No one would argue that breakups aren't tough. They can be immensely painful and even paralyze you emotionally at times. For All Time Low's Jack Barakat and singer/songwriter Kevin Fisher, that pain fueled their creativity and gave birth to WhoHurtYou, a new pop music project with a dark twist.
The origins of the duo stretch back to the days when All Time Low was writing for their 2017 album, Last Young Renegade. Frontman Alex Gaskarth brought in Fisher to collaborate with them and introduced him to Barakat. They very quickly hit it off and soon realized that they had a lot in common.
"We became good friends, and I was going through a bad breakup at the time, and Kevin had just been through the wringer as well, so we kind of became good friends because of that, and also because of our love for music," Barakat told PopCulture.com. "Kevin convinced me to start writing songs with him, and we put our story out there. The rest is, as they say, on Wikipedia.
While Barakat's long and illustrious career with All Time Low is well documented, Fisher is — as he jokes — a more "mysterious boy" who tends to frequently work "behind the scenes."
"I'm usually writing for people and then just giving it to them to sing and perform and all that stuff," he explained. Some of the artists that Fisher has written with include pop/rock bands 5 Seconds of Summer and One Republic.
"I grew up in Colorado Springs, and I picked up the guitar when I was like, 14, and just never looked back. Played in bands that were terrible, and just made my way to Seattle, first off. Which was super random, and met a lot of great people there," Fisher shared. After Seattle, he made his way down to Arizona and spent time working on music there before heading to Los Angeles.
"From there, I just kind of fell into songwriting. I had put out a few songs of my own, just on SoundCloud. A few labels heard it, and a few publishing companies heard it, and I didn't really want to sign to a label, so I did a publishing deal with a company called Prescription, and they've been amazing," Fisher also told PopCulture.
We started this project just as two good friends helping each other through a difficult time. We had no expectations and no plan of releasing. It means the world to both of us that you all are listening. More music coming soon. pic.twitter.com/a3F3xDeVVC— WhoHurtYou (@whohurtyoumusic) June 28, 2019
On the surface, Barakat and Fisher almost seem to "come from different worlds," but those differences combined make WhoHurtYou stand out from other pop duos.
"I think that when we first started writing music together, we didn't really know what we were going to sound like, and I feel like Kevin has always leaned a little more pop, and I've learned a little more rock/emo, so I think WhoHurtYou is kind of a collaboration of those two things," Barakat said
Last month, the pair dropped their first single, titled "Wish We Never Met," an incredibly infectious pop tune with lyrics that reflect the pain of a breakup. One could argue that it's the catchiest anti-love song of 2019.
"That song is just so special to us, because when Jack and I first started writing, we were just kind of doing it, just because. Like, I had seen Jack kind of going through something that I was going through too, and we were just good friends at that point, so we were just kind of writing, just to vent and blow off some steam, and I think Jack is so used to playing guitar and doing all this, in the band that he had never really dived into lyrics, before," Fisher said of writing the song.
"The creation of the song was interesting, because it was the first thing we had done, so we don't have a basis for a sound, we don't know where to start, we don't know what tempo to start at, we don't know what to sing about," Barakat added, then explaining, "Starting, out, we wanted to kind of do what Robyn does, and we wanted to write really poppy, upbeat songs that have really dark meanings, and dark undertones, and from the outside sound like a pop song, but they're actually pretty dark and deep."
He continued, "So, we came in production-wise, we were like, "Let's start with this upbeat pop, dance song and then let's write about these messed up lyrics, about relationships that screwed us up.' "
We are WhoHurtYou. A dark pop project started between @jackbarakat and @iamsweettalker with the purpose of healing from heartbreak and turning a negative experience into something positive. pic.twitter.com/xUPEw0mPoW— WhoHurtYou (@whohurtyoumusic) June 18, 2019
Next up, WhoHurtYou will be dropping an EP titled Stages, which does not currently have an official release date, but is "going to come out sooner than later."
Not only that, but they also revealed that they have already started writing music for a second EP, "Because we have so much more to say," Fisher said, while Barakat joked, "As long as there's broken hearts, there will be music."