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10th March 2023

Fred again..’s rise to fame

Having sold out Madison Square Garden and gone viral on TikTok, what is it about the producer that has resonated with so many dance music fans?
Fred again..’s rise to fame
Photo: Fred again.. @ Theo Batterham

Fred again.. (Fred Gibson) is rapidly dominating the dance music scene following the exponential growth of his solo music career.

After working as a BRIT Award winning producer on major tracks including ‘Bad Habits’ by Ed Sheeran, ‘Shot Gun’ by George Ezra, ‘Make It Right’ by BTS, and ‘Baby’ by Aitch and Ashanti, Fred has proven his capabilities to create crucial songs spanning different genres. But he is currently focused on expanding his solo project, Fred again.. . 

His album series Actual Life is resonating with fans globally for encompassing “actual life”, through using found sounds taken from his own experience such as soundbites from nights out and voice messages left for him by his friends. The messages in these songs hit Fred’s audience due to their relevance in modern life, touching on sensitive topics such as mental illness as well as more trivial – but still important – themes like the love shared between friends. These ideas, paired with catchy beats, have made a new soundtrack for young people to experience their daily life to, as well as creating euphoric festival experiences. 

Fred’s rise in popularity seems to have stemmed from the release of ‘Merea (we’ve lost dancing)’, a song sampling the artist The Blessed Madonna talking about the importance of dancing and music during the pandemic. Not only speaking to the importance of music, the track includes messages of the vitality of friends. Naturally, these messages touched fans through the universality of the pandemic experience. 

In the past year however, Fred’s audience has grown massively. This can perhaps be credited to TikTok, with the use of his songs as sounds growing from 18,539 (as of April 30 2022) to 107,120 (as of February 20 2023). His Spotify growth has mimicked this, with his playlist reach sitting at 58,427,818 on April 30 2022 and now 177,438,724, as of February 20 2023. Fred again..’s impressive stats can also be seen on YouTube: his Boiler Room set is the fourth most watched with 15 million views, overtaking dance music legends such as Skrillex, Bicep, and Disclosure.

Fred again.. has teamed up with his best friends Skrillex and Fourtet to play pop up shows globally, and these have become infamous for being impossible to get tickets to. The trio sold out New York City’s Madison Square Garden, a 20,789 capacity venue, in seconds for a pop up five-hour rave on February 18. This came after the release of Skrillex’s much anticipated new album Quest For Fire, which features hit single ‘Rumble’, co-created with Fred again.. and Flowdan.

Fred’s huge recent success is also a credit to his persona, as he’s always seen smiling and seems to be genuinely full of joy for the music he is creating and the lives he is touching. In an interview with Mixmag in the lead-up to the 2022 BRIT Awards, Fred said ‘‘I don’t wanna be disrespectful to [BRIT Awards], but I so don’t care [about winning]! I care a lot more about making the good stuff’’.

It is rare for an artist to have this attitude these days, so it is refreshing to see a wholesome creator who cares solely about the quality of music he is releasing for the fans. During the run-up to the 2023 BRIT Awards, Fred again.. flooded his social media not with voting forms, like other nominees, but with the festivals he was playing in Australia and how grateful he was to be able to experience this version of ‘real life’ his music and fans have created for him.

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