Young Jonn on the Success of His Debut Album, ‘Jiggy Forever,’ First Headlining U.S. Tour, His Battle with Social Anxiety, and More.

The Afro-pop musician talks to BET about his journey of transitioning from “the wicked producer” to a recording artist.

Young Jonn, a multi-talented singer, songwriter, and producer hailing from Ibadan and currently based in Lagos, is dubbed “The Wicked Producer” for his remarkable work alongside industry giants like Tiwa Savage, Olamide, and Lil Kesh. In 2021, he made a significant leap in his career by signing with Chocolate City, Nigeria's premier record label, marking his official transition from producer to solo artist. Interestingly, Young Jonn reveals that becoming a singer was never part of his original plan.

“Initially, I started making beats because I used to rap with my brothers. But after that, after the old production phase, I was never really thinking of transitioning back to being an artist. It just kind of happened on its own,” he tells BET. “It was just meant to happen because I never really planned it out or thought it out. I just started putting out my music and everything just happened so quick, so fast. Thank God.”

The 29-year-old dropped his debut project, Love Is Not Enough, in April 2022, which paved the way for his highly anticipated debut album, Jiggy Forever, released in April 2024. The album reached a remarkable milestone, with seven of its 14 songs on the Billboard U.S. Afrobeats Songs chart.

“Honestly, I didn’t expect this,” he says. It felt good and it still feels good. I feel blessed, you know. That's my debut album and to have that level of reception from everyone? it feels good when the work of your hand is being appreciated especially being that I'm transitioning from being a producer to this. I mean, I was skeptical at first when the album was going to drop. You know, like, you're always wondering, kind of, like, unsure. So after that, I just kind of left everything in the house of God and I just believed.”

Last month, Young Jonn announced his first headlining North American “Jiggy Forever Tour,” produced by acclaimed event promoter and production company Duke Concept. The 10-date tour will begin on September 6, with stops in Canada, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, and more. “I'm very excited,” he reveals. “My fans just need to expect jiggy vibes. You know, we're about to get jiggy, big vibes, big energy, you know, just intimacy with the fans. I can't wait to meet every single one of them.” 

This tour announcement arrived ahead of the Afrobeats artist’s debut performance at Duke Concept’s Tribeville music festival in Houston today (July 5.) The lineup also includes Davido, Wande Coal, Focalistic, Kcee, and more.

“Shout out to him. I believe he's doing a lot of work to keep the African music scene active out here in the United States,” he says of Duke Concept’s founder and CEO Osita “Duke” Ugeh.”It feels good to work with him. He makes it easy and convenient. He's just amazing.” 

Young Jonn has been a huge advocate for social anxiety awareness while combating his struggles associated with it, despite having a career as a performer. “Yo, if we open the chapter on that right now, it’ll be long,” he says. “It's a great step to be where I'm at right now. Like, it took a lot of work to be at this point I’m at right now socially. A lot of times, I find myself drawn back, especially as a performer, you know?” 

He continues, “If you take a look at videos of my early performances, I used to struggle a lot with fan interaction solely because of this whole anxiety thing. It took a lot of work for me to see beyond that or get past that, to be able to connect with the fans on this level. I feel like there's still a lot of work to be done, and once I can break through that anxiety and everything, there is gonna be much more vibes on stage, you know? It's a work in progress, and we're getting there.”

To manage or cope with his social anxiety, Young Jonn reveals that he does a lot of self-talking and therapy sessions. “I'm very self-conscious lately, and I feel like it just gets to a point where I realized that I just don't have a choice. If I really want to do this thing I love so much, and I want to keep doing it, I have to work with it. And it has not been easy. But, like I said, it's a work in progress,” he adds.

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