Fred again..: Behind the Boards

Apple Music Pop

Fred again..: Behind the Boards

Few producers have shaped modern pop’s borderless, omnivorous sensibility like Fred Gibson, aka Fred again... Taken under the wing of Brian Eno as a teenager, the South Londoner came, seemingly from nowhere, to dominate the turn-of-the-decade scene with his own new-minted sound. Which is to say, a precise, collagist approach where anything goes—from subzero drill to Latin-esque club behemoths—and the only formula is that there absolutely isn’t a formula. Studio sessions with Ed Sheeran—whether across almost all of his blockbuster No.6 Collaborations Project or alongside Burna Boy and Stormzy on the limber Afroswing groove of “Own It”—have burned especially bright. But Gibson’s chief talent as a beatsmith and co-writer is transferable chemistry that tracks as equally potent with George Ezra or Stefflon Don. And, perhaps, the sense—especially on GANG, his experimental, effect-laden collaborative tape with Headie One—that his unerring ear for a hit allows him to drag artists to bold, fascinating places.