Fraser T Smith announces new artist Project Future Utopia with debut album '12 Questions'
Out 23 October via Platoon/70Hz
AN INCREDIBLE ROLL CALL OF SOME OF BRITAIN’S MOST VITAL AND BRILLIANT ARTISTS FEATURE ON THE ALBUM INCLUDING: STORMZY, DAVE, KANO, GHETTS, BASTILLE, ES DEVLIN, SIMON ARMITAGE & IDRIS ELBA
LISTEN TO THE BRAND-NEW SINGLE AND FIRST NEW MUSIC FROM THE PROJECT, DO WE REALLY CARE? PT.1 FEATURING TOM GRENNAN AND TIA CARYS AND DO WE REALLY CARE? PT.2 FEATURING SIMON ARMITAGE BELOW
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World renowned producer, songwriter and musician Fraser T Smith has today announced details of his new artist project FUTURE UTOPIA. His album 12 Questions features an incredible array of guest features including Stormzy, Dave, Kano, Ghetts and Bastille, as well as artists Es Devlin and Katrin Fridriks, poets Simon Armitage, Arlo Parks and Alysia Harris and former Black Panther, Albert Woodfox. 12 Questions will be released via London based artist services company Platoon and Fraser’s own label 70Hz on 23rd October.
The album is based on a series of twelve universal, human and urgent questions, each of which is posed by Fraser to a different collaborator. The questions are born of Fraser’s own anxieties concerning topics such as faith, freedom, race, gender, wealth, equality and ecology. The album runs as a continuous composition, with clear delineation between each of its twelve questions.
Speaking about the album, Fraser says:
‘I made this record not because I could but because I had to - there was no other way to progress. It’s the most ambitious, exciting and terrifying thing I’ve ever done. Creatively, it’s a colourful musical playground - the culmination of everything I’ve learned over my career, from 70’s progressive rock to hip hop. Culturally, it’s a celebration of humanity, whilst shining a light on some of the cruel injustices in the world. I’m so proud and humbled by the hugely diverse group of collaborators who have spoken their truths on the album. I hope the answers will enlighten the listeners and stir debate’.
The first single to be released from the album, Do We Really Care? Pt.1 is out now, following a ‘Hottest Record’ play From Clara Amfo on Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 show. The track features Tom Grennan and breaking Londoner Tia Carys on vocals and its threads of clarinet and saxophone transition into an expansive, haunting choral version of Lovin’ Spoonful’s 1966 classic Summer in the City. When posed the question, ‘Do We Really Care?’ on Do We Really Care? Pt.2, Poet Laureate Simon Armitage’s potent words offer a touching yet skeptical response; ‘here we go, planting our poppies then torching the forest, carelessly, serious’.
The powerfully moving, How Do We Find Our Truth? sees Stormzy tell the story of the moment his life was transformed by faith, alongside the voice and moving words of mother Beatrice Mushiya, who provides an account of her son Duran’s tragic death in 2016.
Leading stage artist and designer Es Devlin interrogates our anxieties around technology and AI by considering the question Why Are We So Divided, When We’re So Connected? which acclaimed British rapper Dave tackles in commanding fashion on Children Of The Internet; ‘your software’s bettering, your phone knows everything, if anything it’s getting George Orwellian’.
What’s The Cost Of Freedom? meanwhile, features former Black Panther Albert Woodfox, who spent 43 years unjustly incarcerated in a Louisiana State Penitentiary. UK Grime legend Kano’s rap on the subsequent track Freedom defines the notion of freedom as being the ability to be creative and self-express.
As a producer for some of music’s biggest names, Fraser T Smith has a remarkable track record. He has worked with the likes of Adele, for whom he co-wrote and produced the Grammy winning single Set Fire To The Rain (2011), as well as Stormzy, whose BRIT Award winning debut album Gang Signs & Prayer (2018) Fraser wrote on and produced. Fraser also contributed to Stormzy’s second album Heavy Is The Head (2019), reaching the number one spot on both the UK Official Singles and Albums Chart in January 2020. Fraser worked with Dave to co-produce his Mercury Prize winning debut album Psychodrama (2019) and accompanied Dave for an electrifying performance of his track Black at this year’s BRIT Awards. It is this catalogue of work that has seen Fraser become one of the most in demand creators in contemporary music today.
12 Questions is out on 23rd October via Platoon/70Hz. The album’s first single Do We Really Care? Pt.1 featuring Tom Grennan and Tia Carys is out now.
12 Questions tracklist:
Source Murray Chalmers PR
August 13, 2020 6:23am ET by Murray Chalmers PR