Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.
I first noticed Watt as a featured artist on the collab-tastic new Hailee Steinfeld single Let Me Go (it already features Florida Georgia Line and Alesso, so why not throw in another artist too?). My curiosity increased as I spotted the same name credited on several new singles by major female artists: he co-wrote Wolves, Havana, Anywhere, It Ain’t Me and Lonely Together. When I turned to Google, I was surprised to find he’s not another writer/producer trying to become an artist, but kind of the opposite. Andrew Watt started out as a rock band frontman, before becoming a guitarist-for-hire, working with acts including Justin Bieber. This led to co-writes on a few of Justin’s tracks, including 2016 hit Let Me Love You, and a solo record deal with Universal Republic. He released a waily single called Burning Man in 2016, featuring Post Malone, but his artist career has gone pretty quiet since then. I suspect the fact Republic secured him a namecheck on Let Me Go (despite having no obvious vocal presence on the track) means he’ll be back with new music soon. Many successful songwriters have tried to launch artist careers, with varied results – Julia Michaels is proof it can work, but she has the advantage of being able to release songs that sound like the hits she wrote. The fact he sounds nothing like Selena, Camila or Rita will be the challenge for Watt.