props has recently unveiled his debut mixtape, aptly titled 'songs,' which is a collection of his singles from the last eighteen months into one record. The ten-track collection stretches from the feverish bedroom pop/melodic punk infusion sound to manic dynamic extremes. The multi-genre mash-up of beats, loops and live instrumentation is filled with creative flair, with the mixtape showcasing his exceptional talents. On the surface, his unique sound is hailed as 'a safe haven from the madness that surrounds us,' but on delving deeper into the record, it tackles some world issues through the power of music. He writes songs as a way to escape reality and aims to inspire others to have a different perspective on such issues.
The Lowdown recently had the opportunity to speak with props about his debut mixtape, how it all came together, his plans for 2023 and more. Keep reading to check out what he had to say!
You have recently released your phenomenal debut mixtape, titled 'songs.' What has it been like for you to have your first proper body of work out in the world?
"You're too kind! Honestly, it's a massive weight off my shoulders. I've wanted to make an album myself since I was like fourteen, so now that I've finally done it, I'm super proud."
How long did the mixtape take to come together, right from the initial stages?
"I worked out that one of the songs, 'Something About You,' was conceived about eight years ago. Various ideas have been bubbling around since then, but most of it was written and produced in the last two/three years."
Delving deeper into the mixtape, it addresses major world issues. Was this something that you were aware of when you were putting it together?
"Definitely! I've been trying to figure out what I'd want to say lyrically for ages. I feel like I've had a pretty smooth ride so far in life, so I wanted to speak up for some of the issues that are affecting people now. I guess I like to think I'm like a subtle punk and speaking about important stuff, but those issues are disguised in the lyrics unless you want to dig deep."
Do you have a stand-out track from the mixtape, or do they all mean something different to you?
"'Easy' has been a surprising hit with people, but my favourite changes all the time. I feel that 'I Don't Mind' is one of my best crafted songs, but then I feel that 'Before You Let Go' pretty accurately conveys everything musically that I wanted 'props' to be - dramatic, chilled, groovy, melodic and noisy."
If you were to sum up the mixtape in a couple of words for anyone who hasn't heard it yet, what words would you use?
"Indie punk bedroom pop?!"
At the end of last year, you played your debut show in London. How does it feel to be performing live?
"It was really fun! It was just nice to hang out with pals who have been listening to my tunes. I've done loads of gigs before with other projects, but it was nice to do it with my songs. It felt like they were finally free!"
Has music always been something that you have wanted to pursue from a young age?
"Totally. I guess it was the coolest thing that I was kind of good at. My favourite thing when I was younger was just sitting at the piano and making little melodies. Now I just do the same thing, but what I come up with is only slightly less cheesy!"
Are there any particular influences that have had a direct bearing on the mixtape?
"It seems like everyone has been listening to singles and playlists rather than albums in the last few years. That's definitely been the case with me, so subconsciously, I've been taking in loads of new bedroom pop and synth indie music on Spotify's Lorem and Fresh Finds playlists, which I think has made the resulting songs pretty messy, slightly lo-fi and energetic."
What does 2023 have in store for you that you can tell us about? Will there be some more live performances in store?
"I've got a couple of London gigs in the pipeline. I'm just looking forward to making and releasing new weird and wild bops."
Finally, do you have a message for all those who support you?
"I'm SO grateful to everyone who's been listening to my tunes. As important as it is to create music out of love and joy, sometimes it's handy having people letting you know they're enjoying what you're making!"
props' debut mixtape, titled 'songs,' is out now and available to purchase and stream through all major music purchasing and streaming outlets.
By Rachel Dempster