FPA made their dark, entrancing "Untitled" in their room

FPA wears a leather jacket and gazes toward the camera
In a press photo, FPA wears a leather jacket and gazes toward the camera (Alan De Leon Taverna)
FPA on living in Paris as a teen
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During The Current's spring member drive, we're highlighting eight Minnesota artists – from newcomers to veterans – with new music you need to know. FPA is a promising 27-year-old artist who lives in Minnesota; she uses all gender pronouns. Their music is a gorgeous panorama of jazzy guitar and vocals, poetic lyrics, and more recently, dark house-y intrigue. Fiona Boler profiled him for The Current in 2019.

I'm FPA. I bought my first guitar when I was, like, 14 or 15, and I just started writing right away, on and off. As a teenager, I loved, loved, loved jazz ballads – Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday. And my dad was also a classical musician. So I listened to a lot of classical music when I was growing up, mixed with – my mom is Nigerian – a lot of Fela Kuti and music from that tradition. I'm influenced by classical music, jazz music, electronic music, hip-hop. So my music is really a fusion.

As a teenager, I lived in France for about six years. In the beginning, I went there to study philosophy at the University of Paris. After I finished that, I studied music for two years at this conservatory in the suburbs of Paris. A lot of my friends at the time were either jazz musicians or DJs who played a lot of house music. There's a huge electronic music scene in Paris.

And then I moved back to Minneapolis in 2019. I think the music scene here is actually really cool. Right off the bat when I moved here, people reached out to me, and I still work with them, know what I'm saying? And those people would introduce me to other musicians. It's a really open, friendly dynamic.

I released "Untitled" last October, and I like it because it does drift away from a lot of my other music – it's pretty dark. It's going to be on an album I'll be releasing this spring, which is a bit apocalyptic, and it's about a princess.

Andrew Broder worked a lot on "Untitled." He changed some of the drum sounds, added the bass line, and unified the production. He played all of the piano on that song, too. When I collaborate with other musicians, I try to send things that have the intention already there, so it's not really up for interpretation – it just needs finessing. Andrew is super good at that.

This whole next album was recorded in my room, except for Andrew's piano and stuff like that, obviously. I had my homie DeCarlo Jackson come here to play bass on a song, and my friend Kiana Adams recorded violin here. But I'm actually getting a studio space in a month, because I just wanted to move things out of my room and actually have a designated workspace. It's in Northeast, right by Psycho Suzi's. My friend Psymun told me about it, because it's right across the hallway from his studio.

One of my biggest challenges is, when I'm working on something, I just won't leave my room and will sometimes neglect to take care of myself. I think a lot of people have a hard time separating how they see themselves with how much they produce, and, like, the quality of the stuff they produce. It sounds so easy to just take a step back and live and take care of yourself. But there's always a voice in my head that's like, you should be doing something. You should be learning something. I'm coming to this a bit late – like, for the first time in my life, I just went to get my nails done. I never thought about doing stuff like that before, ever.

In my career, I would love to just keep making stuff and collaborating with musicians that I love. One of my goals is having the financial independence to be able to realize all of my ideas. Up until now, I've done a pretty good job of approximating with what I have, but it would be cool to get to a point where you can literally just go all out. So that I could really create the things that I want to create.

As told to Cecilia Johnson.

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