“I’m doing good, just woke up a little while ago,” Gus Dapperton tells me over a Skype call from NYC, despite the fact that when I ring it’s nearing 3pm there. When I ask what he’s doing with the rest of his day, he tells me about his plans to sneak into the Panorama music festival on Randall’s Island. “Frank Ocean is headlining so we’re gonna try and finesse our way in and see if we can see him. We’re just gonna pretend we’re really important and try to walk right in.”
Chances are that soon the New York native won’t have to sneak his way into festivals. Putting out music steadily over the last year, his delightful indie-pop stylings and incredible voice are about to propel him into the spotlight where he belongs, and hopefully that’ll come with some festival appearance perks.
With his new EP, “Yellow And Such”, ready to drop tomorrow – 4th August – we found out all you need to know about the indie’s latest heartthrob.
So I’ve been watching your video for “I’m Just Snacking” on YouTube and I’m obsessed. What was the inspiration for the song?
I usually take phrases that people say, like people that I’m close to, and I usually take the situation that we’re in and develop the song around this one phrase. So my ex-girlfriend and I were going to dinner one time and she was eating food and I was like “Yo, what are you doing? We’re about to go for dinner, why are you eating?” and she was like “I’m just snacking.” And then I took that and just made it into this whole thing about two people who are in love but don’t have the courage to be together. That’s essentially what it’s about.
What was your creative process when making the song?
Usually, I’ll have like a bunch of stuff. I write loads of things in my notebook that might not even turn out to be a song. I’ll come up with the music before it and then I’ll write the lyrics from some experiences that I’ve written down in my notebook already. So I’ll write the music, write the lyrics, write the melody and stuff and then I’ll produce it and come up with other parts when I’m producing it.
What are you working on at the moment?
Well actually I’m releasing an EP really soon. I’m just gonna kind of drop that. I’ve had it done for like a really long time, it’s like a four song EP. “I’m Just Snacking” is on it. Other than that, I’ve just got a bunch of other music that I’m working on. I’m also producing a little bit for my sister, she’s a singer. I’ve been writing songs with her and producing her.
So music is a family trait?
Well it’s just me and my sister. My parents are like total opposite of artists. They’re like really smart business people, but they’re really supportive.
What can you tell us about the new EP?
It’s called “Yellow And Such” and in the last like five/six months I’ve been really inspired by primary colours. Yellow is my favourite colour. It kind of sums up the whole EP and just relates to the whole like last year of my life. I really wish I had a better way to describe that, I usually describe songs really well but I don’t really have a way of describing the whole EP right now.
What’s your fave song?
Damn, good question. Maybe “I’m Just Snacking”, but I think it might change.
Who influences you musically?
When I was growing up my dad played a lot of Bruce Springsteen and The Beatles and The Beach Boys and stuff. Also on the hip hop side, 50 Cent and J Dillon. So growing up I guess I listened to a lot of 60s rock and what not and then towards middle school/high school I got really into hip hop and nowadays it’s like 60s rock, 80s nu wave and hip hop. A particular couple of artists that really mean a lot to me are like David Bowie, The Smiths and The Beach Boys.
I saw your Sofar Sounds gig and it was amazing. What’s your favourite thing about performing live?
Well the people who come to see my shows, I don’t have that big of a following, but the people who do follow me really enjoy it. The people who come to the shows are always hyped so it’s really fun. I never get really too nervous because it’s just a whole family vibe. I know everyone there and it’s so fun. And I love performing with my band and messing around with them on stage. I guess just connecting with everyone that’s watching and connecting with my band up on stage is just really fun.
Any plans to come over to England?
Yes, I’ve actually been dying to. I want to move there at some point in my life.
We’ll be sure to show you around if you do. Thanks Gus!