When local recording artist, Caleb Frazier, describes music as a social media, it at first feels like he is minimizing the art form. After all, Instagram and Snapchat may be present at almost every human experience from weddings and funerals to wars and halftime shows, but they are documenting these experiences, not fuelling them.
The 19-year-old Virginia native has lived in Cameron the last three years. (His mother married a Canadian and moved north of the 49th parallel.)
Frazier points out that music remains a means of entertaining, teaching, and protesting, but it has been democratized.
Nowadays, instead of every aspiring artist competing for the attention of a limited number of record companies and radio stations, literally anyone with a good computer and quality recording gear can create music at home to express their feelings, beliefs and opinions, and then share it with the world on several different platforms through the internet. And that does sound a lot like social media.
Frazier — who can’t remember a time when music was not part of his life — is taking his own home studio tracks to the next level with the impending release of a second album, under his artist name, Apex Frasier. Calling it a collection of songs designed to bring hope to the broken hearted, he describes his music as Christian hip hop and counts Lacrae and J.Cole among his influences.
Frazier sees himself as a lyricist first and recalls writing couplets in grade two that were nonsensical but initiated an interest in the rhythm and rhyme of poetry. By the time he was in his teens he had written hundreds of songs and when it became clear that his fascination with music was not going away, he decided to devote serious time to his vocation.
He released his first album of material, “Perspective” in 2017.
Around that time, he experienced the onset of Fascioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy. He lost 18 pounds of muscle and recently made the move to using an electric wheelchair part time. Apex has had to stop live performances, but he continued writing and connected with collaborator “audisea” of Lindsay.
With audisea at the helm of the control room, the two have recorded 12 tracks for a second album. The songs are about to leave the home studio for mastering in Hamilton.
When they are ready, Frazier plans to get them in the ears of a distributor whose job it is to get them into the ears of people who decide what the next number one seller will be. In the not so distant past that would have meant radio programmers, but now there are a few other avenues to the public.
Streaming services like Spotify, Google Play, iTunes or Apple Music have as much or more clout than a major radio station today, so that is Frazier’s target. He previously used DIstrokid for distribution and feels they have the most reach, tapping markets like, “the basement kids and indie hip hop heads.”
When asked what it would take for the album to be a success, he had a simple goal. He suggests that most of us are introduced to music by our friends when they make you a mix tape, or send you a link to a cool song, so Frazier simply starts by making music he hopes his friends will like. If they enjoy it and share it, he feels there is no limit to where it might lead.
While he hopes for a career in music, he knows it is as hard to reach the top of that industry as it is to play professional sports. However, since he sees his music in a social context, he believes his album will be a success if it simply has a positive influence on the people around him. That’s a pretty good goal for any social media.
Check our Frazier’s song “A Letter Back Home” here.