The Los Angeles-hailed songwriter and Post Malone collaborator is stepping into the spotlight with his debut EP “HALLELUJAH, I’M FREE”.
Shirt EQUIPMENT, jacket KIDSUPER, pants and belt BOSS, jewellery TALENT’S OWN
10 years ago, before songs would go viral, teenagers would nervously download music through suspicious sites, excitedly sending the hottest new tracks to one another via Bluetooth – trading songs like Pokemon cards. Fast forward to present day, and you’ll see teens furiously learning and creating complex dances to the newest and most popular tunes on social media. This is the age of TikTok. The trend has seen major artists such as Doja Cat and Don Toliver sky rocket to fame overnight, amassing millions of followers and streams in a matter of minutes. Joining ranks of TikTok stardom is LA singer-songwriter Watson with his funk-filled debut tune “Dance Alone”. But Watson isn’t a newcomer on the scene. The witty fun-loving singer has spent years penning hits for the likes of Post Malone and 21 Savage, but now is ready to step out on his own.
With coarse vocals and pop-filled guitar riffs, Watson makes his stellar debut today with his haunting EP, “HALLELUJAH, I’M FREE”. Cutting ties from the songwriting industry, the singer lets his creativity run wild for his debut. From letting his refreshingly bold personality shine bright with unabashed joy on “Dance Alone”, to the deep and evocative lost love tune “Metronome” – Watson is baring all. His mystical head-thumper “Kitty Kitty” sits comfortably between dark pop and grimy hip-hop with lingering guitar basslines and Watson’s alluring echos transporting us to late night car drives with nothing but miles ahead.
We caught up with the rising star to discuss the new EP, his creative process, and making the jump from songwriter to artist.
(LEFT) Shirt EQUIPMENT, jewellery TALENT’S OWN
(RIGHT) Shirt CASABLANCA, sunglasses GENTLE MONSTER, jewellery TALENT’S OWN
Hi Watson! How’s lockdown been?
Lockdown has been better than expected. It has given me a lot of time to really focus on my work and write new music. I’ve been able to focus alot of energy into using this time as a positive, creative outlet. I am very proud of the music I have been making and feel it’s some of my best work yet.
How has it affected your creativity?
It hasn’t had any real negative affect on my creativity. I’ve always been locked in my house, I really value my alone time. So I’m use to this level of quarantine. It’s always easier for me personally to write in a place of silence, so the world is a little quieter.
How has growing up in LA impacted your sound?
Take a second and really look at the diversity in LA. That alone best describes my musical expression. There are many colours and shapes that accent LA. I try my best to show all of them. We are living in a melting pot of culture.
You started off as a professional songwriter but then switched to writing your own music, what prompted this?
I always wrote my own music even when it wasn’t for myself. Now I’m strictly focused on my music as an artist. However, when I write a song it’s not just for me, It’s for everyone. My goal is to write music that is true to myself but relatable to everyone that listens. I want to write honest, vulnerable and relatable lyrics.
How do you differentiate between writing a song for yourself and for someone else?
I don’t. Regardless of who I’m writing for I will always write a song that is true to me. The only difference is that when I’m writing for someone else they have a specific style or vibe they are going for and I try to write for that style. But lyrically the songs are still me. At the end of the day a good song is a good song and the best song always wins.
Your EP is called “HALLELUJAH, I’M FREE’”, what inspired this title?
I was stuck in some bad contracts with different people for a long time. I wasn’t able to focus on myself as an artist and was feeling like I was at a bit of a standstill in my career. I worked with my team for two years to get out of those deals. Now I’m officially free and truly independent. No one can tell me what to do or what to write. I am able to express myself how I want to and be the person, and artist that I want to be. Hallelujah, I’m Free.
Your song “Dance Along” has become quite the TikTok sensation, how does it feel knowing your song has gone viral?
I don’t pay much attention to that. It definitely feels good knowing that there are people out there connecting with my song. That’s what it’s all about. If I make a song and it goes viral because people are identifying with it and enjoying it, that’s just a bonus.
“Kitty Kitty” was inspired by a bout of celibacy, what was that journey like?
It was a stressful and lonely journey. The only true relief I felt was from music. I’ve always used music as a creative outlet to express myself. I had a lot on my mind and music was my way to work through it.
Your EP touches upon a lot of emotions, what was the creative process like in writing and production?
The overall process was smooth. It came about naturally and the final product fit perfectly. I have found an amazing producer in Sakai. Our work flow is effortless and we feed off of each other’s energy. When you find a creative partnership like that the process is not only easy but more importantly fun.
What do you want people to take away from the EP?
Most importantly, that it’s ok to express yourself however you want. Don’t be afraid of the feelings you have. Let them loose, you’re not alone.
What’s next now the EP is out?
My album is about 95% done. The first single is dropping in August and I’m really excited for people to hear it!
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