Austin Fillmore • "Don't Hate Me"

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Appearing with a new sound as well as a new video, Austin Fillmore brings out his latest offering, “Don’t Hate Me”. The visual directed by Brandon Holmes isn’t the type of aesthetic easily glossed over. Together with Brandon, Austin brings a narrative to life in ways we’ve yet to see from the singer. The song is a brave step in a new direction for Austin and along with producer Drew Damen, he’s been able to create a new sense of understanding through big sounds and thoughtful songwriting. From the first scene of what feels more like a short film rather than a music video, the audience is trapped in the dark reaches of Austin’s mind, forced to witness a series of unfortunate events. Working as the perfect supplement to Austin’s story of navigating painful relationships, the new video creates the ideal atmosphere with all the right cinematic elements to keep you locked in. As a veteran of Chicago’s music scene, Austin Fillmore’s “Don’t Hate Me” looks to be taking him to new heights.

Growing up between the westside and the west suburbs of Chicago, Austin sees his upbringing as an instrumental part of his artistic development. “I spent a lot of time in Chicago growing up. During the week my parents had me in the suburbs for school but on the weekend I was in the city with my cousins.” Although he didn’t spend all of his time in the city, Austin’s family has deep roots in the west side of Chicago, “The whole block / Austin community knew my family, my grandmother was called the mother of Austin and helped raise that whole community and was one of the first blacks in the neighborhood...As soon as I was able to move to the city on my own I did and my first place was off of Austin and Fillmore hence where I got my name. Chicago gave me base, roots, a foundation to know who I am and where I came from.” Taking the talents acquired from a city he loves so much, Austin aspires to champion the rest of 2018 with hopes of releasing his new project TLFM VOL.1 (ThinkLessFeelMore) on May 11th.

To know more about Austin and his new video check out the Q&A below!

Photo by  Kendall Hill

Photo by Kendall Hill

What were you experiencing when you created this song?

Questioning relationships, not just my romantic relationship but my friendships as well..and when I heard the beat it pulled out all of those emotions. That song helped me evaluate myself and those relationships and ultimately helped me to be able to back out of the ones I saw as destructive, to myself and to whoever.

This song takes your music in a different direction, what can you tell us about cultivating this new blend of music with Drew Damen?

You know the one thing I have learned and am coming to grips with is my music doesn’t have specific direction, it’s More so a specific requirement and that is to insight and inspire emotion, and I feel like Drew Damen as a producer is one of the best at being able to pull that emotion out of me musically. Drew is great to work with, him and I have the same mentality when it comes to making music. We both are trying to create the next big sound, something no one is currently doing or would expect and we really dig from deep places to accomplish that. I never know what we are going to create but it always ends up being dope!

I can really feel the cinematic elements in the visual, who did you work with to achieve that visual concept and how did you find the overall sequence of the visual?

Everything that happened in the video, I dreamt. It was the night we first made the song I went home fell asleep and had this dream with the song playing in the I hit up my homie Brandon Holmes who I believe is the best videographer in the city and we pieced it all together!  

Noticing the overall change in your art direction on social media leading up to this release, can we expect your music to build on the story from this song over time?

I think this specific story for this song is complete but I have more songs and more stories to share, so expect more entertainment

What can your audience expect from you going forward? 

More entertainment, more emotional inspiration, bigger and brighter lights, a wider, broader audience. My biggest goal is to be considered one of the greats, so that’s what I’m gonna be and strive to do!