Young & Sick
About Young & Sick
Known for both his distinctive illustrations and his hooky electronic-influenced pop, Young & Sick is the working name of Dutch-born visual artist and musician Nick Van Hofwegen. Initially, Van Hofwegen emerged in 2011 as a visual artist, creating the cover art for albums by Foster the People, Maroon 5, Skrillex, and others. In 2014, he pivoted into making his own music with his eponymously titled debut, Young & Sick.
Raised in the southern part of the Netherlands, Van Hofwegen played guitar in various bands while growing up, before focusing on art in design school. It was for a school project that he created artwork inspired by the California band Velvet Teen. At the urging of his professor, he sent the design to the band, who in turn commissioned Van Hofwegen to create art for one of their tours. Working under the name Young & Sick, he moved first to London, and then to Los Angeles, where his Velvet Teen connections brought him into contact with Foster the People's Mark Foster, who hired him to create the cover art for the band's 2011 debut, Torches. A year later, he supplied the artwork for Maroon 5's Overexposed album. His designs were also featured in a fashion line by Urban Outfitters.
Around that same time, Van Hofwegen expanded the Young & Sick banner to include music as well, independently releasing the downtempo, R&B-influenced single "House of Spirits." Several other singles appeared late in 2012, as did a collaboration with Irish electronic artist Mmoths called "For Her." While continuing to produce music, Young & Sick became involved with several more design projects, including the cover for Robin Thicke's chart-topping 2013 Blurred Lines album and the branding and artwork for BUKU, a large music and arts festival in New Orleans. That same year, he signed with the Capitol imprint Harvest Records.
In April 2014, Van Hofwegen issued his full-length debut, Young & Sick, which featured the singles "Glass" and "Heartache Fetish." He also helmed the band's first live shows, including an appearance at California's Coachella Festival. Away from his music, Van Hofwegen stayed busy supplying the artwork for Foster the People's Supermodel album. He was also commissioned to create a giant mural on the side of an L.A. building which, at 148 by 126 feet, would hold the distinction of becoming the largest mural ever constructed on the American West Coast. Van Hofwegen then paired with Le Tigre's JD Samson in the side project SHARER, issuing the 2015 single "Body Tonight."
In 2018, Young & Sick issued the No Static EP, which included a cover of T-Pain's "Up Down (Do This All Day)." Also that year, he helped mark the ten-year anniversary of Neon Gold Records by contributing a cover of Passion Pit's "Sleepyhead" to the compilation NGX: Ten Years of Neon Gold. The spring of 2019 saw Van Hofwegen issue the EP It's a Storm. ~ Timothy Monger