Interview with Dawson Fuss
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember, but when I was five, my mom signed me up for a musical theater after-school class and I fell in love with music from there! I didn’t start writing music until middle school, though. Puberty, mixed with tween angst, was the perfect combination to get my pen to paper. If I hadn’t gotten into music, I honestly have no idea what I would be doing. Music is such a quintessential part of my identity, and the unimaginable reality of life without music is a testament to its importance:)
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I like to call myself an introverted extrovert, so I spend most of my time alone or with my family. I love to go on night drives where I blast my favorite music and listen to some albums I haven’t heard yet. I think all of that alone time allows me to understand myself fully and be vulnerable when it comes to writing music. I find that music is one of the most vulnerable things one can do because it’s taking something that’s meaningful in my life, essentially writing a poem about it and sharing it with the world and crossing my fingers that people like it.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I’m from Santa Barbara, CA and I go down to LA about once or twice a week, and I think that access to Los Angeles has allowed me to work closely with writers, producers, and mentors I likely wouldn’t be as close with if I didn’t live in California.
What is your dream venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
My dream venue to play at would be the Santa Barbara Bowl. Sure, I’m biased because it’s five minutes from my house, but I saw my first concert there, and it’s one of the prettiest venues I’ve been to. Plus, I hear they have a state of the art sound system, so that definitely couldn’t hurt. I’m going to college in the fall, so this summer, I’m trying to pull everything together for the big move, so unfortunately, I won’t be playing any live shows, but I hope to play a ton at college in Miami, so if you’re in that area, stay tuned!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
The ideal lineup: Ruel, Alexander 23, Conan Gray, Harry Styles, Jeremy Zucker, Lizzy McAlpine, Rex Orange County, Role Model
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
I think my biggest piece of advice to aspiring musicians is just to put yourself out there. I was incredibly nervous to release music at first because of the fear that people wouldn’t like or appreciate it, but I learned that people on the internet have strong opinions, and as long as I’m passionate and proud of my project, that’s all that matters. Make as much music as you can and share it with the world!
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
To be completely honest, I don’t think I would change anything about my past. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and if I had given myself advice at a pivotal point in my life, I’m not sure I’d be the same person I am today. If I had to, I would just tell myself to do what makes me happy, not what other people say makes me happy.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I think my new single, “Upper Hand” means the most to me because it really feels like a turning point for me as an artist. I experimented with it and really liked the way it turned out, so I hope you all do too!
What is the creative process for Dawson Fuss and what inspires you to write your music?
My creative process is relatively straight forward (as far as songwriting goes.) I usually go into a songwriting session with something on my mind that I want to write about. Then we usually talk about it for an hour or two and write down cool things we say. Then we look at everything we’ve written down and go from there. There are some days where the song comes together in a couple hours and there are days where we only write a verse and chorus in six hours, but each of those days are equally as fun and fulfilling to me.
Tell us a bit more about your latest single “Upper Hand.”
“Upper Hand” is a song I wrote about a year and a half ago that I actually forgot about until I was going through one of my folders and I found it. It sounded much different at the time but knew it had some potential. I was super inspired by Jeremy Zucker’s “Crusher” album and his integration of pop and punk and wanted to see how my music sounded with that direction, and as soon as the producer and I worked on the first round of production, I fell in love with it. I think the production perfectly supports the message of the song.
The song itself is about one of my friends telling me she overheard my ex telling his friends a different story of how things ended. I didn’t care much because the relationship had been over for close to a year at that point but thought that concept could make an interesting song.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I want my music to be empowering to those that might not have the words to express whatever they’re going through. “Upper Hand” is one of the few songs I’ve written about other people, but my music typically focuses on learning about myself and how to be more comfortable in my own body. Especially in today’s political climate, music is a vehicle for protest and spreading messages in a more palatable format.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I currently have a second EP in the works, which will come out in the fall, so stay tuned for that! Follow me on social media @dawsonfuss so you can follow my journey and get updated on my new releases!!