Fabian Secon is your new favorite artist out of London. The UK singer-songwriter is a breath of fresh air in the music industry, producing and writing all his own music. Some people may call it “sad boy music,” but he prefers to coin his own genre. “His own art,” to be exact.
With his American father from New York in the States and his Bajan mother from Barbados, the 23-year-old grew up to the likes of Eminem and 50 Cent — which he admits is weird given the softer side he showcases through singing in his music. Most recently, he celebrates his 2018 standout single “What Do I Live For” hitting 2 million streams on Spotify — completely independent with no major backing.
Focused on creating timeless records, he returns with his new single and visual for “9 Deep Breaths,” reminding the masses of the healing power in music. The lyrics are a true reminder that we’re all going through real-life struggles such as anxiety and negative thoughts swarming your mind, but we have the strength to overcome it.
AllHipHop caught up with Fabian Secon to discuss how he got his start in music, “What Do I Live For” being the perfect song, “9 Deep Breaths” being inspired by anxiety, his favorite artists, and more!
AllHipHop: Talk about being influenced by real MCs coming up.
Obviously I sing so when people hear my music, they probably can’t even hear those influences in it. That’s what makes it cool, because a lot of stuff I listened to growing up weren’t singers. Eminem, 50 Cent, Nelly, some English rappers. Ed Sheeren and Coldplay are the singers I listened to, but more so a lot of rap.
AllHipHop: At what point did you realize you wanted to do music as a career?
Fabian Secon: I was always around music because my dad’s a producer and songwriter. I was always around the studio when I was little. I remember he used to take me to sessions. I used to play football, I was into sports. I always did music for fun as a little hobby. When I got to 18, I thought “s##t okay.” Football wasn’t working out so okay, so might as well do music seriously. I was always good at it so age 18 is when I really started taking it seriously.
AllHipHop: Fabian is your real name, did you ever consider another name?
Fabian Secon: At first, I used to call myself little nicknames when I was doing music for fun. Actually when I first started doing music for fun, I was more rapping. I used to have little street names but when I started singing, it’s always cool to have your own name. All the singers I like, Chris Martin (Coldplay) or whoever, they have their own names. I figured it was cool.
AllHipHop: How’s it feel to have “What Do I Live For” hit 2 million streams on Spotify alone?
Fabian Secon: That was real cool. It’s obviously one of my favorite songs personally, which is cool because it’s one of the biggest songs I have. It’s sick. When I first put it out, I was nervous because it’s quite a deep song. Just by the title, people are quite taken aback by it sometimes. Especially when you listen to it, it’s quite a deep song. I remember the night I put it out, I’m like “oh s##t.” It’s an uncomfortable feeling at first when you put out something like that, that you’re going to get judged on and people might not understand fully. That’s why I’m so happy with it because it was worth the risk.
AllHipHop: You just released your single “9 Deep Breaths,” what were you going through when you recorded this one?
Fabian Secon: It was a weird time when we had lockdown. I haven’t really made anything in awhile, sometimes I’ll go for a period where I don’t make music. I need to find some inspiration, music’s the furthest thing from my mind. It was random. One day, “you know what let me make something.” I’d use past experiences. Whether it’s something I’m going through at the time or in the past, I always like to take real things and put it in the music. The anxiety symptoms I go through, I always wanted to touch on it but I wasn’t ever sure how to describe it. “9 Deep Breaths” was a cool title because it’s describing a physical system, but then a bit of a mysterious title because you don’t know what it means until you really dive into the song.
AllHipHop: How does music help your anxiety?
Fabian Secon: Being in the music industry and having to deal with everything that goes with it probably increased my anxiety. It’s a stressful business to be in. Everyone’s business is difficult, but obviously music is very stressful. On one hand, it made it worse at times. But by actually writing about it and getting everything out, helped. It gives you that release. Some things that are harder to speak about, are easier to write and sing about. It’s a weird one, it’s 50/50. When people talk about making sad songs or songs about their feelings, yeah it’s a great release but at the same time, doing music is also stressful too. It goes both ways.
AllHipHop: Do you produce all your own stuff?
Fabian Secon: Yeah, nowadays not everything. If I went through my entire catalog of music that’s up, I’d say 90%. It’s always me now. In the past, I worked with a producer for a song called “Everything” I did recently, and a song called “Grateful” with the same producer. In general, it’s always me. If it’s not me, then with one other person. I like to make my own stuff. Only 2 or 3 producers I’ve worked with have really zoned in on what I’m really about.
For me to make my own beats, I’m the person who knows myself the best, so it makes sense I make my own stuff. My dad bought me equipment for my 18th birthday. I’ll experiment with different types of music but the last couple of years, I’ve really been able to make my own style with the beats. I know how to make the Fabian beat if that makes sense.
AllHipHop: What’s a Fabian kind of beat?
Fabian Secon: I’ve had 2 sides for a while. One was more aggressive with songs like “Girl Named Stacy.” I got a song called “Annihilation” which is a bit more the darker, metal side, then I have the piano ballads like “What Do I Live For,” “9 Deep Breaths” or “Defeated.”
I was picking between the harder beats and the piano but right now, I’m slowed down with the harder beats. Really and truly, the piano ballads and all the slower songs do better for me, they hit a bit harder. You can call it sad pianos, very simple. I don’t like to have too many things going on with the beat because I want my voice to be the extra instrument, rather than having so many things going on and it be confusing.
AllHipHop: What’s your favorite sad song of yours?
Fabian Secon: It has to “What Do I Live For” it has to be. To me, that’s the perfect song. If there’s a perfect song of mine, that’s the perfect song. I always say I don’t think I’ll ever be able to beat it, which I always want to beat it. Every song I do, I want to be as good as possible. If I’m making a track, I can’t put it out unless I really think “this is the best I could’ve done.”
I’d rather wait and keep going till I get something I’m happy with. I’d never want to put out a song where I thought I could do better, it doesn’t really sit well with my spirit. When I first made “9 Deep Breaths,” I said this is my favorite. But “What Do I Live For” has something extra special about it. By the title and the atmosphere, that’s the best one.
AllHipHop: Top 5 artists in rotation?
Fabian Secon: I’m a weird one because for me, I prefer one off songs. It’s probably a reflection of how the music industry is, most people don’t release great projects in general. Obviously there are artists who release great albums but the whole landscape of music right now isn’t “let me make a great album.” It’s very single-lead, singles singles singles.
I can say artists in the past if I have to pick in the last couple years, probably XXXTentacion. That’s someone who I really liked his music. Juice WRLD was really good as well. I like Kodak Black, a few UK rappers. I like these guys called D-Block Europe, Young Adz and Dirtbike LB are cool. If I hear a song, then I like it. That’s how I am now. I don’t zone in on artists as much, which is sad. When I was younger, I was really heavily into artists.
AllHipHop: What can we expect next?
Fabian Secon: Next, did a couple collabs in the pipeline. I’ve hardly done any in my career or any that’s out. I’ve been so picky in general. When I first started, I was trying to collab with more like rappers, get my name around that sense but that’s a long time ago. Now since I got my own stuff together, I’ve been really picky.
I really want the artist to be in a similar pocket to me so it can make sense. A couple of collabs I’m working on that should definitely push my music in different places it hasn’t been before. Carrying on, making the best music I can. Everything needs to develop, keep on trying to create more and more really.