The world is gradually becoming a more welcoming place for kids who feel like they don't fit in. Gus Dapperton, a 20-year-old artist from Warwick, New York represents that paradigm shift in its purest form.
At only 20 years old, Dapperton feels like he’s coming into his own, catching the attention of music fans and fashion heads alike. His new EP, Yellow and Such, sounds like a dream—a dazzling display of layered production, ambient segues, and lyrics that resonate. It’s a four-song exploration of falling in love for the first time, an experience that shaped the maturity of his sound and caliber of work. “This is the first project I’ve put out as myself,” he says. “I think it’s the start of the most natural interpretation of my sound.”
I think it’s the start of the most natural interpretation of my sound.
Standing at 6 feet 3 inches and sporting a bowl cut, blue eyeshadow, peach nail polish and Air Force 1s—Dapperton is exactly that: himself. He represents a new generation of artists, a wave of youth blurring the lines of gender, sound, and style while flaunting their idiosyncrasies.
For Dapperton, the lines have always been blurred, and his ability as an artist is fluid. The quintessential DIY musician, Dapperton began writing and producing in junior high school and later picked up instruments and vocals to round out his skill set. “I’m very into arranging the whole song in general,” he explains. “It comes naturally to me.”
This knack for creating and understanding music translates directly to his live performance—evidenced by the hordes of stylish kids and teenage girls in mesh tops that collect in the city’s venues and sing along to every word. The release party for Yellow and Such was held in Chinatown’s MX gallery where a short film for Vogue, directed by Matthew Dillon Cohen, played on a projector. Later that night, two boys in du-rags milly rocked on stage as Dapperton and his band performed an electric rendition of The Beatles’ “Twist and Shout.”
Later that week, driving barefoot along the beach in Long Branch, New Jersey and listening to Brockhampton, Dapperton expresses why he doesn’t get sad often. “People don't understand that there need to be hardships in order for there to be pleasure—if everything was pleasurable all the time, that would just be ordinary and normal,” he says. “I think you just have to embrace the reality of hardships and inconvenience.”
When it comes to his message, Dapperton doesn't feel the need to explain. “With all my music, I like people to interpret it in their own ways because it’s very vague and confusing,” he explains. “It’s very specific to me but metaphorical enough so that people can copy and paste their own experiences into it.”
Listen to Gus Dapperton's Yellow and Such EP below and stay tuned for more from this talented artist.