Featured Image by Ryan Jay
With over 2 million streams this past year, emerging pop-grunge singer and songwriter 44phantom is an artist to watch for in 2021. Growing up in Oklahoma and moving to Seattle, the 19-year-old musician is trailblazing a path of genre-bending music with his first EP Bittersweet and latest singles “let’s be friends” and “all figured out.” From Kurt Cobain to Lil Wayne, the influences of 44phantom blend into his fresh sound. 44phantom not only composes captivatingly honest lyrics, but the young artist is an authentic visionary inviting us into his alluring world of inspirations and aspirations behind his music.
I had the chance to chat with 44phantom and learn about the rising star’s hometown roots and breakthrough in Seattle’s music scene.
Many of your songs, ranging from your hit single “Break Your Heart” to your most recent track “all figured out,” are brutally honest reflections about the subjective and often lonely state of relationships. I am curious about your writing process behind constructing songs. Do you have any rituals to get you in a creative mindset for writing music? Do you appraise personal experiences and implement them into the lyrics?
If you’re asking if when I write – if it’s about my life – then definitely. I don’t have any rituals, every song comes together in its own way. I just go with it and let the song write itself.
Growing up in Oklahoma, how has the cultural shift of living in Seattle changed your outlook for making music? Have you implemented both lifestyles into your songs?
Honestly, I’ve always just kinda been who I am. The only thing that changed from living in Seattle was that I was put on to Nirvana and that gave my music an edge that wouldn’t have been there otherwise.
’44phantom’ is a captivating name to adopt! What is the inspiration behind it?
44 has always been a family thing, a number that’s been consistent in our lives and we see it all the time. My siblings and I [on my dad’s side] were all born on the timestamp 0:44. ‘Phantom’ is personal to my family and I’d like to keep it that way.
In the music video for your newest single, “all figured out,” there is a powerful moment that visualizes a car erratically circling you as you placidly sit on a stool. What is the car’s significance, and what does it say about the song’s overall message?
We just thought it looked cool to be honest! The song’s about a girl. She knows who she is.
Check out the “all figured out” video:
As an emerging grunge-pop artist, your voice blends in naturally with Seattle’s grunge music scene. Do you plan on staying in Seattle or making any big moves any time soon?
I would actually disagree that my voice blends in with other Seattle grunge artists. I think it contrasts what you hear from Nirvana or Pearl Jam. I’m actually moving to Nashville with my team at the top of January!
Who would your dream collaboration in the future be with, and what past musicians have motivated your desire to dedicate your life fully to music?
The artists I would have wanted to collaborate with are sadly not around anymore.
How do you like to spend your time when you’re not making music?
Just vibing and playing video games.
Can we expect new tracks heading into 2021? If so, how would you describe the essence and vibe of the next era of releases?
I’d say our next release definitely sounds like me and I don’t know if I could have said that before. Expect something early 2021!
Listen to “all figured out” on Spotify!