FLETCHER Debuts New Power Ballad "Wasted Youth," Interview

FLETCHER Debuts New Power Ballad "Wasted Youth," Interview

The up-and-coming singer is back with a new single just in time for her EP release

The up-and-coming singer is back with a new single just in time for her EP release

Text: Jillian Selzer

It seems that 2016 is the year of new artists trumping their seniors. From Troye Sivan to Tove Lo, those who were once up-and-comers are now bonafide influencers, and New York-based singer FLETCHER is no exception. From 40 million Spotify streams to a performance with The Knocks on Justin Bieber's Purpose Tour, the artist is quickly making her mark on the industry.

With a new EP on the way, FLETCHER gives us “Wasted Youth”, a power ballad covering rebellion and adventure that can only be associated with the naiveté and optimism unique to Fletcher’s music. The track gives us a Rachel Platten vibe circa “Fight Song,” but with a certain edge provided by the singer’s powerful voice and edgy style.

In conjunction with the track’s premiere, V chatted with FLETCHER about her artistic inspiration, work ethic, and upcoming album. The Finding Fletcher EP is set to release on September 30.

Who are your biggest musical influences?

FLETCHER I grew up listening to the really big voices. You know, like Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Barbara Streisand. My mom said that when I was a little girl, I used to sit with a Celine Dion record for hours on end trying to copy her voice note for note. My childhood was also filled with a lot of memories of Bob Marley  and Bruce Springsteen, my Dad constantly had his music on. I am such a Jersey girl.

When it comes to music today that I'm inspired by, I'm intrigued by artists that have the power to move the needle in the pop space, like Lana Del Rey, Lorde, and Ed Sheeran have done in the last few years. I was listening to a ton of Lorde and Fun. when I initially wrote my project in Nashville, they really inspired me sonically.I appreciate artists who make statements with their music, and who have a clear voice and strong identity. These days, I'm listening to mostly Troye Sivan, BØRNS, and Alessia Cara.

You just graduated from NYU (congrats, by the way). Why was it important to you to finish your education while pursuing your music career?

F I wanted to be able to explore myself as an individual and an artist. Also, I not only wanted to be an artist, but also an entrepreneur. I think it is essential for artists in 2016 to be fully aware of what's happening in all aspects of their careers and to learn how to create a business out of themselves and to keep that business up and running on their own. NYU's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music didn't make me an artist, but certainly taught me how to present myself, prepare myself and protect myself from all situations I may face time and time again during my career.

You've traveled a lot this year with Tennessee, Canada, Coachella and New York on your list of go-to places. What is your top traveling essential?

F I've been doing a lot of traveling which I've been so stoked about. I went to Coachella for the first time ever which was amazing, it was especially cool seeing my friends The Chainsmokers have the standout set at the festival. I'd kill to perform at Coachella one day. I recently got to join The Knocks onstage at Justin Bieber's Purpose World Tour in Canada for a few dates, which was the biggest crowd I've ever performed for. Aside from that, I'm always hopping between New York (where I live), Nashville (where I write all my music), and LA (where literally EVERYTHING is in the pop space right now.) If you couldn't already tell, my #1 travel essential is a selection of hats. I can't go anywhere without my wide brimmed signature Fletcher style hat and a couple of baseball caps.

A lot of your lyrics are very empowering and exciting. What is your songwriting process? What experiences do you draw from?

F Thank you! I write most of my stuff with my collaborator Jamie Kenney. Sometimes songwriting is hard with others because I very much work off of the vibes and energy of people. If I'm not fully comfortable, it's really hard for me to open up and be vulnerable talking about a story I want to write about. Usually, I always start a song with a word or a concept I have in mind. That kickstarts the vibe I'm gunning for, inspiring the melody. Once there's a melody in place, I'll start putting some lyrics to it slowly and then it all kind of starts coming together like pieces to a puzzle. I'm really inspired by my surroundings and intuition. Most songs I write for myself are very personal, whether I'm sharing parts of myself or how I see and feel others around me. Even when I'm talking about something that's negative I try to put a hopeful and triumphant spin into it. I feel like you have to be lost before you can be found, those experiences truly make us who we are and inspire our stories.

Who is your dream collaborator?

F Oh Lord, definitely Lorde. Yep, Lorde. 100%, Lorde. I would love to just watch her create her art in the studio, I'm so ready for her new record. I love what she represents in music and how she's created such a unique lane for herself. She's such an honest lyrical genius and an undeniable rebel in the pop space who has completely flipped the industry's perception of what it means to be a female pop star.

Describe your EP in three words.

F Colorful. Empowering. Triumphant.

Spotify has been a huge facilitator of your music going viral. What role do you think social media and streaming services have on helping young artists grow?

F My song "War Paint" was #1 most socially shared track on Spotify last summer which started everything for me. Spotify then selected me as one of their Spotlight artists for 2016 alongside Troye Sivan and Astrid S and following in the footsteps of some artists I really look up to like Tove Lo and Hozier. I owe so much to my team at Spotify for championing the project. The coolest thing to happen in my career thus far may have been being on the cover of New Music 2x. I mean literally everyone follows that playlist, it's how they find their new music. That, and social media. It's so much more instrumental to independent and new artists than I ever would've imagined. Take Halsey, for example, her cult following across social platforms paved the way for her to sell out Madison Square Garden in one year's time and in literally like minutes of pre-sale. I want to be able to do that.

Another example is my close friend Maggie Rogers who went to school with me. She was able to launch her career off of a video that went totally bonkers viral. Her song was resonating with people all over the world before it was released officially. Social media can do amazing things for artists and their careers, whether it's forming fan relationships, creating collaboration opportunities or just getting your music out there. I've learned that you should never be afraid to slide into someone's DMs.

Credits: Photo by Moses Moreno

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