Fred again.. The Blueprint (music with feelings)

Fred Again.. from producer for the stars to the star in three years.

Fred again.. from producer of the stars to the star in three years.

Now then. I didn’t know much about Fred again.. until last week.

The first thing I learned is you have to write again in lower case with two dots at the end.

The second thing I learned is he’s the guy who took The Blessed Madonna’s realisation that ‘we lost dancing’ and made it the most annoying record of the pandemic. However, I’m gonna let him off for that as the more I watched his YouTube live sets, the more I realised how talented he is.

He’s kind of like Kanye, except he’s from London and seems kinda humble (I guess there’s still time). Fred can DJ, sing, play the piano and the guitar. He has produced tracks that topped the UK chart for other artists. He has also released two studio albums, collaborated with Jamie XX, Four Tet, Skrillex, Romy, Haai, Swedish House Mafia, Future and has toured the world. The dude’s not even 30.

One fan described him as ‘the type of musician that makes other musicians question if they are really musicians.’

It’s kind of annoying how talented he is, right?

So how has he done it? How has Fred again.. gone from a producer for the stars to the star?

Let’s find out. Happy scrolling 📲👇

Remember. The blueprint is right in front of you. You just have to look in the right places.

Angie (i’ve been lost)

Fred again.. Actual Life 1 & 2

Fred again.. released two albums under the name Actual Life in 2021.

– Actual Life (April 14 – December 17 2020)
– Actual Life (February 2 – October 2021)

“The plan is to do two albums a year of this because I want it to feel like a rotating diary that just keeps existing,” he told NME.

So let’s just break down how he has created a ‘rotating dairy’. The album starts with a track named April 14th. The album ends with one called December 17th. Straight away this tells the listener that this album represents a period of time. He repeats this on the second album with tracks titled February 2nd 2021 and October 15 2021. All four tracks are no longer than 40 seconds.

April 14th 2020 features a sample of Fred himself saying ‘Yo! It’s a Tuesday at 10 pm and this is one of the best days of my life’. Kyle (i found you) is named after a poet named who Fred met at an open mic night. The song lyric ‘in this smoking chaos our shoulder blades kissed’ is how Kyle describes meeting a girl for the first time in a bar. The music video is an amazing produced slow motion video by Adam Magyar on Hackney Wick Station with all of Fred’s friends on the platform. Fred was obsessed with Adam’s work and when the two met in Berlin, Fred pitched an idea to him.

I don’t know the story behind Yasminah (see your face again) but due to its time of release, this could easily represent how a lot of us felt during the pandemic when we couldn’t see our friends or family. The album ends with Angie (i’ve been lost). A heartbreaking song about a girl who fell ill. Don’t even get me started on the subtitles on the music video. 🥺

Below is the track list for Actual Life (April 14 – December 17 2020):

April 14th 2020
Kyle (i found you)
Dermot (see yourself in my eyes) ft Dermot Kennedy
Yasminah (see your face again)
Hackney (interlude)
Julia (deep dive)
Adam (interlude)
Me (heavy)
Big Hen (steal my joy)
Marnie (wish i had u)
Sabrina (i am a party)
Lydia (please make it better)
Carlos (make it thru)
Angie (interlude)
Angie (i’ve been lost)
December 17th 2020

This brings me to how Fred titles his songs. Each track is named after a date, a person or a place. He then adds a feeling or a lyric in brackets. Some of the people featured are famous – Julia Michaels, Dermot Kennedy and Billy Ray Martin. Some of the samples he recorded himself, and others were clips from social media that made him feel something.

On both albums, Fred again.. took the feelings of others and turned them into two hit records, tapping into his own feelings when he made it and tapping into the feelings of millions of others when they listened to it.

For the second album, he even released a piano version. To market the release, he recorded himself playing the piano on the top of a roof top at sunset in New York. Like.. of course he did, right? He’s just showing off by this point. But there is a lesson here, release your music in different ways.

