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Puppy-love and romantic clichés: Artist collective Y$O release sweet new tune ‘Cotton Candy’

Puppy-love and romantic cliches: Artist collective Y$O release sweet new tune 'Cotton Candy'
Puppy-love and romantic cliches: Artist collective Y$O release sweet new tune ‘Cotton Candy’  (L-R) Aidan Fine, JARNA, Sam V.

If there’s one thing listeners have come to expect of Y$O (Young & Slept On) it’s not to expect anything. A collective of talented and exceptional creatives, Y$O are notorious for subverting mainstream expectations, instead choosing to express their artistry and creativity their way.

Y$O members Sam V, JARNA and Aidan Fine are set to disrupt airwaves again with their new toe-tapping R&B-Pop tune, Cotton Candy. A heady combination of saccharine lyrics and silky-smooth vocals, Cotton Candy evokes the puppy-like love in all of us, taking listeners back to the honeymoon phases of their relationships.

Filmed by rising Auckland videographer Peter Pedro and directed by the Y$O crew, Cotton Candy’s music video is as sweet and soft as the pure-sugary dessert. The video leans heavily into all the romantic date clichés we secretly wished we’d try; picnics in the park, hot air balloon rides, lounging in a doughboat and sailing across Lake Taupo.

Our reporter Ann-Tauilo Motuga spoke with the Y$O co-leader Sam V on the song’s release.

How did the process for Cotton Candy all begin?

We were having one of our Sunday Sessions at Ed’s house, maybe last year in November, and I think some of us had been on the beers so wanted to make something lol. Ed started with the bassline, and I figured it needed something cheesy to reel people in conceptually. I mumbled the hook melody and added lyrics to it and we all just went from there. JARNA and I laced our verses and made a demo of the track. A few weeks later we added Aidan for his lyricism and spicy delivery, and EDY brought in Aaron Strickland on the guitar for some more punch.

Compared to your past tracks, what sets Cotton Candy apart from the rest? 

The style of production – it serves as a simple yet endearing and charming backdrop for Aidan, JARNA and I to do our thing. I think there’s a certain charm to the track that will allow it to resonate with people. It’s fun and cute.

There’s a great lineup of Y$O artists on this song – you’ve each got your own signature flow and style. How did you balance your creative differences during the creation process?

We’ve been jamming together for a while now so that process is pretty natural. We each focus on our own verses before collaborating on the hook (obviously keeping each other in check for that process). It can be pretty funny/scary/competitive/funny (again) having ideas thrown out and being called whack lol (mainly Aidan, Ace and I). But it keeps us honest and striving to work at our best.

As a music lover, I enjoy listening to tunes that take me to certain places or unlock certain emotions and memories. Is this something you hope to ignite in your listeners through Cotton Candy?

It’s definitely something we, as songwriters and creatives, look to achieve. We always hope that we can inspire through our music. Whether lyrically, sonically, or conceptually.

A big thing for us is making sure we have distinctive visuals. Something you won’t quickly forget. The song itself is about intimacy, affection and love – likened to the sweetness of Cotton Candy. We wanted a visual which reflected that. It’s very cute lol.

Every song has a different story to tell, and we hope people can align memories from their life to our work and the messages encompassed within it (some are a bit naughty sometimes haha – take it with a grain of salt x)

What can our viewers expect from the wider Y$O collective in the future?

Aidan was saying today that there’s no ceiling to what we’re doing. Each of us bring our own unique flavour, energy and talent, a real cacophony of goodness. As a collaborative effort, that’s a recipe for excitement. Expect more singles, visuals, shows and potentially a project very soon…. maybe festivals too? We’re grateful for all the support too!

Check out the music video for Cotton Candy below:


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