Artist Of The Week // DYING IN DESIGNER
There’s no shame in admitting that you’re not alright, and dying in designer lays his own experience on the table in his debut album to create a gritty and cathartic body of work.
The emo-rap combination is one that’s becoming more common, but one newcomer that’s standing out in this field is dying in designer. Bringing his own experiences into his music, what follows is a collection of tracks that come from the heart and bears all the scars and pain of the artist. Yet instead of feeling heavy and depressing, there’s an odd comfort to be found in the honest lyricism as listeners empathise and share in the emotions being conveyed through impassioned rapping and melancholic melodies.
A personal feeling persists throughout his debut album Nobody’s Happy.; the heartbreaking Hopeless Romantic poses questions such as ‘would you die for me too?’ amongst a wearied accompaniment, whilst Down N Out channels more of a rock vibe through the fiery electric guitars. Final track Hollow neatly sums up the exhaustion that’s permeated through the album in its frank lyrics – ‘I don’t wanna try, I’m tired of my life’ – but amongst all of the negativity, a relieving catharsis can be found and it won’t take long for the catchy beats to be stuck in your head.
Keen to get a further insight, we chatted to dying in designer about the writing of the album, and his fears and dreams amongst other topics.
Can you explain the main themes and ideas behind the new album? What messages were you trying to get across with these songs?
I titled the album Nobody’s Happy. because if you take a look around and really pay attention, nobody seems genuinely happy. I think it’s a part of being human – we deal with different emotions daily, and it’s very hard for us just to be content. That’s what Nobody’s Happy. is about – that it’s okay to feel the way you feel. Plus I experienced the worst year of my life and happiness was hard to come by. My album Nobody’s Happy. is about my ex-girlfriend (except Highs) and just problems that come with being in a toxic relationship. I wrote a majority of these during the relationship and some after as well. I was in a super bad place and each song is a reflection of what I was going through.
You have laid a lot of things bare on Nobody’s Happy., was there anything particularly difficult to share to the public?
I think putting yourself out there to the world is always difficult, especially in my situation when I’m speaking about past experiences that were so dark and depressing.
Were there any unexpected surprises, whether pleasant or unpleasant, that you encountered during the course of writing and recording the album?
I had really bad bronchitis – probably from recording so much and overusing my vocals. The doctor told me not to drink on the medication, but I did anyway, so I had bronchitis for a solid four months when I was recording the album in its entirety so that was probably the most unpleasant thing. Studio sessions were tough, couldn’t get through them without like 10+ cups of hot tea, a shit load of water, cough drops, and my inhaler.
Are there any lyrics on the album that particularly stand out to you and why?
Highs in its entirety. That song is hands down the deepest. I wrote this song with one of my best friends Steve the day Mac Miller passed. This song is about two different experiences relating to the pain of losing a loved one to drugs. My childhood best friend OD’ed on his birthday and was pronounced dead… luckily he was brought back to life by the paramedics. Steve’s buddy died of the same opiate 3 years prior and Mac Miller had died that day from the same thing. Days later, Mac Miller died of an OD from the same substances my friend did. I was so fucked by this because Mac was a big reason I started rapping, and it was already heavily on my mind because of what had just happened to my friend. I called my good buddy/ ex-bandmate Steve, who had lost his friend to the same thing three years prior – I brought over a case of beer and a bottle, and we grieved for a bit then wrote this one.
If you could set Nobody’s Happy. to a movie, which movie would it be the soundtrack to and why?
Not sure which movie, but definitely a TV series about toxic relationships and everything that comes with it.
If your sound had a colour, what colour would it be?
Black fersure…. my album is hella dark.
What’s a motto you live by?
Be the best version of yourself.
What’s your least favourite thing about the internet culture?
Hmmm… probably the fact that I need an employee to unlock tide pods at the store these days. #tidepodchallenge
Name one thing you’re scared of?
Heights you’ll never catch me sky diving it’s a no from me dawg.
What’s your ultimate dream?
To one day have the #1 album in the world!
And finally, what does music mean to you?
Music means the absolute world to me; it is my purpose… the reason I was put on this earth.
Nobody’s Happy. is out now via Hopeless Records.