Following his pulsing debut release, “Vipers” last month on Atlantic Records, 18 year-old dark-pop newcomer, Dylan Fraser is celebrating the release of his latest single, “Face Tattoo“. The track, which premiered Zane Lowe’s Apple Music 1 show dives further into Fraser’s introspective and genre-defying sound, which he has been cultivating from a very young age. Fraser has come a long way from when he first picked up a guitar at just 12 years old, and with more new music arriving in the coming months, he’s an artist that is sure to define the remainder of 2020. Get to know a little bit more about him and listen to “Vipers” and “Face Tattoo” now below.
Prelude Press: You’ve been involved in music in one way or another from a very young age – when you first started playing guitar and writing your own music, who or what were your biggest influences?
Dylan Fraser: I’d say my biggest influences are Radiohead, Kanye & Lorde. I love how you never know what you’re gonna get from any of them, they’re constantly surprising you and changing things up. My parents played a lot of music in the car when I was younger too so I reckon I got a lot of my early inspiration from that.
How do you feel that your hometown or your upbringing affected the music that you write today?
I think my hometown gave me a lot of headspace and time to be alone with my thoughts which I think is what sparked my interest in songwriting. I’m quite an introvert and have spent a lot of time in my room over the years which lead to me writing songs and discovering so much music online.
Flash forward a few years and you just released your debut single, “Vipers” with a major record label, Atlantic Records. What made them the right partner and outlet for your music?
I had been meeting a bunch of labels and I just felt like Atlantic were really fighting for it and that they genuinely cared for the music and what I was trying to do. Everyone on my team is super nice and it’s just a good work environment. My A&R Cannelle is just sick. We have the similar music tastes and she just fully gets me and understands my vision of how I want my music, videos, artwork etc to be presented. I remember she was flying up and down the country regularly trying to secure the deal, which at the time really made me think “fuck she genuinely cares for my music” – she’s a legend.
With “Vipers” being the first song that many people heard from you, did you have any major goals in mind when you first started working on it?
I try not to set expectations when writing and now with releasing music. I think if I expected anything I’d lose my mind. With that being said, of course I want my music to be heard by as many people as possible and I’m sure that day will come, but it’s all in good time. Right now I’m just taking it day by day and enjoying the process. If I had one goal for the present I think it’s just to continue making music and experimenting with sounds.
Now you’re set to release “Face Tattoo” – can you tell us a little bit about this song? What were the inspirations for it and what would you like for listeners to take away from it?
“Face Tattoo” is that feeling when you get to your breaking point and you just think to yourself “fuck it”. That’s what this song is to me. I had been letting other people’s opinions influence me and my music for so long, and I didn’t want to do that any longer. I wanted to do what was best for me. I think learning to say “no” was the best thing I ever learned. Although “Face Tattoo” sonically and lyrically sounds dark, it’s actually a pretty positive song about taking control of what you wanna do – I hope people take that message away from it.
It’s definitely a strange and challenging time to release music right now – has the pandemic affected your release schedule or any plans that you had this year at all?
I think because this is my first time releasing music, it hasn’t affected me too severely… it’s not like I had any tours or anything planned yet that I would’ve had to cancel. We had to push back the first release a good few months though, as I signed right as coronavirus started to get bad. It was a pretty frustrating and challenging time for me because I was new to the music industry and I had to learn how to do things in a completely different way than how they usually are. I’m excited for the rest of the year though, and to release more music.
What’s been the most rewarding part of releasing music at this time?
I think being able to enjoy the process from the comfort of my own home. But that being said, it also limits me to a certain extent of what outlets I can use to promote the music. I think it’s about adapting and finding new innovative ways to reach people. Thank god for the internet.
With two songs out now, can fans expect to hear any more new music soon? Do you have any other goals for the rest of the year?
New music incoming. Can’t wait for it to be out into the universe. My goals for the year are to keep releasing and start growing a steady network of people who I can enjoy the music with. I’d love to do a live show too, but we’ll see how the state of the world is.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Pomegranate seeds are the best thing this world has to offer.