Chatting With 20-Year-Old Scottish Singer-Songwriter Dylan Fraser About New His EP, Making Music During COVID, and More

Scottish bred musician Dylan Fraser has been on the rise for the past year or so, and it helps that he’s gotten co-signs from major artists like THE Elton John, Sam Smith, and Zane Lowe, to name a few. At only 20-years-old, Fraser has found quite the success at such an early stage of his career, including releasing his debut EP in 2020, titled The Storm, which featured the debut single “Vipers,” a song that eventually earned a sync on the FIFA 21 Soundtrack.

First teaching himself guitar at the young age of 12-years-old, Dylan was quickly enveloped in building a career in music for himself.

Fraser’s new EP The World Isn’t Big When You Know How It Works was created with Jonah Summerfield, Fraser’s close collaborator, along with John Lenox (Kanye West, Travis Scott), and Dave Hamelin (070 Shake): three producers with impressive rap sheets in the hip-hop genre.

The World Isn’t Big When You Know How It Works marries alternative, rock, and hip-hop music into a seamless genre that seems entirely Fraser’s own: with vocals reminiscent of artists like Troye Sivan and Sam Fender.

Speaking about the EP a few months’ back, Dylan said: “The new EP finds me destructing experiences in my life, be that relationships, anxiety or the weight of the world. Nobody prepares you for growing up; you have to figure it out as you go, and these seven tracks are a representation of my life in real time, doing just that.”

Read our Q&A with Fraser below:

Staged Haze: You were signed to Atlantic Records in 2020 and essentially had to rethink your entire 2020 year due to the ongoing COVID pandemic. How does it feel to finally be able to release music and tour it properly?

Fraser: It’s the most insane feeling ever. Seeing a bunch of people in a room again is fucking terrifying but also the best feeling at the same time. It’s good to see everyone connecting through their love of music. I felt like I was missing that part of it, the live part. I’ve been releasing music all through the pandemic and I’ve not had the chance to play any of it live yet so I’ve been buzzing off it. 

Staged Haze: You recorded some of the tracks off your new EP via FaceTime with your producer. What did that process look like? What challenges did you face? Anything about this that you surprisingly enjoyed?

Fraser: FUCK FACETIME SESSIONS!!!!!! Never doing that again. It takes 10x longer to do the most simple things and don’t get me started on my shit WiFi. It was a mess but we made it work. 

Staged Haze: Most of our readers are in the United States. What was it like growing up in Scotland? Did it shape your musical influences/preferences?

Fraser: I grew up in a small town and I think it shaped my music in the sense that there wasn’t a lot to do haha so I ended up spending a lot of time in my room and on the internet. The internet opened me up to so many different artists & genres and really helped me shape my sound and the music I love today. 

Staged Haze: Going off that previous question, what musicians (past and present) have inspired your music? 

Fraser: There are hundreds but to name a few I’d say Thom Yorke, Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, Kanye West, and Joni Mitchell. I love that you never expect anything from them it’s always different. My favourite kind of artists are the ones that I wanna stay up till midnight for to hear their new project because I have literally no idea what it’s gonna sound like. 

Staged Haze: We’re big fans of Samia – your voices sound incredible together! How did that collaboration come about?

Fraser: Thank you! I’m a huge fan of Samia too. Her album The Baby was a big part of my 2020 life. I reached out to her last year to see if she’d be interested in getting in the studio and she said yes which I was buzzing about. So, we wrote a song (which isn’t out yet) and just kept in touch from there and when I was putting together my recent EP, I just knew “Only A Fool” would sound so good with her voice on it. I built up the balls to ask her and to my surprise she said yes! She sounds incredible on it and I’m super happy we could make it happen. 

Staged Haze: Fave song off the EP?

Fraser: Definitely “Nightmare.” It just gives me this energy that I can’t explain. 

Staged Haze: What are you looking forward to in 2022?

Fraser: I’m just excited to keep making more music and tour and connect with a bunch of new creatives that I love. 

Staged Haze: Our website aims to promote “music’s best kept secrets” – we think you’re one of them, of course. Who are you listening to at the moment that we should get on our readers’ radar?

Fraser: I’m listening to so much right now. Some of my favourites:

Alaska Reid
Dora Jar

Staged Haze: Anything else you’d like to add?

Fraser: I hate carrots. Also, cucumbers. How can you enjoy either of these things? 

Fraser is set to tour on select dates with Holly Humberstone in 2022. Click here for more info.

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