Baltimore-native Austin Bey just released his debut project F__k u Thought to Fifteen.Gallery. It's a short listen with 3 tracks, the entire project clocking in just under 6 minutes. The entire project is produced by Bey himself. And its use of syncopated drums and samples compliment the textures added by Bey's voice. A step away from being a minimal offering, F__k u Thought is a lyrical mood offering. Austin Bey shifts from materialistic desires in "I Need Dat" to the self-assured title track "F__k u Thought." The EP is a concise listen. Oddly enough it doesn't beg to be replayed or a deeper listen. This creates a type of aura around each of Bey's lyrics. So yea, we hit the replay button a few times. And we had to tag Bey for an interview to dive into his thoughts regarding his creative process and what's in store for him the rest of 2018.
Stream Austin Bey latest EP "F__k u Thought" below.
How long have you writing and engineering your own music?
I’ve been writing and producing longer than I haven’t been. I started making beats on the computer at around 8 or 9 years old. But before that I was making beats on the PS2 lol Funkmaster Flex’s Digital Hit Factory. Obviously it wasn’t very good but that’s where I got the start. I’m 20 now so around 10 or 11 years I’ve been playing around with stuff. Probably about a year and a half of actually being good at making music.
"I was really just trying to make the process of making music fun for me again."
How would you describe your take on music being that your from the DMV? There’s a lot of artists out there like Kinsey Matthews and they’re all trying to get noticed.
So the thing is Baltimore isn’t really the DMV. I know it’s pretty confusing but yeah. Baltimore and PG County; the difference between the two cultures is pretty crazy. So I couldn't really speak on the DMV, but how Baltimore relates to my music it's moreso in my voice and the way I say certain things. I love what’s going on in the city though. There’s a lot a lot a lot of talent here and yeah we’re all trying to carve out a piece of success.
So how do you distinguish yourself with such tight competition?
I don’t really feel the need to knowingly separate myself, you know? I think with my particular influences and my experience of learning music does it for me. I don’t think I have a lot in common with many artists in Baltimore musically. I like to think I’m in my own little lane but maybe I just haven’t been exposed to the right stuff just yet.
Tell us the concept behind F__k u Thought?
I was really just trying to make the process of making music fun for me again. I hit a bit of a rough patch in the middle of the year nearing the end. And it wasn’t much fun to do. I had to hit the reset button at the end of the year kind of like gearing up for a New Years resolution in a way. When I think of something to describe the EP what really comes to mind is ‘drag music’ which is Baltimore vernacular. ‘Dragging’ has so many different meanings but ultimately you’ll know it when you see or hear it. I think it aptly describes the music I have on this EP.
Are there any big name artists out now that have helped shape your idea of music and your approach to music?
Definitely. Of course. Just being a fan of music will do that to you. A really big influence on me is Justin Vernon. You wouldn’t hear it in the music but just my ideas on music and the way I approach creating art has been largely in part by his career and the music he’s made. Another would be Mike Dean. He’s definitely my favorite producer of all time. I like to think that we think about instrumentation about the same. We both play guitar and keys. We both love and own Moog synths lol. He’s obviously better at the things we do.
1ACCORD recently featured your mix to Brent Faiyaz’s Insecure and your song “Traffic” with SHDW. What has your experience been like collaborating with these artists?
SHDW and I are good peoples. We don’t work with each other very often but we’re always talking about some albums that’s come out recently or maybe new gear that’s been announced. And we’re always trading mixing tips. I love working with SHDW because he really gets music he’s so knowledgeable honestly along with being a really talented rapper. That level of talent is hard to come by. I don’t work with many artists so it’s a nice change of pace really.
Fifteen.Gallery. That the squad?
Fifteen.Gallery is definitely the squad! And should be your squad too lol It should be everyone’s squad. It’s actually my organization and we’re all about empowering artists. Any kind of revenue made is donated to fund projects or put money in the pockets of artists. I’m really in the business of putting art back into the hands of people and making things accessible to everyone. Fifteen is my conduit to doing so.
Plans for 2018?
Plans? Not really honestly lol. I would like to build off of the year of learning I just experienced. Maybe this is the year I put an instrument in my son’s hands. I just want to make art the center of my focus. I wouldn’t mind producing for people. I’m just trying to let whatever happens, happen.
Thinking of "I Need Dat." Got any jewelry? lol
Lol yeah I got some jewelry that I love. I’m a big watch guy. I’m trying to learn more about them in my spare time. I have a bit of a collection of watches. And then as you can see on the cover of the EP I have the gold grills shining on me at all times. 24K top and bottom on my teeth. I don’t have the chain that I really like anymore. I have no idea what happened to it. Maybe I got a little too drunk and lost it. But it’s all good because I have a dog tag with a picture of my son on it. That's the only chain I need.