The name Fraser Watt might sound unfamiliar, but since moving to Nashville last year, the Berklee grad has played every small venue in the city, been featured on soundtracks for UK SkySports, entertained Lady Antebellum and Carrie Underwood at Starstruck Studios where he interns, and collaborated with some of the music scene’s hottest new talent.
Growing up in Scotland, Fraser Watt was always inspired by the culture and musical reputation of his home city, Glasgow. He played Tenor and Alto Saxophone from an early age and by his teens, had taught himself guitar and piano. It wasn’t long before he wrote his first set of songs and soon he was making a name for himself on the local gigging scene.
Growing up in Scotland, what music did your family listen to?
My parents are both massive music lovers and would always have music playing around the house. Most of the time it would be classic 70’s and 80’s soul and pop hits. Meanwhile my sisters would be listening to anything Britney Spears or Disney musicals, so a pretty wide array of music!
How has the music of Glasgow inspired your song writing?
I find a lot of the music to come out of Glasgow to be extremely relatable because most of us from there grew up around the same experiences and that’s what most of it seems to be about. It helps me be creative and have a space to tell my story through songwriting.
You play saxophone, guitar, and piano. What other instruments would you like to learn to play?
I would absolutely love to learn the violin. I think it’s such a cool and versatile instrument you can find it in almost any genre of music.
Can you describe what you felt when you found out you were accepted into Berklee in Boston, Massachusetts?
Sheer joy. I was with my sister when I got the email with my acceptance and she has a video of me running around my room, freaking out. It was my dream college and I couldn’t believe I would be coming to America to study music!
What was your favorite class in the Music Production & Engineering program?
I had this incredible class called ‘Music Production For Records’. The class was small, myself and 3 other amazing guys and taught by favourite professor at the college, Mitch Benoff! The class was essentially a weekly panel for us to bring in our own music and share with everyone for feedback. It really helped me refine my production skills.
What is a typical day like as an intern at Starstruck Studios?
As soon as you get in get the coffee brewing. Most days there are sessions going on in one of our two main studios so we are required to set up the studio with microphones and other equipment. When days are quiet we have the use of the studios so I’ve had the chance to write and record some of my own music there.
Favorite place to write songs?
My home in Scotland because we have some incredible views of the Scottish hills which is so inspiring.
How is the writing process different when the song you’re working on is for another artist, like DeDe Kimble’s “That’s What Friends Do”?
Every artist is different and as a writer/producer you’re always trying to cater to the artists needs. I usually come to a session armed with 3/4 ideas but they are a back up. I’ll try push the artist to get comfortable in their own headspace through them telling me their latest ideas/stories/inspirations. With DeDe Kimble it was great, she came into the session right away and said she’d been missing her best friend who lives in another state. So we said, ‘great, let’s write about it’.
Read the song “Where Do I Go” was inspired by a time in college you were missing home. How hard is it to play the song that is so personal?
A lot of the time I play it out I still am away from my home so it’s always an emotional one for me. I find it helps get the meaning of the song across though. I’m passionate about and mean every lyric so it helps me tell the story.
Did you produce your new single?
I actually didn’t produce this one. One of my best mates from college, Al von Staats is an incredible artist/producer and was in the session while I was writing it and asked if he could produce it. I said absolutely because I really look up to him as a producer. You should definitely check him out, he’s got new music coming soon!
Saw you played Harry Styles’s “Falling” and were taking cover request while you are in quarantine. What is your favorite song to cover and why?
‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ the Bon Iver version. It was the first song I learned to play on piano and lyrically it is so emotional and beautiful. I heard my girlfriend listening to ‘Falling’ one day and she mentioned how much she loved the song, so that ones actually for her.
Yikes, saw you were stung by a bee while performing on stage. ‘The show must go on’ … any funny experiences from the stage?
I was playing a solo set and had my guitar’s amplifier battery die on stage once. It took about 10 minutes to fix it so I was left on stage with just a mic. So I started doing a stand up comedy routine. I am by no means a comedian so I’m not sure if the laughs were genuine or people awkwardly trying to help me through this situation…
Fraser Watt on Instagram: "Songwriting in self-isolation"
134 Likes, 35 Comments - Fraser Watt (@fraserwatty) on Instagram: "Songwriting in self-isolation"
Have you been working on any music while in quarantine?
Loads! I’ve got all this time on my hands so I’ve been hard at work preparing for my next release!
What can fans do to help support your music right now?
If they hear it, share it, stream it, send it to love ones, friends and family. Follow all my socials and reach out to me! I’m always looking for new music to cover and love taking requests, also if you’re a musician reach out to collaborate, I love working with new people!