Back in May, an emerging artist from New York City caught our attention in a big way. Blake Fusilier – who simply goes by his last name Fusilier – released a song that no adjective would do it justice. “Make You” was like the perfect cocktail – a concoction of different flavors that somehow worked to create something truly extraordinary. It was parts of Prince, Blood Orange (Dev Hynes), TV On The Radio, and Trent Reznor all shaken together into a memorable 4 minutes and 40 seconds. If you have yet to hear, it is below because this song is one of the best songs of the year. His other song, “The Moment”, is also outstanding and must be heard for his multi-genre and multi-cultural approach.
With such an innovative sound, it is no surprise that Brassland – the label run by Alec Hanley Bemis and The National’s Aaron Dessner, and Bryce Dessner – signed Fusilier. So when they reached out to see if we would be interested in Fusilier curating a special playlist for us, we jumped at the chance.
The Brooklyn-based artist, however, did not just create one playlist for us – he created two. This was unexpected. But thinking about it for a moment, we should not have been surprised at all. Fusilier’s music is thoughtful with the most minute detail attended to, so it is only natural that he would offer two options. Given the work he has put into this, we will share both.
The first is in line with our regular Mundo features, as Fusilier has created a mini-playlist of five songs that he calls “Music for the Moment”. These are songs that have inspired him as an individual and artist. The second is a Spotify playlist of 20 songs, which builds on the first five but offers more insights on who Fusilier is. Enjoy them both below. The songs are, as expected, diverse and eclectic, just the artist himself.
Mundo 5: Fusilier’s Music for the Moment
Kanye West: “Send It Up”
When Yeezus came out, Kayne was saying that he had already done perfect. “Send It Up” isn’t a track that sounds meticulously sculpted. It sounds like raw waveforms distorted and a couple of guys’ stream of consciousness. This King Louie verse was something I tried to emulate when writing the end of “The Moment”.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra: “The World is Crowded”
I went through a period where I tried to not write things that were groovy or soulful (read: black). Someone played me UMO’s first album and said that they thought it sounded like Motown, and I realized that I could be soulful within the context of “indie”. I love this Mutli-Love album because it sounds like they finally got comfortable with that idea as well.
Fela Kuti: “Zombie”
I got really into Fela Kuti when writing my EP. I don’t think I had heard anyone in my peer group mention him. I watched a documentary about his activism life and music, and I said to myself, “Yeah, this is who I wanna be.” He’s in control of his chaotic genius and groovy as ever on this track.
Erykah Badu: “Master Teacher Medley”
This song is almost 10 years old but is so much more relevant now than it ever was. Auntie Erykah is at her most regal and musical here. I was obsessed with this album and this song when I was writing the lyrics for “Make You”. This music helped me become more comfortable with a message that was at once peaceful and provocative. #staywoke
Nine Inch Nails: “Closer”
I remember how afraid I was of this video when it came out. I used to hide under sheets watching the MTV late night block, staring at these images I didn’t understand. Later when I started playing in rock bands, I rediscovered this song and The Downward Spiral and the genius production of Trent Reznor. I think he was the first to be scary, sexy, wild, and vulnerable at once. I think you’ll be hearing more of that from me in the future.
Fusilier’s Spotify Music for the Moment Playlist (20 songs)
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