Few young artists can boast of sparking a label bidding war after releasing their debut EP through Soundcloud, or list the likes of Brockhampton, Billie Eilish and DJ Khaled as fans. Yet Dominic Fike’s beachy, lo-fi blend of rap and soft rock made him an instant star, with his debut single, 3 Nights, going platinum in the US and the UK.
Partially that’s because his genre-fluid ethos taps into a sound established by Post Malone and the late Juice WRLD. He’s not yet at their level: What Could Possibly Go Wrong whiplashes between genres in a way that is sometimes messy and mismatched. Yet Fike’s versatility deserves credit – it’s hard not to enjoy the grungy, knotted production of Come Here, as well as the California pop rock of Double Negative (Skeleton Milkshake).
Despite the blend of genres, Fike does have a clear signature sound. Muffled vocals, gritty guitar riffs and heavy percussion ring through What’s for Dinner? and Joe Blazey, overlaid by Fike’s high-pitched singing and melodic rap. His lyricism and song content might occasionally come off as banal and vapid (Cancel Me is weakly antagonistic), but it’s lifted by his often vibrant flow and instrumentation that harness a sense of sunny, youthful optimism.
That guilelessness is key: What Could Possibly Go Wrong will be a summer soundtrack for the 24-year-old’s Gen Z fanbase who, like Fike, feel carefree in the moment yet nihilistic about their future. It offers insight into the untrammelled spirit of an artist on the rise, one reassuringly unencumbered by expectations.