it's a good day to be young.
He might be young, but songwriter, producer, activist and King Youngblood frontman Cameron Lavi-Jones is no rookie–with hundreds of shows played, this twenty-year-old ‘kid’ is a grown-ass musician. After ten years of live performance, Lavi-Jones is effortless on stage, delivering infectiously energetic shows from house parties to festivals. Is he talented? Lavi-Jones will tell you “It’s 80% the hair.”
What’s a King Youngblood show like? Could be a rock and roll catharsis erupting in a giant feather pillow fight, could be a secret intimate unplugged Sofar show, could be a sweltering club show with fans bursting at their seams bouncing as one big club scene of wild abandon. No matter the venue–Lavi-Jones always provides an electrifying show. Lavi-Jones: “When I’m on stage, it’s one of very few places on earth, that is only for me and our band.” Placemaking is no small part of King Youngblood’s shows.
A strong belief in doing what is right lies at the core of what drives Lavi-Jones and his band and that belief seeps into his creative expressions as a musician, as an activist, and as a human. Lavi-Jones: “As a black Jew, I’ve been incredibly lucky to grow up with a sense of pride in who I am and my dual cultures, without ever having to look at them as opposite sides of a coin. People that look like me have spent too much time being shoved in the shadows. I have a unique privilege and opportunity to look forward to where I think we should have been already. I have something to say and I am grateful my songs and band give me the forum to speak my mind and lift up others.”
putting the world on notice.
Sonic lighting in a bottle, King Youngblood is the band's self-titled debut album. It successfully captures the palpable electricity of the band’s unstoppable live shows — performances that have earned King Youngblood opening slots for the likes of Pearl Jam and Naked Giants. As Lavi-Jones describes it: "King Youngblood is about putting the world on notice that there is an army of dedicated, intelligent, progressive young people coming up — and coming in the wake of the current government and resurgence of blatant racism, and all of the reactionary badness going on right now — we are here to dial this s#*t back.”
Embracing intersectionality, Lavi-Jones explains, “All of us, the band and the team behind us, are extremely conscious of issues of race and culture. We think about the challenges for people of color because our tribe is comprised of a United Nations of ethnicity.
King Youngblood is as revolutionary as all the great Northwest alt-rock bands before them. This album is universal pure musical excellence, a lovingly crafted collection of technically challenging tracks all of which could be singles in their own right. King Youngblood is beautifully crisp, deeply soulful, and elegantly strong. Says producer, Phillip Peterson, “Cameron Lavi-Jones offers the best vocals and lyrics of the year. Paced like the ideal novel, King Youngblood folds out in multi-levels inside itself, of revelation, confession and musical extrapolation.”
Music isn’t the only thing King Youngblood is good at–the band also started Hold Your Crown, an ongoing initiative aimed at breaking the stigmas surrounding mental health, and encouraging young people to tell their own stories and get the help they deserve. Each bandmember, having had their own journey with mental health, spreading a message of hope and solidarity, seeps into everything the band touches–forming a cornerstone of King Youngblood’s presence anywhere, anytime.
This website, as well as the band's and social media provide online messages from the bandmembers for youth on a regular basis– including videos detailing each bandmember’s favorite self-care routines, from quality time with a beloved cat to Wim Hof breathing techniques and cold therapy–because that’s rock ‘n roll.
Always activists, in 2018, the band embarked on a Make Your Voice Heard Loud tour, performing for over 80 student bodies across Washington State, and spurring over 3200 high-school and college-aged kids to register to vote by playing shows right next to the registration booth. This empirically successful tour earned the band bipartisan support from both Senator Lisa Wellman, a Democrat, and Kim Wyman, Washington’s Secretary of State, a Republican, as well as sponsorship from Washington Bus, APACE, the King County Department of Elections in addition to receiving a sizeable grant from the League of Women Voters. King Youngblood will be back registering youth voters through their Make Your Voice Heard Loud platform for the 2020 election for sure.