EXCLUSIVE: Mysterious producer behind FRND finally shares identity

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FRND (pronounced “friend”) shot onto the scene last fall with the release of their first single, “Friend.” Since then, the anonymous producer/musician has garnered quite a bit of attention from the media and music fans alike. With music featured on Billboard, Earmilk, and Baeble and over 20 million streams on Spotify, FRND was already marked as an EDM prodigy without even releasing a full set of songs to the masses or revealing their identity. Rather, the producer has released singles exclusively through Spotify playlists and has kept their human identity private, only being depicted by a cartoon koala.

Today, FRND has released their debut EP, In Your Dreams, via Crooked Paintings–the record label of producers Evan Kidd Bogart (Beyoncé, Madonna, Rihanna) and Eman Kiriakou (Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato).

In addition to the EP release, the mastermind behind the project has decided to remove the mask and reveal their identity. Keep reading below to find out more about In Your Dreams and FRND, also known as Andrew Goldstein (formerly of The Friday Night Boys).

When you started FRND, what made you want it to be an anonymous project? You had a successful career in The Friday Night Boys, so why not put your identity out in the open from the beginning?

ANDREW GOLDSTEIN: I wanted to have the music speak for itself with no preconceived notions. It was refreshing to put something out that was unrelated to me or my past endeavors, and I felt like it gave it a fresh start.

Have any fears or worries about revealing your identity now?

Not really. Most of my friends already know it’s me and most listeners probably don’t really care. [Laughs.] They know it’s a real person singing and making the music. I really want to connect more with the fans and listeners so this will make that interaction easier.

Now that your identity is known, will the koala still hang around?

Yes. He is here to stay. I see the koala as my emotional alter ego that can easily express what I have a difficult time expressing.

How long have you had this project in the works?

I started this project about 11 months ago with my first song “Friend.” I wrote that song, and the project stemmed from that, which was an unfamiliar way to start something.

Do you approach songwriting any different now than you have in the past? Obviously, the style of music is different, but what about lyrically?

Yes. I try to put a real focus on the lyrics. I want to keep the concepts and lyrics real at all times. So no made-up scenarios, but rather real events that happened. I have grown to connect more and more with other artists’ lyrics, so I want listeners to know what each song is about and hopefully feel a connection to it.

Your debut EP, In Your Dreams, is out today. What was the recording process like for the EP?

I have a studio set up in my house, and a smaller set up in my actual room. Most of the EP was done in my room on headphones. I keep my microphone right next to the computer so I just record the vocals sitting in this weird chair I have. Most of the songs I would write the chorus or main part of the song first, then start building the production. I would finish out the lyrics, then record everything and mix it. All in all, it was a pretty spread out, relaxing process which is different from the strenuous and long-lasting experience a lot of artists can have at professional studios.

Is there a certain song that sticks out to you more than others?

My newest single off the EP called “Movies” is one of my personal favorites. It’s about how the end of a relationship is never how you expect it to end. When you look back at it, including all the twists and turns, you realize how it affected you and changed who you are in the end.

You didn’t play a show until the EP was complete. Was this a conscious effort or did it just coincidentally happen like that?

I wanted to make sure I had enough material to convey my sound and style to a new listener. It was exciting to play all the songs that are on the EP in one set as well so it felt very complete. I will definitely be playing more shows coming up.