metroactive logo

Wallpaper’s Ricky Reed Gets Real

In Clubs, Music

World of Wallpaper

What’s most impressive is that Frederic’s stuff only seems to be getting more outlandish. For “Stupidfacedd,” he began experimenting in the studio with a low-register rap delivery that put an even stranger spin on his sound.

“I wasn’t born to be a singer,” he admits. “Maybe I was born to be a musician, but not a vocalist. When I started singing, I was so bad at it. I had terrible pitch. The tone of my voice is not a naturally pleasing tone—it took me 10 to 15 years to get my tone not to be really abrasive. So I’m always looking for new ways to make my voice sound more pleasing.”

A Wallpaper song is almost unmistakable now, with Frederic’s sharpened ability to take what could be a straightforward great party record and push it one step further, into the realm of the bizarre, without skipping a beat. For instance, “2 Pair a Shades” on the recent EP—a song basically about how people who wear two pairs of sunglasses are twice as fly as those who wear one—could have easily been, say, “Cool Pair a Shades” and ended up a simple, great summer song without that signature Frederic touch.

But he says that’s the wrong way to look at; rather than pushing a normal concept to extremes, he does the opposite.

“The first thing I do is go to ‘2 pair a shades.’ I start there. The way my brain works, song ideas come in and out all the time. The ones that come through that are unique I recognize instantly, and those are the songs that I write,” he says.

But if Frederic feels somewhat vindicated by finally getting down his musical vision the way he wants it to be heard, that doesn’t mean he’s satisfied. Even with everything that’s happened in the last year, he feels like it’s just the beginning.

“In 2012,” he says, “I’m going to knock it out of the park.”

Sat., Jan. 21
Blank Club, San Jose
9pm; $10

Back to top