Sawyer Fredericks on structuring his life and his music – The Daily Gazette
For much of the past year, singer / songwriter Sawyer Fredericks has lived with his partner in an approximately 700 square foot apartment near downtown Troy.
“It’s very different to live on a farm. It’s cool. He has a lot of character. I enjoyed it, ”said Fredericks, who won NBC’s“ The Voice ”(season 8) and grew up on a farm in Montgomery County.
Fredericks, 22, says it’s the first time he’s been living with someone other than a family member, and so far it’s been going well. He says he and his partner, whom he met at a climbing gym about five years ago while his partner was attending Russell Sage College, share the housework and chores. But, honestly, Fredericks says the tidying up is nothing compared to what he’s used to growing up on a farm.
“We both have a responsibility to make sure the apartment is clean,” Fredericks said. “I can’t even really call them chores. I’m so used to chores like “you’re going to go out into the barn and get a giant stall dirty.” So am I sweeping the floor? It’s easy.
Fredericks is back in Troy after a fall tour with The Accidentals, a tour that saw him showcase his latest album “Flowers For You”, which was released in May 2020 but had not had a suitable tour due of the pandemic. Although not on the road, Fredericks, who recently posted on Facebook that he has never had alcohol, said he is working on new music and is also hooking up with fans on social media through Sawyer’s Sunday Socials, which are weekly live streaming sessions as part of a concert. , part Q and A with fans.
Fredericks told The Daily Gazette how he evolved as a musician since winning “The Voice” at the age of 16, and what it was like to be an artist during the pandemic. Here’s an edited transcript of the conversation, starting with a discussion of Fredericks’ latest album.
Q: How do you describe the album “Flowers For You”?
A: It’s one of the albums I’m most proud of. I feel like I put a lot of my personality into it, and a lot of the stories are inspired by personal experiences. I am also very happy to have been able to work with my group on this. We actually wrote [some songs] together. We wrote the instrumentation before we wrote the lyrics. I feel like this album really showcases my other band members, where previous albums I think the focus is a lot more on me. So a lot of the instrumentation of my band members shines, which I’m really happy about. A song they wrote to me is called “Call it Good”. This song is also about environmental justice.
Q: Do you want to be more political or have more message in your post now?
A .: I would say that with the lyrics, I want to become a little more political with environmental stuff. But other than that, not too much. But it is also something that I do not find completely political.
Q: At least it shouldn’t be.
A: It shouldn’t be. But above all, I want to tell stories. If I become political, it will only be from personal experiences.
Q: What does the idea of “flowers for you” mean?
A: It’s also the title song. This song is inspired by a lot of things, but this song, there are lyrics that say, [paraphrasing] “Why am I growing flowers for you?” It’s a song about many relationships that this person comes in and out of and slowly trying to figure out why they’re doing all of these things for this other person. And he wants the relationship to slow down so he can understand why he’s doing these things. So that’s asking why am I growing flowers for you?
Q: Do you feel like you’ve moved on too quickly in your past relationships?
A: I would say yes. … It’s also a self-deprecating song because it’s kind of frustrated with myself for being somehow influenced by someone’s appearance instead of their personality and not really see the full picture.
Q: How is “Flowers For You” different from the music you wrote when you were a teenager?
A: Well, some of the songs I wrote back then, at least one of the songs, “Not My Girl”, we did it again for the “Flowers For You” album. I wrote this song when I was 12. So a lot of this new album is actually inspired by some of the styles I was doing when I was about 13 or 14. It was trying to show my roots in that sense. But I would say the difference is there’s a lot more, I guess, in technical improvements. Just musically and how the songs are created and the structures of the songs. I also feel that I have started to convey more emotions in my songs, and I have become more poetic.
Q: Do you think it comes with age?
A: And also just the time.
Q: What would you like to say to the version of yourself who was on “The Voice”?
A: I would like to tell him to really focus on his original work and try to connect more with my fans to create a community that I can continue to work with.
Q: Do you feel like you’ve lost touch with your fans?
A: Not really. I feel like I have a lot of “The Voice” fans, and I feel like I’ve stayed in touch with a lot of them. But I mean, I have almost 100,000 followers on Instagram [92.1k at time of writing], and I feel like I only see about 3,000 most of the time. I also saw that a lot of my fans are more “The Voice” fans. So they follow the show more than the individual artists who are actually on the show. So in that sense I would like to connect more.
Q: What do you think it will take for your fanbase to grow with you?
A: I think that’s a lot of what I’m doing now, reaching out on social media so people can see me and form some kind of relationship with me. I think it really cultivates that kind of relationship, because people are starting to be around me, at least in a digital sense.
Q: How do you think the pandemic has affected you as an artist?
A: Not being able to tour and having to rock everything on social media was definitely a mess for me. I wouldn’t say I like to switch to social media. I really, really miss playing in front of an audience, and I realized it more and more as I did the “lives”. [livestreams]. [The livestreams] helped, but I still missed that kind of connection. And I felt like I performed better when I’m in front of people who are connected to my songs and who are able to connect to the emotions of the songs. With these lives, I play on a screen that has my face on it. So it’s not natural to me, and I don’t feel like I connect with audiences that much, even though I see comments and stuff like that – and hearts. It’s always a hard thing not to hear applause, to hear laughter, to just hear all these things that make an artist perform, oh, I play.
Q: What about writing songs? How did the pandemic affect you there?
A: For a while, I felt like it was very difficult for me to write. Recently, I feel like I finally have a bigger picture of this thing I want to create. I’m working on about four songs to create an EP (extended play). I have other songs I’m working on, but I’m trying to do something with that. And it just lets me see a real structure now. I feel like if I had kept shooting I might not have been able to slow down to be able to work on this. So I’m excited about it.
Q: When can fans expect the EP?
A: I would think at some point this year? (Laughs). Of course this year. I’m pretty sure.
Q: How much time do you spend on the family farm these days?
A: I try to go back every other week, just because I miss my family and I miss the farm.
Q: Who is there?
A: My mother, my father, my cousin and my two brothers. So everyone who was there besides me.
Q: What do you do when you get home?
A: I try to help as much as possible if there is work to be done. Most of the time I end up showing up at night, so I’m there bringing hay bales to the cows, feeding the pigs and stuff like that. I also play some games with my brothers. We are playing a card game called “Magic: The Gathering”.
Q: When do you expect to be on the road next time?
A: I’d love to give when we do, but we’re still structuring that. We are planning on doing a race in Texas, but also planning some local shows, but the dates are yet to be determined. It takes a little longer to structure itself.
Andrew Waite can be reached at [email protected] and at 518-417-9338. Follow him on Twitter @UpstateWaite.
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