He's handsome, he wears great glasses, he's got a killer voice — Gus Dapperton has got us all excited in the way that only a new music discovery can. Inspired by world class cinema and heartache, the Warwick, New York-based artist has been quietly putting out very good music, very sporadically, for the past year. Lucky for you, you caught him right before he appears on everyone else's awesome radar.
Teaming up with director Matthew Dillon Cohen, a fellow New Yorker, Gus has just made a music video-turned-short film for what just so happens to be our favorite Gus Dapperton song, "I'm Just Snacking." "The song describes two lost souls," he explained to i-D over email. "The protagonist believes they can save each other if they grow together. The other lost figure insists that their love cannot be because they are only a lone, wandering, and tragic case."
Matthew Dillon Cohen, who has previously directed for GoldLink, Lil Yachty, and Rejjie Snow has created something really special that starts off with everybody kissing in a red-lit room before Gus heads out to sing and dance his way home through the city streets in his bright orange jacket while hooked up to CD player headphones. We soon learn that there's been a relationship breakdown that appears to fix itself during a dance party later on, but he ends up alone once more, so who can be sure? Meet Gus below and get snacking, kids!
Hi Gus! What're the best and worst things about Warwick, NY?
The best thing about Warwick is that when everything blooms around spring time the trees hang over the roads and it feels like you're driving through a portal to another dimension. The worst thing about Warwick is that the tunnel really isn't a portal to another dimension, it's a portal to another small Friday night lights town where people develop unwarranted egos.
When and how did you start making music?
I started making music in eighth grade, due to the initiative of a songwriting contest. My close friends and I took it very seriously and I won the contest. I became passionate about making music shortly after.
What inspires you to create?
World class cinema and heartache.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an inventor of sorts. I had an idea for something similar to the Roomba when I was four, but I never pursued it. We have a Roomba now and my dog growls at it.
What's "I'm Just Snacking" all about?
The song describes two lost souls. They both share a complementary mindset when it comes to opulence, popularity, materialism, and love. Meaning that they don't care much for wealth and image. The protagonist believes they can save each other if they grow together. The other lost figure insists that their love cannot be because they are only a lone, wandering, and tragic case. The protagonist insists that what they have is pure and it is the only path to endure. The song ends with an unclear future.
How was it working with Matthew Dillon Cohen?
I rarely work with others on my own artistic ventures. You have to fully trust someone in their craft and capability, which is hard to come by. Matt and I started off as friends but then I realized he was the only person who could accurately portray my music visually. And in an unorthodox manner. Matt has worked on some big videos but I think our projects, in particular, are more personal and honest due to the faith we have in one another. Matt is my favorite director and is very fun to be around.
In the video, were you actually listening to your music on the CD player?
Unfortunately, I was not. Instead, Matt was running around behind the camera with a bluetooth speaker. I couldn't hear much due to the headphones.
Got any good anecdotes from behind the scenes?
At some point when we were about to shoot the scene of Charlotte waking up in bed, we realized we didn't have an actor to lay in bed next to her. We needed someone to play the part as soon as possible. My friend, Daniel Regan, came to mind, so I called him immediately and reluctantly he was down to play the part. It had been his birthday the night before and he was very tired. As soon as he got into bed he fell back asleep. We shot the whole scene while he was sleeping.
So, are you a pro dancer or do you just have great moves?
I'm not a professional but maybe I will pursue it full-time if professionally snacking isn't enough to pay the bills.
What's the big plan, Gus?
As of right now my big plan is to overcome the neighbor who calls several noise complaints on me everyday. After that I will strive to be happy and always exist in reality.
Text Frankie Dunn