The Fred Again Hype Explained

Fred Again fever has hit Australia, but who is the English producer and why is he so popular?

You’ve almost certainly heard of Fred Again, the electronic music producer who has taken Australia by storm this month as he tours the country with Laneway Festival. His surprise show in Sydney sold out in 5 minutes, his surprise show in Melbourne took just 30 seconds, and social media is abuzz with posts from fans cruising cities hoping to find the artist or sob into the audience of one of his requested shows. .

If, like me, you’ve been watching the artist’s music on Spotify to try to see what all the fuss is about, you may have been left a bit confused. Sure, Fred Again’s style of house and garage infused dance music is good, but as Pitchfork puts it “In sound and style, there is nothing in [Fred Again’s latest] record Disclosure didn’t make a decade ago, or MJ Cole 10 years before that”; Music alone doesn’t seem to explain Fred Again’s obsessive following, so what does?

Fred Again performing live (Credit: Fred Again on YouTube)

I’ll try to give my “Fred Again Fever” explanation, but first I should probably give a brief introduction to who the guy really is.

Who is Fred Again?

London native Fred Gibson is a man who fell in love with music at a very young age, starting playing the piano as a child, writing an album of power ballads at age 10, and finding himself under the wing of legendary songwriter and musician . Brian Eno in his late teens, Fred began producing music professionally for major labels in the 2010s, earning producer credits on tracks by world-renowned artists such as Ellie Goulding, Charli XCX, Shawn Mendes, George Ezra, BTS, Stormzy, Ed Sheeran and more.

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In late 2019, Gibson took the leap and released his own music, adopting the moniker Fred Again and releasing the song. Kyle (I found you)beginning the solo career that has now become a phenomenon.

Why is Fred Again so popular?

Ask dedicated Fred Again fans why they love him so much and you’ll probably get several different answers, but in my opinion there are three main things that set Fred Again apart from the myriad of producers making similar club hits: the sentimental nature of “scrapbook” of Fred Again samples, his audience participation, and the more “live” nature of his sets.

The Fred Again project aims to be a musical diary of Gibson, sonically cataloging his life by incorporating the meaningful interactions he has with friends and strangers into his songs as vocal samples. Gibson shares the stories of these samples and their meaning to him through his social media channels, giving context and heart to his otherwise absent music, and setting his songs apart, at least in a metatextual sense, from similar voices. based on samples. dance music.

Gibson is also a master of social media and audience engagement, incorporating fan posts on social media into his music videos and live performances, and sending his fans on exciting Easter egg hunts through cities looking for secret merch or shows, like Melbourne’s recent sweat towel. hunting embedded below. It’s an organic and innovative approach to audience interaction that not only helps Fred Again build stronger relationships with his fans than the average EDM producer, but also encourages his fans to follow and interact with him and his music on social media.

Finally, there are Fred Again’s live sets, which are actually more “live” than many of their peers. While it’s common for most in the electronic music scene to do simple DJ sets, essentially hitting play on his studio tracks and doing some light remixing on the fly, Fred again builds his songs live from the ground up in real time using launch pads, synthesizers and your own voice. The result is a much more dynamic and captivating performance than many are used to seeing in the dance music sphere, while maintaining the danceability and fun that club music provides.

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While Fred Again’s music may not be groundbreaking on its own, Fred’s ability to connect with his audience both on stage and via social media, and his ability to bring a soulful human element to the music scene dance music usually more sterile. is innovative; and that’s why there’s such a buzz around Fred Again right now.

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