From Bluegrass to Hip-hop: Faye Webster’s Sound Spans Atlanta’s Musical History

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Photo: Eat Humans

Faye Webster isn’t an artist that adheres to the normal conventions of popular music. The 21-year-old singer, who has been writing music since the age of 14 and playing guitar for years before that, doesn’t feel the need to choose a genre in which she can pigeonhole her music. Rather, she lets her songs meander across the vast sonic field of her influences, creating a deliciously unorthodox cocktail of twinkling vocals, moaning pedal steel, and underplayed rap – because why choose between indie, Americana, and hip-hop when you can have all three?

At the age of 16, Webster independently wrote, recorded, and released her first LP, Run & Tell. The piece is an apt introduction to the singer, with 11 harmony-soaked tracks backed by acoustic and steel guitars stitching together a quilt that tells the story of the Atlanta-native’s southern upbringing. However, while this rustic style of music typifies one side of Atlanta’s history, Webster is not one to discriminate.

It’s well known that the Georgia capital has a thriving hip-hop scene, producing prolific acts like Run the Jewels, Future, and Outkast. On Webster’s third and most recent release, Atlanta Millionaires Club, the singer ensures she gives the nod to that portion of her musical influence. Though the record sports Webster’s dreamy indie vocal and the pedal steel and fiddle that adorns countless Americana records from generations past, Atlanta Millionaires Club sports R&B bass grooves and sultry horns on tracks like “Come to Atlanta” and even a feature from rapper Father on “Flowers.” Though this may sound off-putting on paper, these contrasting styles melt seamlessly into one another to form a bona fide textbook on Atlanta’s musical history.

In addition to borrowing from hip-hop to add a unique flare to her music, Faye Webster has made a name for herself in the genre through her work as a photographer. During her one semester at Belmont University before dropping out and returning to Georgia to pursue music full time, the singer took a photography class and developed a love for the art form. Combining this with her passion for music, Webster gained recognition in Atlanta’s hip-hop community via her stunning portraits of artists like Lil Yachty, Migos’ Offset, and D.R.A.M.

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All in all, the Peach State native’s music sounds like she bought up the whole music store – guitars, horns, turntables, and all – and used every piece of gear to turn a record into a guidebook on Atlanta culture. If you like artists who play by their own rules, keep your eyes on Faye Webster.

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