At only 18-years-old, Dylan Fraser shares his third single ‘I Do These Things For Me’ released via Asylum/Atlantic Records. Coming from a small town Bathgate, Scotland, Fraser blends gentle-folk with hip-hop creating a unique sound like his previous releases ‘Vipers’ and ‘Face Tattoo.’ Dropping on October 23rd, Fraser puts out his debut project ‘The Storm’ that encapsulates his headspace. At such a young age, he manages to venture into topics like anxiety and depression.
But who is Dylan Fraser? How did he get to this point in his life? He described himself as ‘an introverted extrovert’ that probably applies to most of the creatives. First picking up a guitar at 12-years-old, a hand-me-down from his mom, she also taught him his first four cords. Born and raised in a small Scottish town, Fraser is a kid with big-city wide-eyed ambition.
“Bathgate is small. There’s a lot of bars and restaurants that I used to perform at, when I was younger. The people here love coming out and supporting local talent. There’s a lot of really cool up-and-coming talent coming through, too,” Fraser shouts out to his hometown.
Influenced by the goats from their genres, Radiohead, Kanye West, Lorde, Fleetwood Mac, Dylan Fraser took his inspiration to the internet with song covers from his bedroom: “I’d been singing my whole life from a super early age, but I was always too scared of people finding out. I guess one day I just thought “fuck it” and uploaded a cover online”. One of his cover songs was ‘Funeral’ by Phoebe Bridgers, which she applauded as well.
Dylan is only 18, but his journey has already been quite eventful. He worked hard to find his sound and the right people to collaborate with. He may still be a teenager, but his decisions regarding his music career are well thought out. He elaborates: “It was a long process, for sure. I started posting during my early teens. Over the years, I did some studio sessions but nothing too regularly. I’d started writing, but it took a good few years for me to develop and find my writing style. I left school at 15, went to college for a year, and then I dropped out as I’d started my own social media company. I started traveling to London with the money I was making from my company at the beginning of 2019, and that’s when the studio became my second home. I fell in love with experimenting and pushing the boundaries of ‘genre.’ I just continued to write and get in with a bunch of different producers until I found my main collaborator, Jonah Summerfield”.
Even in his first single ‘Vipers,’ Fraser uses his lyrics to express an inner turmoil over making the right decision. “Vipers is a weirdly confident, yet raw track. I was pretty pissed off the day I wrote it. I’d been traveling to London, I was running out of money, and I had some interest from labels/publishers etc. Everyone was super nice, and that was the issue – I didn’t know if people were just telling me what I wanted to hear of if they genuinely enjoyed the music. I just wanted to make sure I was making the best next step for my music,” he shares. Besides being a level-headed young, ambitious musician, he also directed the ‘Vipers’ music video.
What is mesmerizing about Dylan Fraser is the core of his lyrics. As a teenager, one would expect stories about the first heartbreak. Instead, Fraser delves into how people try to influence him and his music, which not many musicians go into. “For so long, I’d let other people influence my decisions and tell me how I should be, what my music should sound like, and I got to a breaking point with that. Face Tattoo is about being at the end of your patience and just saying ‘fuck everything.’ At the time of writing this track, I was at a real turning point in terms of the musical direction I was taking”. And we applaud him for that. Being surrounded by new people trying to tell you who you should be is difficult enough—having the guts to give them a middle finger is admirable.
Today, Fraser puts out ‘I Do These Things For Me’, and once again, the inspiration behind the track can only help those blind Gen Z people with wrong morals. “I always see people flexing on Instagram and trust me, I was that guy once, trying to convince people I was working and doing meaningful shit,” he admits, “but in reality, I was sitting in my bedroom doing very little. The main message of this track is to do shit for yourself. If you are truly doing things to the best of your ability, then not everyone has to be aware of the process and what you’re up to behind the scenes”. Listen to the track below and I hope I’m not the only one who can hear hints of Radiohead’s ‘Creep’. What a masterpiece.
After three releases, Dylan Fraser announces a debut Ep ‘The Storm’ that is dropping on October 23rd. It may get a little deeper than you might think: “I like to think of “The Storm” as my own headspace: a crazy whirlwind of thoughts, good and bad. This EP covers the feeling of anxiety, depression, finding yourself, growing up, and realising the world isn’t really what you expected it to be. This EP goes through a lot of moments that lead up to where I am now in my life.”
Words: Karolina Kramplova