October 10 2018

Annie O Presents: Fusilier

New York-Standard Sounds
We know we’re no fortune tellers, but one thing we’re pretty darn certain of is you don’t know the name Fusilier already, he’ll be in your ear before you know it. The Brooklyn artist is shaping what the future of R&B, soul and funk sound like, and lucky us, we got to sit down with the man himself. Annie O, The Standard's very own sounds connoisseur, had a chat with Fusilier just before his Penthouse show at The Standard, East Village.
The Standard

Where are you based these days?

I'm based in Brooklyn and go back to Atlanta when I need a taste of home.  

How would you describe your sound? I read a press quote that said: “Alternative Artist Fusilier is bringing funky vibes & commentary on colorism.” Do you agree with this concept?

I certainly touched on colorism in one of my videos, but it was more about race. These things are all just subsets of a talk about white supremacy and colonialism both literal and figurative. It’s not super headline-able. I’m working on becoming a bumper sticker.

Talk to us about your writing process.

My writing process is pretty much me running around with a butterfly net trying to catch one of my ideas before it fades and then analyzing it for years. I tend to overthink things, but the result is always something that I think stands up under scrutiny from all angles.

We love the title “YTudes.” Why did you decide to do a remix EP?

Thanks. There are just so many alternate versions of all of the songs it wouldn’t make sense to dump them randomly into the sea. This EP is a nice home for everything.

Who are some of the remixers on the EP?

The truth is ‘remix EP’ is only a half truth. There are remixes from Perera Elsewhere, a European experimental electronic artist who’s really coming to her own these days. There’s also  Jeremy Mendicino who fronted one of my favorite Boston bands, Pretty & Nice that’s just kooky fun. The rest of the EP is alternate versions of songs including a string arrangement of The Shot composed by yours truly.

You are very vocal African American queer culture, What does it mean to you in today’s climate?

I don’t really know that I’m that vocal about it. I just think the very declaration of that identity without a veneer of shame is shocking to the few who get to have their voice and reactions disproportionately represented. So in today’s climate it’s about getting to exist as loudly or as quietly as you’d like, or finding your own identity outside of stereotypical, exploitable caricature.

What are you listening to these days?

Everything that Spotify tells me to! I’ve been listening to Tchaikovsky symphonies thinking about my next string arrangement. Rediscovered The Clash’s Combat Rock and through it Gang of Four and the Talking Heads. I’ve been mining the past— a lot of 702 and SWV. Just listening to sounds new and old looking for that edge.

Any future touring plans?

There are a lot of irons in the fire and probably some surprise announcements to come.

What can we expect from your show at The Standard, East Village for the Annie O Music Series?

Unbridled vulnerability on my part. I think it’ll be one of those New York nights people will be talking about for a while.


INTERVIEW BY
Annie O