Calvin Demba plays Jay, a lad’s lad who’s been best friends with Yemi since primary school. Jay believes he is the next big thing and he’s just waiting for the rest of the world to see it.
How would you describe Jay?
I’d like to think he’s quite unpredictable, he’s not necessarily a bad person or malicious. However, he does things out of instinct and sometimes he doesn’t think about other people, their opinions or how that might affect their lives. He’s a nice guy, quite charismatic. I’d like to believe he’s quite funny, but sometimes he just gets it wrong and when he gets it wrong he suffers the consequences.
How are you different from Jay?
I’m a little bit more reserved. I’m not as outgoing as Jay is in the sense of his personality is quite big and live. I can be myself, but I’m a bit more reserved and keep myself to myself unlike Jay who is sort of like the local lad in the estate.
Calvin Demba has appeared in Casualty and Hollyoaks.
Ade Oyefeso plays Yemi, Jay’s long-suffering best friend. Yemi is a talented bedroom music producer with big dreams. But he’s torn between trying to make it in the music industry and going to college to keep his mum happy.
Can you tell us a bit about Yemi?
Yemi’s a very intelligent boy who’s got dreams of becoming a producer. His parents aren’t very supportive of his vision but he’s adamant about keeping his passion alive through him and his friend. In a way I feel that music strengthens his friendship with Jay because they’re so unalike, but they connect when it comes to music and that’s what their friendship is based on. His relationship with Jay is fuelled through the music so he wants to keep that with him.
Are you similar to Yemi?
I differ from Yemi in the sense that my parents are very supportive of my passion, so I’ve never really had that kind of pressure. I can imagine what it was like for him because when I was at school you had to get certain grades to please your parents. I’m very much like him in the sense that he’s driven and he’s very serious about what he wants to do and he sees a bigger picture. He sees there’s more than just staying in Peckham.
Are you a fan of grime music?
I wasn’t a real big fan of grime growing up. I did listen to someone if everyone was talking about them, but I never really followed the progression of the artists. There are some I like to listen to, Mic Righteous, Maxter and Devlin. There’s so many, and if there’s anyone else that’s really popular I’ll just listen to them. But, I’m more into like hip-hop like Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar.
Shavani Seth plays Davina, a south London girl who’s passionate about singing and urban music.
What’s Davina like?
Davina’s beautiful and graceful. She lives in South London but she believes “on the wrong side”. Davina’s not privileged but definitely not ghetto. Her love of singing and urban music means the Youngers are a natural fit for her. But her insecurity about where she comes from does tend to hold her back.
Are there any similarities between you and your character?
Davina is sassy and has a lot of attitude. She’s a daddy’s princess but is a shy person that’s quite outspoken. She lacks a lot of confidence and we see that in her journey in Youngers. Whereas, I like to see myself as a confident person. I’m also outspoken but for the right reasons, I know when to keep my mouth shut! I don’t see myself as sassy, but I can have attitude when I need to, but I’m definitely more confident than her.
Did you do any research into grime music for the role?
My brothers listen to grime so I already knew it through them. When I got the role I looked at Miss Bright and Lauryn Hill and I took my inspiration from them when playing ‘the diva’.