This week, WXPN announced the four finalists of our first ever 24 Hour Song Challenge, and as we approach the Grand Prize Winner reveal, we’ll bring you spotlights on the four artists who got this far. Today, we meet Yuneer Gainz, a genre-meshing singer, rapper, and producer who submitted the charismatic “Grown Man Tears” to the contest. Read more about it below.


What’s your hometown? Where are you currently based?

My hometown is Brooklyn, NY. I am currently based out of Delaware.

How long have you been performing? Are you primarily a solo artist, do you play in any bands?

I have been performing for over 10 years. I am primarily a solo artist with musicians that play beside me for shows and performances.

What inspired you to interpret the prompt “Summertime” the way you did?

It was instinctive, a natural flow of thoughts. I let the idea of “Summertime” guide me, unburdened by overanalysis, allowing myself to be myself. For me, “Summertime” encapsulates fleeting moments, a running river of memories floating alongside someone I once knew or might meet someday.

Can you tell us about your process? Are you lyrics-first, hook-first, etc?

For me, I allow the song to write itself. When Sam, one of the producers of my submission, said, “If it wasn’t for this prompt, I’d want you to make a song about grown man tears,” I took that phrase and let it guide me. Some call my lyrics poetry, others dialogue. I simply express what I feel. If you can hold a conversation, you can write a song. We don’t enter deep conversations with pre-planned ideas; we talk until we find meaning. That’s my writing process.

Are you playing anywhere this summer that our audience can see you?

Haven’t been booked anywhere yet but I hope it’ll happen soon. If not, maybe some time in September.