World renowned producer, songwriter and musician Fraser T Smith has today announced details of his new artist project FUTURE UTOPIA. His album 12 Questions features an incredible array of guest features including Stormzy, Dave, Kano, Ghetts and Bastille, as well as artists Es Devlin and Katrin Fridriks, poets Simon Armitage, Arlo Parks and Alysia Harris and former Black Panther, Albert Woodfox. 12 Questions will be released via London based artist services company Platoon and Fraser’s own label 70Hz on 23rd October.
The album is based on a series of twelve universal, human and urgent questions, each of which is posed by Fraser to a different collaborator. The questions are born of Fraser’s own anxieties concerning topics such as faith, freedom, race, gender, wealth, equality and ecology. The album runs as a continuous composition, with clear delineation between each of its twelve questions.
Speaking about the album, Fraser says:
‘I made this record not because I could but because I had to – there was no other way to progress. It’s the most ambitious, exciting and terrifying thing I’ve ever done. Creatively, it’s a colourful musical playground – the culmination of everything I’ve learned over my career, from 70’s progressive rock to hip hop. Culturally, it’s a celebration of humanity, whilst shining a light on some of the cruel injustices in the world. I’m so proud and humbled by the hugely diverse group of collaborators who have spoken their truths on the album. I hope the answers will enlighten the listeners and stir debate’.
The first single to be released from the album, Do We Really Care? Pt.1 is out now, following a ‘Hottest Record’ play From Clara Amfo on Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 show. The track features Tom Grennan and breaking Londoner Tia Carys on vocals and its threads of clarinet and saxophone transition into an expansive, haunting choral version of Lovin’ Spoonful’s 1966 classic Summer in the City. When posed the question, ‘Do We Really Care?’ on Do We Really Care? Pt.2, Poet Laureate Simon Armitage’s potent words offer a touching yet skeptical response; ‘here we go, planting our poppies then torching the forest, carelessly, serious’.
The powerfully moving, How Do We Find Our Truth? sees Stormzy tell the story of the moment his life was transformed by faith, alongside the voice and moving words of mother Beatrice Mushiya, who provides an account of her son Duran’s tragic death in 2016.
LISTEN TO THE BRAND-NEW SINGLE AND FIRST NEW MUSIC FROM THE PROJECT, DO WE REALLY CARE? PT.1 FEATURING TOM GRENNAN AND TIA CARYS AND DO WE REALLY CARE? PT.2 FEATURING SIMON ARMITAGE HERE