Daniel Fears is the KUTX Artist of the Month for July 2021. Photo by Michael Minasi/KUTX.
Austin’s Daniel Fears has traveled a very unpredictable route to arrive at the slow burning R&B on Canopy, his strong debut EP. He first felt music’s possibility and promise as a kid, listening to the musicians in his church play every Sunday. Pop music was forbidden in his household, so Fears took up trombone and the classical repetoire instead, and a degree from UT and a master’s in Yale pushed him further down the classical path. But Fears says writing horn parts for a friend’s song finally “flipped a switch.” It convinced him that his heart lay in dreaming up his own music. He just had to discover what that music was.
Canopy is the first taste of that particular journey. It’s musically sophisticated without wandering into the weeds, as a lot of classically-trained musicians can do. Instead, Fears puts his emotions front and center, buoyed by a sound that’s modern but spacious and unhurried.
This week on My KUTX, Fears is our guest DJ. He dives into the inspirations that percolate throughout his music, like Frank Ocean’s storytelling, Miguel’s honesty, and a recent discovery of an old reggae record that’s brightening his days. Hear Daniel Fears’ My KUTX on Saturday, July 31 at 6 p.m. or listen anytime in the player above.
–Art Levy // producer, My KUTX
[intro music: Daniel Fears – “Everything Changes” (feat. Soul Food Horns)]
1. John Legend – “Heaven”
2. SiR – “D’Evils”
3. Frank Ocean – “Super Rich Kids” (feat. Earl Sweatshirt)
4. Emily King – “Down”
5. Emily King – “Aya”
6. Rosalía – “Pienso En Tu Mirá”
7. Third World – “Feel A Little Better”
8. Anderson .Paak – “Parking Lot”
9. Dijon – “Crybaby :*(”
10. Miguel – “So I Lie”
11. Israel & New Breed – “I Will” (live)
12. Jennah Bell – “Candied Daylight”