Aidan Gallagher has recently released his original self-produced dream pop single '4th of July'. The track is a passionate and moving tribute to love's best memories, articulating a magic moment with layers of sound, Gallagher's voice hits the high notes and goes straight to the feels.
Photo Credit: Rob Gallagher
A natural performer, he is well known for starring as the character Number Five in Netflix’s popular series 'The Umbrella Academy', with Season 2 being released on 31st July, as well as starring as Fan Favourite Nicky in 'Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and Dawn' for 4 seasons.
An active social media influencer with over 3 million following and an average 36 million impressions per week, Gallagher’s goal is to use his celebrity status to help save the world’s oceans and species by raising awareness of critical environmental issues.
We had the chance to speak to Aidan on the new single, social media and what else he is up to at the minute!
Hey Aidan, Welcome to The Lowdown! Tell us a little about yourself!
"I was born in Los Angeles. I grew up surfing in Malibu and developed a love of the ocean at an early age and that’s how I got into environmental activism. When you’re out there with the waves and on the beach all day, you see the trash as if it were on your front lawn; it becomes personal. Seeing that at such a young age affected me. It made me realize what was happening with the planet. The more I learned about, the more upset I got and wanted to help."
When did you start your music career?
"Music has always played a major role in my life. Some of my earliest memories are of my parents and I listening to music in the car. Music gave me context; it scored the scenes of my life. There’s this purity that comes through when you listen to it that can have a major effect on your emotional state if you let it. So it’s always been there and I’ve always cared about it: even before I picked up an instrument. I started out with piano at age ten and later began guitar, vocal and recording lessons. Music is something I work on every day like a normal kid would play video games. Songwriting is something that I’ve worked on and it’s become very personal and therapeutic. I’m lucky enough to be in a multifaceted position in music where I write, compose and play all the instruments. It’s up to me to build a song from the ground up and it’s incredibly thrilling as a creative to switch between all those different roles."
Musically, who are your biggest influences?
"John Mayer has by far been the biggest inspiration for me. He’s always sharing musical knowledge online and giving back to upcoming artists. It’s a masterclass. Ed Sheeran, Charlie Puth, and Finneas have also been major influences on me for largely the same reasons. Though I’ve always been a huge rock fanatic and always loved bands like Foo Fighters, MCR, Jack White, and Queen."
Who are you listening to at the minute?
"I discover new music all the time and create playlists for my life. Different music for different things. Right now, I’m studying Charlie Puth."
You have millions of followers across social media. What’s your favourite platform to use at the moment?
"YouTube is where I spend most of my social media time. Instagram Stories is something I use to share info with fans. I have a responsibility to use my fame to help the world. I think most celebs don’t feel that way or don’t want to think about it. I often poll and find 90% of my fans want me to keep posting information to my stories so I do. I also represent the United Nations and have the honor to share their messaging on world affairs to my peer group. The youth of the world have unlimited power in their phones, which I’ve been saying for years. We need to self-educate and then act now. We can save the environment and stop the sixth mass extinction. We can improve social issues and elect representatives but only if we care enough. And that’s really the issue, getting people to care enough. Social media needs to evolve beyond the silly mindset of TikTok and Twitter hate culture. We are out of time to talk about it anymore. Scientists say that the next ten years are critical to the planet’s survival. The United Nations is calling 2020- 2030 the “Decade of Action”. Because we must act collectively to survive."
What’s your favourite memory been so far in your career?
"I’m blessed in my life in so many ways. It’s hard to pick. I know shooting the Umbrella Academy has been an insane privilege. Just the fact that I get to be an actor and play this amazing character blows my mind every day. When I’m on set acting it’s always a thrill. The day Gerard came to set, (which was the first day of shooting) is one of my favorite memories. I worked one on one with Ellen Page that day as well which is another huge privilege. It was surreal to work with her in my first scene and then to see Gerard and talk about Number Five. I just wanted to do his comics justice and he was super kind. Getting to talk about that character and hear that he liked what I was doing meant so much to me."
What’s your dream place to headline in the future?
"Before this pandemic hit I was excited because I’d been invited to perform at SXSW and that was a huge honour since I was the youngest singer ever to be picked. I had started my Blue Neon Tour in LA at the Troubadour and from there was going to spend the summer traveling around the world on tour. When SXSW cancelled, we realized it was the end of touring for a while."
Alongside music, you’ve acted in TV shows including Netflix’ The Umbrella Academy. Is there anything else that you’d like to try your hand in in future?
"I’m already so lucky I get to act and play music. I also speak for the United Nations and work with them to support environmental issues. Between those activities and high school, I’m fully busy! I want to do everything and it’s a challenge to find the time. Mostly I want to travel around the world touring when the pandemic ends."
You’ve just released your newest track ‘4th of July’. Tell us a little about it!
"I wrote that song over a year ago and performed it in Toronto for the first time at a club called The Hideout. That song is about moments, past and present and the purity of emotion that connects them. I’m intrigued by the concept of time and its memories and experiences. That’s a prevailing theme in the work I’ve released. I play all the instruments on this track and its pretty layered, so when you listen to it there’s a lot of depth to explore. I’m at a place now where I’ve been self-producing for a while and I am finally beginning to make music that’s completely reflective of how it sounds and feels in my head. When you listen to 4th of July, you’re closer to me than you’ve ever been."
What’s the reaction been like so far?
"It’s hard for me to gauge a reaction to my work, because I see the good and the bad, but I appreciate it when people say they like it. My music isn’t for everyone. No artist is for everyone. I like to say my music is for me first, and for anyone else second. My management and I made a decision to remain independent for now rather than signing with a label who could do a promotion push, because I want to keep self-producing and spend the time I need to make each song perfect. Especially because I already have a full-time job as an actor!"
Do you have a favourite lyric from the track?
"Hard to say, every line means a different thing to me. Maybe the outro because of how hard that hits. I wrote that part before I had the rest of the song and knew it had to end like that because of how that very last line feels. The best music makes you tear up just to sing."
What can we expect from you next?
"I’ve actually got a big list of songs to produce and I’ve got two in production. It’s just very different than performing them on stage. I have to create all the layers, step back, evaluate and make choices. I’m particular about it because I care. I make music because it means something to me. I write from a place of honesty and if I didn’t, I wouldn’t put it out. Life comes with good and bad. Those two give context to each other. The bad makes the good worthwhile. My songs are about the endless journey through those moments. And inspiration can come at the strangest times. Just a few days ago I wrote a new song I never thought I’d have. I’m never sure what song is going to come out next!"
Listen to '4th of July' HERE