British DJ Fred Again released his third album Actual Life 3 (January 1 – September 9 2022) last week, the final part of his Actual Life time-stamped trilogy of albums that samples voice notes from friends and viral social media clips.
Why should IGAF: With a profile in The New York Times, gigs that sell out in under 60 seconds and even a fan-made website that turns you into a Fred Again song, the DJ has had a meteoric rise to fame in recent months and become one of the biggest and most relevant electronic artists in the world this year.
- Even if you think you don’t know Fred Again, you probably do. Before starting his electronic side project Fred Again, he was music producer Fred Gibson. Having produced singles for Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, and George Ezra, Gibson was responsible for a third of the UK No 1 singles in 2019
- In 2019, Gibson began a project titled Actual Life under the moniker Fred Again, in which he samples intimate voice notes, real-life recordings from friends and strangers as well as viral posts on YouTube and Instagram, then incorporates them into original tracks.
- Gibson released the first of these albums, titled Actual Life (April 14 – December 17 2020), in April 2021. He released a follow-up, Actual Life 2 (February 2 – October 15 2021), later that year in November
- There was little press around the release of Actual Life, but the album gained enormous traction in the months that followed due to social media and word-of-mouth buzz with Fred Again building a devoted fanbase.
Behind The Facts
- Actual Life was described by Gibson as “a collaborative diary of the DJ’s experiences during COVID-19”/. With all the tracks produced on his laptop while living in pandemic-enforced isolation, the album became the soundtrack for an entire generation of younger listeners who had lived through lockdown.
- The album’s track Marea (we’ve lost dancing) on Actual Life (which featured The Blessed Madonna) became an anthem for pandemic-weary listeners. The song describes the loss of dancing and clubbing during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also looks forward to its return.
- In July 2022, Fred Again filmed a viral (and undeniably epic) set for Boiler Room TV in London that was packed with then-unreleased tracks from his final album in the trilogy, Actual Life 3. His Boiler Room set went viral and sits at over eight million views on YouTube in just three months (For reference, Kaytandra’s iconic Boiler Room set that was posted eight years ago has 18 million views)
- Fred Again’s Boiler Room set saw his popularity surge and attract a new legion of fans eagerly awaiting the release of Actual Life 3
- Fred Again’s music shuns the conventions of electronic music with Gibson’s sampling of his actual life on his tracks and this authenticity has struck a chord with a generation who lived through the pandemic.
- Fred Again comes full circle on those experiences with After Life 3 — celebrating the return to nightclubs after years of lockdown while reminding listeners “to never forget what we nearly lost.”