Take one glance at SUMMER ALONE and you’d think he’s the furthest thing from a London native. His eccentric fashion sense, Hello Kitty face mask, and piercing red eyes make for a figure that doesn’t belong here. Yet he has all the attributes of an icon in the making, a complete enigma in every sense of the word. Taking inspiration from the likes of Lil Peep and Yung Lean, he’s grown up around music his whole life, telling Clash that “my Mum used to be a producer and my Dad was a jungle MC.” Likening his music to “a blend of alternative trap, rock and emo” he wants to break boundaries and do something new even going on to express his desire to mix “electronic music with trap”.
SUMMER ALONE will have you finding yourself reciting his hooks throughout your day as he expertly crafts melodies designed to earwig their way into your brain. However he does admit that on occasion he’ll throw himself into the booth and lay down a freestyle; recalling one of those moments he says, “I got myself an energy drink, got in the booth, made the song, played it for my friend and she was like, you just made that right now? That’s insane.” All while severely hungover, nonetheless.
As much as SUMMER adores the UK - “the UK is just completely raw, and I love it” - he understands his artistic expression has much more demand across the pond right now. After listening to his biggest track, ‘Maybach’, you’ll realise it’s incredibly difficult to find another UK artist who can produce that blend of alternative trap without sounding inauthentic and manufactured. Recently, SUMMER travelled to LA and performed at one of his biggest shows: “One of the homies sent me a link and it was to a Smokeasac show and my name was one of the headliners”. Summer found love from his peers and audiences he’d clamoured for, adding: “They loved my stuff over there, they went crazy!”
SUMMER knows the importance of networking within the industry and is heavily affiliated with US-based independent label Deathproof, who are responsible for some of the biggest underground artists in the US scene. The most well-known is Nascar Aloe, who SUMMER considers one of his closest friends in the industry. “He’s just a normal human being, usually you put these artists on a pedestal, but he’s just like us. He works so hard. He keeps telling me ‘stop using samples, SUMMER! Play the guitar, SUMMER’ I’m like fine bro god damn!”
Surprisingly, SUMMER has only ever performed in the UK once, at an impromptu drunken open mic rave in the seclusion of a forest hosted by other underground London artists. Subsequentially, SUMMER asked one of his friends to record his performance. The clip was posted onto TikTok and went viral, SUMMER a level of recognition he’d not experienced before. “A lot of people recognised me from that clip, they were like you’re the guy from that TikTok, I know you, I love your music man.”
Life hasn’t always rosy for SUMMER, especially during his younger years. His lyrics vividly showcase depression, anxiety and substance abuse. At first, he was considerably reluctant to detail those issues in his music. “I had to remind myself that X, Peep, $uicideboy$, Yung lean, and all these guys spoke their feelings and so many people in the world listened. So, I was like why don’t I do it.” He continues: “I was very, very nervous when I first expressed my emotions into a track. The first time I really went all-in for a song and spoke about how I was feeling was on ‘I’m actually done with myself’.” This track is now one of his most streamed to date and showcases the connection and impact his words have with his listeners. He’s relatable, endearing and his delivery demands your attention from the very beginning.
SUMMER is looking to start 2022 with a bang with the release of his album scheduled to release on New Year’s Day, titled ‘Wallflower in Baphomet’s Garden’. “I feel like a wallflower in the music industry, I know so many people, I see so many people, but no one sees me”. While the meaning may seem melancholic, SUMMER still exudes confidence in his artistry. “With this album, you’re all gonna see me, both the industry and the underground. How about that?”
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'WallFlower In Baphomet's Garden' is out on January 1st, 2022.
Words: Chris Saunders
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