By now, chances are you’ve already heard FRND’s music, whether you’re aware of it or not. The man behind the koala, Andrew Goldstein, is also the platinum-selling producer whose credits span the likes of Britney, Demi, blackbear, 5 Seconds of Summer, Lauv, and even Celine Dion! His music runs the gamut from emerging artists to the emerged, but it’s his latest original single as FRND, “Erase,” that might make you a permanent devotee. Freshly released via boutique indie label Crooked Paintings and in partnership with BMG, the emotive electro-pop track is like a smack in the face with a splash of colorful paint. Or, in this case–the premiere of the “Erase” music video–buckets! Before you watch, make sure to read our interview with the artist himself.
OTW: Tell us something about yourself you’ve never told anyone else.
FRND: I once wrote a full review on Air Bud: Spikes Back (the 5th installment of the Air Bud movie series) and never told anyone. I had an issue with the main character taking up volleyball as a means to win and not for the love of the sport. She then ignores the fact that Air Bud is kidnapped by burglars who want to use him to steal a diamond on display at the town museum. I just had a lot of personal issues with the moral fabric of the main character.
OTW: Out of all the artists you’ve produced records for, who has been the most memorable and why?
FRND: Each artist I’ve worked with is special to me. Working with blackbear is always a memorable experience because he has so many great ideas so quickly. I loved working with 5 Seconds Of Summer because each member has the ability to write songs which is a rarity for a band. One of my favorites was Celine Dion. She was one of the most professional, humble, and caring artists I’ve had the honor of working with. It makes sense why she’s among the best.
OTW: Name the current top 3 songs you hold closest to your heart, whether classics, new songs, whichever you’d say have the most impact on you right now, and why?
FRND: 1. Passenger - “Let Her Go"
When I first heard this song it was special to me. Passenger says exactly what he means in a beautifully poetic way. It also was very relatable for what I was going through at the time.
2. Jose Gonzalez - "Stay Alive"
This song was from The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty and written by Ryan Adams. It’s an honest song about being in the moment with someone. My favorite line is, "The way I feel is the way I write,” because that is my mentality towards songwriting.
3. The Greatest Showman - “Never Enough”
I recently saw this musical and this song messed me up. It’s about how being with someone is more meaningful than any experience could be without them. The lyrics in the chorus are “…without you all the shine of a thousand spotlights, all the stars we steal from the night’s sky will never be enough.” It’s just an amazing emotion that I really connect with.
OTW: Take us through your typical songwriting process from beginning to end. How does it differ from your solo project FRND to working with other artists? And what’s the biggest similarity?
FRND: When I work with other writers or artists, we usually will start with improvising ideas. Sometimes someone will have musical ideas or lyrics, which can work well as a starting point. I enjoy co-writing because you have several people’s experiences to help convey emotions in the song. For FRND, I usually start with lyrics and concepts from my own personal experience. This makes the writing process enjoyable for me because I say exactly what I want to about my own experience. The biggest similarity between both processes are the questions I ask myself at the end. “Do you understand the concept and lyrics?” and “Does this mean something to you?”
OTW: Can you share with us the inspiration behind the “Erase” music video? Who directed it? How was it being annihilated with paint? And who is she?
In the video for “Erase,” I wanted to capture the concept of the song, which is someone coming into your life and wiping out any lingering pain from the past. I chose Zach Bell who is known for his work with Marian Hill. He was amazing to work with and really understood my vision. Being hit with paint for eight hours was actually really strange because it was like “what the fuck” but fun. I had to take eight showers and replace my clothes each time. The woman in the video is my friend Kaykay Blaisdell. She has been the subject of almost all the single art for FRND.
OTW: Following this premiere, what’s the rest of 2018 and beyond have in store? Any new passport stamps on the horizon?
I will be releasing more music, including my EP, Before U I Didn’t Exist, in September. The next single, of the same name, will include an in-depth animated music video. My new online merch store will be available in July, and I will be playing shows around the US later this year. I hope to get some new passport stamps this year. Unlike Jason Derulo, there will likely be no lipstick stains on them.
editor’s note: That was a solid reference to Derulo’s 2013 hit “Talk Dirty.”
Watch the video for “Erase” below: