From Pro Surfer To GRAMMY Nominated House Music Icon: The Rise Of FISHER

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Not many have had such an interesting and particular rise to fame as FISHER. Many know him now as one of the most popular names in house music, but that has only been a recent development considering his other professional endeavors. What in the world was he doing before then? How does someone go from seemingly unknown to a GRAMMY nominated artist in under two years? Well, it’s not all that simple, really. Buckle down and we’ll take you through everything we know about the Fish, you little beauties.

Paul Fisher first had his name recognized by the surfing community, not dance music. Although this may be true, the man we know as FISHER today was still the same goofy dude back when he was surfing. The Fish was competing in the World Surf League’s qualifying series among some of the best in the world prior to his fame from music.

Fisher first found his surfing fame by purchasing a camera and documenting all of his wild activities, whether they were in the water or on-land. This led to the creation of his own blog, Fishtales (which used to be hosted at his current artist website followthefish.tv). Fishtales is full of ridiculous footage of our man doing hilarious interviews, riding dick-shaped surfboards, and all-around, good-spirited debauchery. It wasn’t long before his notoriety as an internet personality grew into something that all of surfing was paying attention to.

It wasn’t until around 2011 that the Fish really got his music career started. All the while he was carrying on with his Fishtales channel, he linked up with childhood friend Leigh Sedley (aka Sedz) to create their Cut Snake project. The two had been friends for a while, dating back to their teenage years when they would hang out and surf together. When weather and wave conditions weren’t allowing them to surf, it inspired them to both pick up DJing as a hobby.

As time passed, it looked like Fisher pursued surfing more seriously while Sedz got more into music. As fate would have it, however, the two eventually decided to come together again and officially to start producing their own music and playing shows together. After just a few killer deep house releases like “Face Down” and their Chet Faker edit, they were already getting internationally recognized by massive outlets such as Mixmag.

There’s no doubt that Fisher’s reputation helped get their music out there, but the music did the rest of the work. It was undeniably groovy, deep, and tropical, and once the two realized that this was going to be their full time jobs, they didn’t look back. Fish’s uploads to his Fishtails vlog began to falter as his focus shifted, and the duo that is Cut Snake rode that wave together for an additional three years.

Summer of 2017 was when Paul Fisher made the move to assume the FISHER pseudonym and drop his first ever solo track, “Ya Kidding,” via the very well known Dirtybird Records. We’re unsure of how Fisher and Dirtybird linked up in the first place, but it absolutely blew up. At the time, FISHER was still an unknown and mysterious name to the majority of people who were listening to the track, since not many made the connection between himself and his ongoing Cut Snake project with Sedz.

Everyone wanted to know who the hell FISHER was after this colossal release. The track was being played everywhere. FISHER made his first official festival appearance at Dirtybird Campout West Coast 2017 with a modest 6pm time slot as the “special guest,” but he rocked it, unloading unreleased tech house jams with such enthusiasm that he won over the hearts of everyone in attendance.

The funny thing about that festival is that Cut Snake was also performing, and he took the stage with Sedz for their set as well. It was there that the general Dirtybird fanbase began to make the connection. Little did everyone know, however, that this was going to be one of the last times he ever performed with Sedz as Cut Snake.

No matter where you look, you’re not going to find much information on the official split of Cut Snake. FISHER’s “Ya Kidding” and the follow up Oi Oi EP that contained “Stop It” and “Ya Didn’t” had already done better than any of the Cut Snake releases thus far, amassing millions of streams very quickly. The Fish seemed to be doing far better on his own than within the duo, but we still wonder what made him want to release music on his own to begin with.

Once reality hit that it was going to be an obviously great career move to pursue the FISHER project, the two friends parted ways. There was no public mention of it at all, perhaps because they didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. It’s hard to imagine that there was any bad blood between the two since they’ve been friends since they were teenagers, but without any information on the split, we have no idea how their relationship stands today. All of FISHER’s photos were removed from their socials to now just show Sedz as the sole member of Cut Snake.

With two massive releases under his belt, FISHER was ready to follow them up with yet another. “Crowd Control” dropped on March 2, 2018, again released on Dirtybird. With all the hype behind the solo project that wasn’t even a year old yet, you can bet that fans and DJs alike were eager to get their hands on it. Of course, like the other releases, “Crowd Control” smashed the Beatport charts and was being played out by nearly every house DJ around the world.

The momentum was propelling FISHER to a whole new level, even above all of the current artists on the Dirtybird roster, some of which who had been in the game for more than a decade like Claude VonStroke and Justin Martin. This led to the creation of FISHER’s very own label, Catch & Release. The track that he chose as the first release for the label in July of 2018 was his now iconic “Losing It.”

Most of the community knew that “Losing It” was going to be another hit, making FISHER 5-for-5 with his releases, but nobody could have predicted its impact. DJs that didn’t even play house music were finding ways to get into their sets. FISHER was exposing thousands if not millions of people to house music that may never have given it a chance before. “Losing It” was taking the entire world by storm.

It’s only proper that he received the most prestigious nod of the entire music industry for such a momentous track, a GRAMMY nomination under the Best Dance Recording category. He ended up losing to Diplo & Mark Ronsons’ Silk City track “Electricity,” but it doesn’t make the milestone any less impressive.

Where FISHER will go from here is anybody’s guess. He’s already accomplished in a year and a half what most artists try to achieve in their entire careers. It’s been over six months since the release of “Losing It,” and it still is the only track released on his Catch & Release imprint. When will FISHER be ready to follow up what may be the biggest track of his entire life? We’ll just have to wait and find out. Until then, we’ll continue to follow the Fish’s hilarious antics wherever he goes.

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