Fred Again.. is preparing to drop Actual Life 3 (January 1 – September 9 2022), and nearly every album cycle includes a sit-down with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe. The 2020 BRITs Producer Of The Year discussed his diaristic writing style, being mentored by Brian Eno, meeting Burna Boy, and working with Ed Sheeran.
Fred explained that he admires artists who deeply know themselves, like Burna Boy and Stormzy. “I think that’s probably why I’m so inspired by rappers a lot,” he said. “That’s probably why I work a lot in that world because so entwined in the culture of that is a degree of, like, self-security.” He added, “And, of course, Ed because Ed low-key comes from that world, too.”
Lowe brought up the first time he remembered Sheeran mentioning Fred Again.. to him, saying, “It was like he had discovered some kind of symbol of chemistry that no one had ever discovered before. And you were obviously making music before that, but from his point of view, he was like, ‘I found my guy.'”
Fred Again.. reciprocated Sheeran’s sentiment: “We were very sort of twins from the beginning. We have a very similar taste and upbringing in music. So, it was very natural and effortless. And we both like to write quickly. And the thing I would say mostly from… it’s similar to Burna Boy, actually. And it’s the instincts thing. He’s just instinct, instinct, instinct, instinct. Every time he’s writing, it’s just like, ‘Go, go, go, go, work it out later.’ And sometimes there’ll be a little tweak you make later, but fundamentally, the thing is born from instinct, and then you can fine tune the thing beyond that.”
Fred Again.. is credited as a producer on all but four of the 15 tracks on Sheeran’s 2019 album No.6 Collaborations, including “Beautiful People” featuring Khalid, “I Don’t Care” featuring Justin Bieber, and “Take Me Back To London” featuring Stormzy. He also co-produced Sheeran’s singles “Bad Habits” and “Shivers” from last year’s = (Equals).
Watch Fred Again..’s full chat with Lowe above.
Actual Life 3 (January 1 – September 9 2022) is out 10/28 via Atlantic Records. Pre-order it here.
Some artists discussed are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.