City of Angels,” which scored him another Spotify hit in 2020.
Here, the 20-year-old, who was born Golden Landis Von Jones, shares the story behind the hit, why he upgraded his karat count and how he still managed to have a birthday turn-up in the middle of a pandemic.
How does it feel to be the man with the first No. 1 song of 2021?
I think it’s a good sign of things to come. We’ve been through such a crazy year. In 2021, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel for sure.
So how did the magic happen with “Mood”?
It was at the beginning of the pandemic. Me, [producers Omer Fedi and KBeazy] and Iann Dior were in the apartment just chilling. And while I was playing “Call of Duty,” Omer picked up Iann’s guitar and just started strumming away, and I just randomly started singing the chorus melody to “Mood” and put the words to it.
Would you describe yourself as a moody person?
I wouldn’t describe myself as a moody person, but my friends might! This is the happiest emo song you’re ever gon’ hear.
How was it performing on “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” with all of the COVID restrictions?
That was the first limited audience I got to perform for all year basically. They had some people there, socially distanced and stuff. I’ve never been so excited to perform for 20 people in my life!
You’ve hooked up with Iann Dior for “Mood” and DaBaby for “Coco.” Who else is on your wish list of collaborators?
How did you come up with your handle?
My real name is Golden because I was born the Year of the Golden Dragon. And my dad was driving by the ocean around the time that my mom was due to have me. He looked out over the horizon and there was a beautiful golden sunset, so he came home and told my mom, “Yo, we gotta name him Golden.” So I’ve always been Golden. I added the 24k in front because that’s the most pure form of gold, and me being an artist is the most pure form of Golden.
You broke out of TikTok, so what advice would you give somebody starting on it?
Don’t make anything you wouldn’t want to watch yourself.
You turned 20 in November, so what did you do to celebrate in the middle of a pandemic?
Oh, I got a party bus! We just drove around the city and turned up for, like, two hours. I had a good time, I ain’t gon’ lie.