Music

'I'll never forget it': Guest editor Yungblud reveals how a Big Issue seller turned his life around

Musician Yungblud has become the youngest ever guest editor of The Big Issue. Here he explains why he wanted to get involved.

Yungblud is the youngest ever guest editor of The Big Issue. Image: Tom Pallant / Glam: Luca Tullio / Styling: Jesse Jo Stark

Singer songwriter Yungblud has revealed how a Big Issue seller helped him turn his life around and led to him becoming the magazine’s youngest ever guest editor.

The 24-year-old musician, real name Dominic Harrison, said he met a vendor named Michael in London’s West End after injuring himself in a theatre show when he thought his career was in ruins.

“I remember a Big Issue sales man called Michael was like, ‘Are you alright, mate?’ It was so mental to me because I was like crying my eyes out for probably about eight minutes. I’ll never forget it,” he said.

The pair got a hot drink and listened to music “for half an hour”, Yungblud continued. “And we spoke about life and it was a real, true human interaction, that you rarely get. It made me pick myself up.”

Yungblud, currently on a tour of more than 30 dates across the US, wrote articles and interviewed stars for the latest edition of The Big Issue magazine.

He said: “It’s been a real honour to guest edit such an important publication that’s role is essential in tackling the Big Issues facing us today. The Big Issue means so much to me because it radiates what the foundation of Yungblud is about: equality, acceptance and, most importantly, opportunity for all. Given the opportunity to guest edit this edition, I’ve picked some voices that I admire and respect who I think can use these pages to share wisdom, have a bit of a laugh and tell their story.”

The Big Issue – The Yungblud Edition.

Guest appearances include TV presenter Fearne Cotton, Drag Race UK star Bimini Bon-Boulash, and a conversation with a young man who had been the victim of a homophobic attack after one of his performances. Louis Theroux also features as the week’s Letter To My Younger Self.

“It was like such a magical thing,” he said. “Because The Big Issue really sums up the hope that I have for this world. Everyone should have an opportunity. Everyone is equal. Everyone deserves to have a shot and have a chance.”

He described his meeting with Michael as a “mad story” but one that helped to turn his life around at one of the lowest times in his young life.

“I remember, I’d just moved down to London. I was about 16 years old and everything was kind of going wrong. I was in a theatre show and I had just broken my leg. And it was over. I was running out of cash and I remember hobbling down St Giles High Street. There’s an alleyway literally just off there and I knelt down, I was crying because I was fucked. I was wanted to be in theatre. I was wanting to be in a band. No one wanted to sign me. No wanted me to do anything. I’d just smashed me leg up.

“I remember a Big Issue sales man called Michael was like, ‘Are you alright, mate?’ It was so mental to me because I was like crying my eyes out for probably about eight minutes. I’ll never forget it. He looked at me. And I remember I went and got us both a Starbucks. It was fucking freezing. And we had a Starbucks and just listened to music for half an hour. And we spoke about life and it was a real, true human interaction, that you rarely get. It made me pick myself up.

“It’s pretty serendipitous to think a couple years later, I’m editing the magazine, and really trying my best to bring people who have genuine belief, who bring good into this world, to radiate that through an outlet that I truly believe brings so much positivity and love and opportunity to people. That’s what it’s about.”

You can still buy the Yungblud Edition of The Big Issue online here.

You can click HERE to subscribe to The Big Issue today or give a gift subscription to a friend or family member. You can also purchase one-off issues from The Big Issue Shop or The Big Issue app, available now from the App Store or Google Play.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
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