FABIO LENDRUM: Tales of yearning, youthful angst and misdirected love
“I feel that the more experiences you have, the more you can relate to people,” states the young Kennington
based musician Fabio Lendrum. “And isn’t that what music’s about?”
Those experiences provide the dark heart that infiltrates the subject matter of Lendrum’s songwriting. By contrast, these tales of yearning, youthful angst and misdirected love are set to an explosion of complementary influences: the targeted euphoria of Calvin Harris weaves into the textured electronic experimentations of mid-Eighties Depeche Mode and Erasure’s seamless hybrid of dance-orientated sounds with melodic sensibility. It’s a lineage that can be traced through new songs such as ‘Out of the Water’, ‘Someone To Love’ and ‘Anything’s Possible’.
”Lendrum’s musical journey started with an event that must’ve heralded a hundred new beginnings: a White Stripes gig at the Hammersmith Apollo. “After that, I wanted to grow my hair long, I wanted to get tattoos, I wanted to be in a band, I wanted to play guitar, I wanted to sing” he smiles. From that point, Lendrum crossed genres – from metal to emo to electro –until he landed a production deal with the famed hit factory Metrophonic Studio House at the age of fifteen. Today, decks have overruled guitars and the hair is carefully coiffured, but Lendrum’s spirit has otherwise stayed true.
Although eager to compliment Metrophonic for their role in his development, turning a self-proclaimed “hardcore, pot-smokin’ drum ‘n’ bass head” into a clean-cut teen idol proved to be a transformation too far.
Sessions in Los Angeles with Dallas Austin (TLC, will.i.am) and Kool Kojak (Nicki Minaj, Flo Rida) got the project back on track. But an inauspicious start to 2012 threatened to derail Lendrum’s momentum. “On the outside, I’m a very happy, positive person, but on the inside I’m a bit of a dark horse,” he says. You wouldn’t easily notice that aspect of his personality, but you’d certainly spot his ability to analyse everything down to the finest detail. In the right context that’s a valuable trait, but applied to a time in which issues with Lendrum’s personal life amplified the disheartenment that he felt following delays with his music, it almost became self-defeating.
“I pretty much almost quit music. I was signed and almost wishing I wasn’t, so I could do my own thing.” he reveals. The cure was three-fold. He devised ten golden rules by which to live his life, got a tattoo of a dagger to symbolize cutting people out of his life (“All of the pain that people had caused me mentally was transferred physically to my arm”) and crafted cathartic new songs, including ‘Out of the Water’, which coincided with highly productive sessions with house producer and Ultra Records artist David Kay.
“It’s about me having that complete fall and being in the middle of the sea with nothing to hold onto. This was about giving myself that one final push to get out.” A smile washes over his face. “The moment I started thinking positively again, I felt better and better and better. And now, I’m happier than I’ve ever been.”
Lendrum’s current thoughts are turning to the future. Having already earned credibility on the decks following sets at Bestival, Matter, seOne and a long-term residency at Koko, Lendrum predicts his live performances will be split between full band shows and DJ sets, or a cocktail of the two.
As his song ‘Someone To Love’ states: “Some days you’ve got to put in words everything that’s worth defending.” Fabio Lendrum’s uncanny ability to do exactly that explains his imminent status as the new figurehead of crossover electro.