Musician Profile: Sawyer Dupree


Zoe Lubetkin

Sawyer Dupree plays drums, guitar, and bass. He’s probably best at drums, but likes guitar right now, because he feels it’s easier to write songs on.

Sawyer Dupree has been playing drums since he was five years old; his first instrument was a kids drum set purchased for him by his parents. When he started taking traditional snare lessons, he practiced on that, using the backside of the snare because he broke the other drum head. This was his first exposure to learning music. Now, he plays guitar and bass as well. He makes his own music, by figuring out parts on whichever instrument he’s playing and then recording or remembering it. He doesn’t write out the specific notes because he can’t read music.

Dupree writes music with other people as well as by himself. It’s usually easier for him to do it alone because “only you know how you want it to sound exactly,” he explains.

When he gets it how he wants it to sound, it feels good. “You feel kind of accomplished,” Dupree says. “Although I don’t usually ever get that because I almost never finish songs completely.”

This is because for him, lyrics are hard. “They’re like the most personal things. I guess they don’t have to be, but most of the time good lyrics are the most personal thing that comes out from a song.”

In terms of music that isn’t his, he listens to mostly rock, among other genres. The music that he listens to affects the music he creates. Take Mac Demarco, which a friend brought to his attention a year or so ago. He likes the dreamy guitar parts and tries to emulate those when he writes his own music.

Music affects his life outside of just listening and creating. He’s formed connections because of it. “Music brings people together in a way that certain other things can’t,” Dupree says. “Having a similar music taste to someone is a really easy way to form a connection with them.” Beach Fossils, King Krule: these are artists he still listens to today because others introduced them to him.

“Even if you’re super different people or if you have different opinions about something,” Dupree elaborates. “You can talk about music.”

Music is a big part of his life. “It’s all I do,” he says.