FAULT Magazine in conversation with Wrabel

Wrabel has teamed up with rising artist Sadie Jean and Thai-Italian singer/songwriter Valentina Ploy for two special reimaginings of his stand-out heartbreaking ballad “hurts like hell.” We caught up with Wrabel to discuss his sound, his process and as always, his FAULTs.

Do you ever feel emotionally drained after pouring so much of yourself into your music?

Funny to be answering this question today … absolutely yes. I feel it’s important to tell true stories and true feelings in my music. Today I was with some close friends writing a song about my sobriety. I was crying before we even started writing the first verse ha. I think it’s cathartic to get to dive head and heart first into sticky and tricky parts of my own life. To get to kind of write it out if that makes sense.but it can definitely be emotionally exhausting at the same time.

When in the writing process, are you conscious of the experience of the listener – or do you write solely based on your own experience of the song’s messaging? 

I typically write self – first. I feel so lucky to get to see how sharing my own story has helped others that are listening. I’ve actually just started making my next record, though, and have felt the desire to write some songs for the listener. To give hope. To share space, but even those songs i’m bringing myself fully into. 

Can you describe the headspace you were in when you wrote Closure?

I was just out of my first relationship after getting sober my second time. I was on a writing trip to nashville with one of my best friends ali tamposi and we’d just been talking about the idea of closure and what it means and how to find it. We kind of got to a place in talking that sometimes closure is something you just need to make for yourself. To call it out like “ok here it is “. we had such a special day together with the incredible Jamie Lidell writing it.

Has the added independence of ‘Big Gay Records’ helped fuel your creative drive in any way?

Absolutely. I feel so free to create just because I want to. To do and say and express freely, andthe partnership with nettwerk has only added to the freedom and creativity I feel.

What would you say is one theme in your music people have never explored with you, but is something you’ve always wanted to talk about?

hmm that’s a hard one! I’m a pretty open book, so i’ve had questions about pretty much anything i can think of aha. I’ve been thinking a lot about my biggest fears in life and how they can silently steer you – that’s a question that would be interesting to get into.

When you look back over your musical journey, what’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome artistically?

I think the bit about having no control. I make things, and then I entrust it to others to see it through. I’ve been through two major label deals in my career that both have truly beautiful memories and milestones attached to them, but also have huge letdowns, total confusion , and helplessness and hopelessness attached to them . Not on one person, but just on those seasons of life and career. Being independent now and working with nettwerk, it all just feels so much more like me. I feel art should kind of be easy. Not in some way of no hard work, but the flow should be natural – at least for me that’s when I know things are working out.

How would you say your upbringing has influenced your sound today?

I moved around so much as a kid – 15x before high-school. I’m not sure how that may have influenced my sound, but I definitely think it’s helped me adapt to the movement of this creative life. Lots of constant motion. New places, new people; a lot to take in.

What is your FAULT?

Oof that’s a good one aha. I have many answers! I think maybe one that comes and goes but has always been there is bottling things up inside. I sometimes view it as self – preservation and at times have found it useful to stay on task and see things through, but at its worst it can be quite awful. Things build and build and build sometimes to an unfortunate overflow. I’m thankful for people in my life that hold really safe space to open up and release the pressure from the sometimes boiling proverbial tea kettle.