Following the release of his debut project ‘i hope you never fit in’, we caught up with London rapper and singer FelixThe1st. The release blends bedroom-pop, shoe gaze and grunge infused vocals in a soundtrack curated for Gen Z outcasts and misfits, get to know him better via this VIPER interview…

What five words define your sound?

Whatever I want to make.

Tell me something unique about your creative process.

The most unique thing is how I write songs. I freestyle the melody and lyrics to figure it out and then develop the idea from there. 

Which song of yours would people like to hear first?

Good question. I’d love people to hear ‘Swan Song’ first. It’s my defining song and favourite that i’ve made so far. ‘Three’ as well; There’s a bunch on the new project. 

What inspired you to make that song?

I had finished my career in dance to pursue music and had a sudden realisation that I’d let go of something that was a large part of my life. I developed the narrative around how swan song is usually the last hoorah or a goodbye which helped form the story that represents stepping into a new stage of my life. 

What’s the most vulnerable you’ve allowed yourself to be when writing/making music?

Every time I make music I’m vulnerable, I’m not trying to put up a facade. The studio is therapy and is always an opportunity to let go and get my emotions out. 

What’s the best/worst experience you’ve had on stage?

I’ve had some great experiences, especially performing with a full band. I haven’t had any bad experiences so far.

What is your favourite song to perform?

‘For now’, I’m so comfortable performing it considering it was the first track I made for the project. It’s easy for me to tap into those emotions and I really feel them when I perform it. 

Which artist/song/album made you want to start making music?

Of course Tyler, Drake and Carti. But when I was around 15 years old, the people that made me want to start making music were Skepta – the UK goat who made me realise I could do things differently. Then, House of Pharaohs who were people who looked like me, having fun and doing what they wanted. And of course, Lancey Foux who never let himself get put into a box. There are also artists like King Krule, the list goes on and on. 

What’s the meaning behind your name?

My friends told me I had great instincts like a cat which is where Felix came from and is also based on the cat food brand. My mum used to call me little lord, or young lord so I put the two together and ran with Felix The 1st. It’s crazy because even my Mum calls me Felix!

If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing instead?

I’d be a DJ or an A&R. I love finding new artists and figuring out who’s next up. If not music, definitely something in fashion. 

What’s success to you?

Being able to live my dream, do what I love and be able to make my family proud and look after them. Also, a sense of doing things that change the game by doing something that hasn’t been done before. 

What moment in your life/career forced you to change direction?

I was in the States auditioning for a dance job with Justin Bieber which never happened because of Covid. I used my final cheque to initiate a career in music and retired from dance, there and then. At the time I had my eggs in one basket but I’m grateful that Covid helped me pivot to music. 

Where can people keep in touch with you?

FelixThe1st on YouTube. On Instagram, @FelixThe1st_. If anyone has questions about music, let’s connect, I want to know that there are people out there that can relate. I’m here!

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