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The Next Blood Orange Album Is About Growing Up Black in England

“If Freetown was delving into my parents from my eyes, this one is me looking at my younger self,” Dev Hynes has said.

by Lauren O'Neill
09 October 2017, 11:01am

Photo via Instagram

It's a funny old thing, growing up in a place that doesn't seem to completely embrace you. In a new interview done before an audience at The New Yorker Festival, Dev Hynes is reported to have mentioned those feelings in relation to his upbringing as the black child of immigrants, in the south of England. In conversation with The New Yorker's Hua Hsu, Hynes shared the first real information we'd heard about his forthcoming fourth album under the Blood Orange moniker – an album that he describes as being "78 percent done." His last LP, Freetown Sound, met with huge critical praise, and continued on in the unique sonic direction that has lead him to be viewed as an auteur producer, so specific and recognisable is his sound.

So, that means that hopes are high for its follow up, and Hynes has now spoken a little about the themes it touches on – namely, "growing up and childhood in England." Originally from Ilford, just outside London, Hynes discussed the historical influence of the white nationalist British National Party in the area, and said:

If Freetown was delving into my parents from my eyes, being younger and now, this one is definitely me looking at my younger self, growing up in that setting. So yeah, it's a little dark.

According to Vulture, Hynes also mentioned crossing the road whenever he saw a Union Jack flag hanging in a pub window, and his experiences of bullying. And while these are dark memories, it's a testament to Hynes' enormous skill that he'll more than likely be able to make something beautiful out of them.

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