About Le Youth
Le Youth is the stage name of Wes James, a Los Angeles-based DJ and producer who makes bright, shimmering house and neo-disco tracks. While his best-known singles, such as the 2013 breakthrough hit "C O O L," are heavily influenced by 1990s R&B, releases such as his 2020 EP Waves are closer to progressive and melodic house.
The music career of Toledo, Ohio-born DJ and producer Wes James started when he became the drummer of a band in high school. Upon leaving school he moved to Seattle, Washington, and discovered electronic music when a colleague at the record retailer where he worked introduced him to the world of sequencers and drum machines. After moving back to Ohio, James divided his time between touring with friends' bands and writing his own material. By 2012 he had moved to Los Angeles, and that summer he issued a free download, "Dance with Me," his first track under the Le Youth moniker. Bloggers picked up on the '90s-era vibe that it betrayed, and the inventive way that it combined R&B and house. This period also saw James remix material for acts such as the Hint and Goldroom. Then, in July 2013, he hit the Top 30 of the U.K. singles chart with his debut single proper, the Cassie-sampling "C O O L," issued on the Sign of the Times label.
James issued several more singles over the next few years: 2014's "Dance with Me," featuring Dominique Young Unique (which almost hit the Top Ten), the Javeon collaboration "Feel Your Love," the following year's "Real" and "Touch," and 2016's "Boomerang" and "If You're Leaving," which featured Tay Beckham and Sydnie, respectively. For 2017's "Walk Away," James repurposed the vocals from Paula DeAnda's 2006 hit. Later that year, he teamed up with Ava Max for the single "Clap Your Hands" and MNDR on the trip-hop-tinged "I Could Always." After remixing singles by Bonnie McKee and Morgan Page, he released "Stay," featuring Karen Harding, in 2018.
As James began amassing a collection of analog synths and other vintage gear, his music shifted toward more of a progressive house sound, with vocals and pop hooks appearing less frequently. The three-song EP Aquiver appeared in 2019, followed by Waves in 2020, and several additional singles, including "About Us," "Gemini," and "Underwater." ~ James Wilkinson & Paul Simpson