The Meteoric Rise of Lola Young: Moving On and Moving Up in Latest Single, ‘I Wish You Were Dead’

By: Eva Lynch

Lola Young, South East London’s newest voice, says music helps her make sense of herself and the world around her. Her latest single opens with a gritty base line, and as her voice cuts through the song, there’s a delicate side to its rage and the depth of her voice. Full of catchy instrumental riffs and high-energy rhythms, the cathartic chorus which screams ‘I Wish You Were Dead’ is not only the title of the song but truly the heart of this short burst of energy, as its well-earned bitterness seeps into the rest of the verses and captivates you for the full three minutes and fifteen seconds of this alternative pop anthem. 

While staying true to her emotive storyteller background, her latest two singles ‘Conceited’ and now ‘I Wish You Were Dead’ show how Lola is embracing her new power and tapping into a rage which takes her music to a whole new level. Her new single ‘Wish You Were Dead’ is about walking away from the past, and rejecting toxic relationships and negativity in favour of looking towards the future and embracing self love. The song is seeped in resentment and feels like a cathartic energy release as she contemplates the new possibilities in her life. Her voice is full with heartfelt emotion as she effortlessly navigates complicated runs and entwines stories together. Her lyrics are flirtatious and sincere yet dark and vengeful, full of heart and spite in a struggle for dominance as Lola alternates between harsh beratings and moments of quieter vulnerability and sorrow, which show off her emotional and vocal range. Songs such as ‘What Is It About Me,’ off her last records show this versatility as she leans into the heartfelt ballad. 

Her highly praised 2023 album, My Mind Wanders And Sometimes Leaves Completely ushered in a new era for Lola, leading the singer to explore new creative depths and lean into her South East London roots. She describes her sound as a melting pot of different cultures – mainly mixing together neo soul, R&B, and a little singer/songwriter, yet through it all her rich, layered voice and South London croon characterizes her twisted and soulful sound.

Since the release of her last single Conceited, she’s made a powerful impression on the South East London Music scene and had many eyes on her. She’s been signed to Island Records since she turned 18, and says it’s been a crash course in resilience, as she is managed by industry heavyweights Nick Shymansky and Nick Hugget. Hugget is known for signing Adele and Shymanksy managed Amy Winehouse from 1999-2006 before her death in 2011, and swore he’d never manage another artist until Lola came along. If her voice didn’t speak for itself, Lola Young is one to keep your eyes on as she continues to flourish and grow.