Premiere: Meet Dexter Seamus, who makes woozy R&B with Disappear
With tracks featuring Allday and Bliss N Eso's Esoterik in his past, the young Melbourne musician is one to keep an eye on in local hip-hop.
We've spoken about the next generation of Australia's hip-hop world quite a few times over the years, but typically, they're a lot different to Melbourne-based musician Dexter Seamus. Formerly just known as Dex, the 21-year-old musician isn't entering the next generation off the back of a debut single or mixtape, but rather a bountiful discography that stretches back a few years, and brings together some of the genre's most successful names - Allday, Bliss N Eso's Esoterik - for collaborations that make him really stand out from the pack.
In saying that, however, it's hard not to see Dexter Seamus amongst the R&B world of tomorrow. Initially, the musician arose through a constant string of singles and guest features that made him hard to ignore, only slowing down last year - where he only shared two songs of his own, plus a handful of guest features - to refine his craft and arm himself for a big 2020 ahead, something that kicked off back in April with the release of his first single for the year, RASPBERRY HONEY.
His new single, however, is something special. Premiering on Pilerats ahead of its greater release later this week, Disappear is a slow-stirring slice of R&B that showcases Dexter Seamus' strengths in hip-hop and its intertwining with other genres and sounds, taking this distinctly nostalgic mid-2000s R&B/hip-hop sound and bringing it forward into 2020, adding his distinctive, unique touch as it goes. Part-Mac Miller, part-Free Nationals; Disappear moves with softness and subtlety at the forefront; Seamus' vocal leading the way above a simmering production that unites this woozy bass with washed-out guitar, something that feel really characteristic to the late Mac Miller at his peak.
“I’ve been super inspired by a wide range of music, I was listening to Al Green at the time of writing this song and thought fuck it why not mix it up and push myself to make a soulful slow jam," he says on the track, admitting that it stands out from the rest of his discography being something that moves a little slower than the rest. It's not strictly a bad thing either, showing a sense of versatility and range that's important in ensuring your longevity as an artist in a time where every musician feels a master of every sound. "I love how it turned out. I grew up in a musical family so my influences are broad."
It's something that really shows in Disappear - a track that proves that Dexter Seamus is someone who shouldn't be overlooked in the Australian hip-hop world and what it sounds like tomorrow (where we're near-certain Seamus is sure to flourish). In the meantime, take a dive into Disappear below, and better introduce yourself to the rising name underneath:
Tell us about yourself?
I am 21 years old and I enjoy making songs with my mates. I grew up listening to a wide range of music early on. My old man played keys in a lot of bands and always had his band mates over rehearsing or recording, lots of rock n roll and blues. At the start of high school I linked up with my older brothers mate who was a producer and starting making rap songs. It’s been a great journey from then until now.
What’s the ‘vibe’ music-wise?
The vibe changes constantly that’s a tough question. If music makes me feel something I’ll enjoy it. I’ve got influences from AC/DC to Little Simz to Mac Miller to The Doors. If I’m on it with my mates partying I am probably making something fun and obnoxious and then I’ll be myself enjoying solitude and I’ll write something deep and reflective. It’s always changing and I love it. Music captures that vibe in that moment. I don’t like to box it into a genre or theme. It’s really nice to create without limitations.
What are your production and writing processes usually like?
With production I keep it simple. I’ll find a sample I like and manipulate it a little until it sounds nice and then add a drum loop and maybe lay down a bass line. I’m learning bass and piano at the moment, that’s a lot of fun. I usually get my beats to a point that I can write some lyrics too them and then I pass it on to one of my mates who actually knows how to dive into the production and make the song slap. I’ve got a lot of talented friends who play a wide range or instruments and I love getting together and all contributing our piece.
In terms of writing I usually loop the section I want to put lyrics over and really try explore an idea in my mind but then sometimes it’s just freestyles and messing around.
Can you tell us about your new single, Disappear?
I was listening to a lot of Al Green at the time of making Disappear and I remember thinking I’d love to make something similar to his style. I can definitely remember writing the lyrics to this one teary eyed. The song is about chasing something you know isn’t right. Whether it’s a lover, a friendship or whatever. I guess it’s about not trusting your gut, chasing waterfalls and not being able to swim. I’m really proud of this one. It’s weird.
The song was made 3 years ago. I’ve made a ton of changes to it and I only added the second verse a couple of months ago. I’ve probably listened to it a million times and that’ll stop the instant it comes out.
What does 2020 have in store for you?
I am going to release my debut album, make as much music as possible, collaborate with as many people as possible and have a real good time.
What do you want people to take away from the project?
Maybe it’ll inspire people to create whatever they want. That’d be cool.
Where can we find more of your music?
All the usual platforms, this link has the main ones.