Fred again.. is a British artist taking a unique approach to his mesmerizing dance tracks. All the music on his SoundCloud has an incredible sense of personality and a human touch that accompanies the electronic ebbs and flows which comes from the voices he samples. Whether it's messages from his friends and collaborators like Octavian and Mr Eazi or clips from interviews or Instagram posts, Fred takes vocal snippets from others and molds them into songs, pitching them up or down and recontextualizing them.
He calls his approach "actual life" and explains its origins. "I just wanted to try and make a kind of diary," Fred says. "The most beautiful world in the world. At the beginning it was just videos I found on my phone from nights out. Then I started stumbling across other peoples moments that struck a chord so the diary became more collaborative." His latest release, which is his first official single, is built around a live performance by Minneapolis poet Kyle Tran Mhyre, aka Guante, and also features vocals from Fred again.. himself. It's uplifting and moving, an affirmation of finding someone special that's been moved from a live poetry reading to a smoky, strobe-lit club.
Fred again.. has a lot going on beyond his solo work, too, as a producer working with British rappers like Mist, Fredo, Stefflon Don, and Headie One. A quick scroll back through his Instagram and you'll find him in Johannesburg with JAY-Z or working with Stormzy, Ed Sheeran, and Burna Boy. On top of all that, he can call the legendary Brian Eno a mentor, and told us about the impacy Eno has had on him as an artist and person.
"I dont think at 16 you can quite appreciate the level he operates on, at least I couldn't," Fred explains. "But I'm so grateful he took me under his wing and these days I'm more grateful than ever to have him as a mentor and help me develop my music. There are a million stories, and I write them all down, but one that comes to mind from recently is I came to him explaining that I had been struggling to embrace the state of chaos that is really necessary to make exciting things. While I was talking to him about this he quite quietly dragged about 500 pieces of music he'd made onto my hard drive. He said, 'From now on every time you start something you have to start from one of these.' I dont have enough space to go into why that is such an acute response to what I was saying. But I'll explain next time?!"
Watch the beautiful slow motion video for "Kyle (I Found You)" below and follow Fred again.. on SoundCloud here.