Fred again.. Actual Life 3 (January 1 – September 9 2022)

The third instalment of Actual Life follows the same pattern with the track names only this time I think we are going to get something that is the complete opposite if his Boiler Room is anything to go by. Hit records Lights Out, Jungle and Turn On The Lights again.. are a lot more club-focused and cross-genres representing where Fred again.. is at now he is touring worldwide.

The three singles released so far Danielle (smile on my face), Bleu (better with time), Kammy (like i do) are all club records. If you close your eyes, you can almost see the lasers at The Warehouse Project as you listen to the Bicep-like synths of Bleu (better with time). The drums and vocals of Danielle (smile on my face) are the total opposite of the emotion behind Carlos (make it thru).

The photos used as the artwork for Actual Life 3 and all of Fred again’s most recent Instagram content has a blue filter on to represent the third album. This is another common theme in his music. Actual Life 1 was red, Actual Life 2 was orange and all of the singles outside of the albums have been black and white.

It’s the little things.

Fred again: Low Res Content

You can see the grains on the images above used for the artwork of Fred again’s artwork. 90% of Fred again’s content is taken and recorded on an iPhone.

The content is low quality but it’s entertaining and relatable to the viewer. It’s also full of Fred’s personality and his relationship with his friends. Take this screen record of a phone call with Four Tet. It’s just a screen record of a phone call with Four Tet. The caption gives the phone call context to the release campaign of ‘Jungle’ but could this content be any simpler?

Here’s another example. Take this iPhone recording from the studio with Rico Nasty. Rico’s wearing a fluffy pink hat. The two of them are vibing in the studio recording vocals and going crazy to the drop.

Then there’s this one. This is how TikTok has influenced content dramatically over the last few years. Fred films the reaction of a fan who turns up hella early for a show in Oslo. He airdrops him an unreleased song he has been working on from the next album. The kids’ reaction is one of pure joy. Or as the automated voice on the video puts it – two love emojis with heart eyes.

Engage with your fans in ways they wouldn’t expect. They won’t forget it.

Fred again.. Boiler Room.

Boiler Room is one of the key music platforms in the world. The fact it is still breaking careers is a testament to just how many listeners it still has when it’s done right.

Fred again states in one of his posts that he has been watching Boiler Room videos since he was a kid. This video is likely to go down in Boiler Room history as one of the best ever. You could see by his speech at the end of the video how much it meant to him.

If you don’t believe the power of how the right piece of content can get you discovered and take your career go to new heights, the five posts before Fred Again’s Boiler Room got the following likes on Instagram:

7,358 likes
9,728 likes
11,313 likes
8,696 likes
7,888 likes

The following six saw a slight increase… 😉

19,208
44,228
26,660
45,909
125.036
84,459

The Boiler Room was shared on the same day as ‘Turn Off The Lights again’ with Swedish House Mafia and Future dropped. Guess what clip from the Boiler Room they used to promote both Boiler Room and the single? Yep, when Fred played ‘Turn Off The Lights Again’ in his set. That’s three gold moments taking place all at the same time on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Spotify to all three fanbases.

Give these marketing teams a raise 😮‍💨

Now what ideas can you take from this?

1. Learn the piano.. (why not?)
2.
Just like I mentioned in the Ewan McVicar Blueprint, music with a story behind it works (heather park)
3. Create content that will make an impact. Fred again.. and Boiler Room almost broke the internet and created one of the most iconic Boiler Room streams ever. Everyone can have a YouTube channel (use yours)
4. Invest in video content – what are you waiting for? It can even be as simple as recording you and your best mate reacting in the studio (or on FaceTime) to your music for the first time – see what happens (it might go viral)

That’s it for another Blueprint. Next week I am going to do something different so stay tuned and I’ll see you next week.

Don’t forget to join the Socially Sound Discord. If you’re interested in 1:1 Coaching, hit me up or visit the Socially Sound Store.

Peace and love ✌️

Andrew at Socially Sound 🧢


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