Photo: Brooke James

Aidan Bissett

Fresh off a successful headline tour, the young singer-songwriter looks towards his next musical endeavor

Less than two years after he began popping up in a popular YouTuber’s vlogs and shorts, Tampa-born singer-songwriter Aidan Bissett has taken his youthful, energetic demeanor from the YouTube vlog space to sold-out concerts. Bissett just wrapped his Supernova Tour, during which he was typically onstage for a solid hour and fifteen minutes performing tracks from his newest compilation project Supernova, a project designed as a breeding ground for Bissett to find his sweet spot as a singer, writer, and creative, along with other past work. A recent show at NYC’s Racket saw the young star flaunt his rapidly growing stage presence and grab his audience by the throat with alt-pop/rock songs like “Grocery Store Girl,” “Bloom,” and breakout hit “Tripping Over Air.”

Navigating The Stage

Donning the type of onstage persona that felt both auto-piloted and organic, Bissett admits his looseness did not come easy. “It took me a solid 2-3 tours to figure out my voice and my presence,” he said. “But now that the headline tour has rolled around, I’ve learned how to come into my own and put on a show that I feel comfortable with.”

His situation as a live performer is similar to that of “Daylight” singer David Kushner, another young up-and-comer thrown into a nonstop year of touring with a limited catalog to go off of. Bissett was able to scrape 19 songs together for the set, highlighted by “Grocery Store Girl,” its live version only adding to its value as one of his greatest assets, and the unreleased track “Planet,” which sees Bissett challenging himself emotionally and sonically.

The final stretch of the show was an impressive run of fan favorites, all of which drew the mostly YA crowd into one connected bunch. “I think you always want to save some heavy hitters for last so people can walk out with their last bit of remembrance being like, ‘That was incredible,’ he said. “At the end, it felt like people really lock back in.”

Nothin’ Better Than A Record Store

Musically speaking, Bissett is establishing himself as a disciple of the alt-pop act Wallows, not shying away from their influence on his music. He is intentional and articulate in his discussions of their early work, showing love to early cuts like “Uncomfortable,” “Sun Tan,” and Nothing Happens deep cut “Remember When.” In a Record Store Haul video on YouTube, he also hits on albums by The Kinks, The Shins, and Mac DeMarco as primary inspirations, presenting himself as a scholar of the history of his chosen genre.

“I think there is something cathartic about all of those artists, and something nostalgic at the same time that I feel like the world is missing right now,” he said. “When listening to those, it gives me a feeling that I miss. That is always something I wanted to put into my music because I feel like it transcends all age demographics. If you can create something that feels familiar in a way, but new at the same time, a lot of people tend to gravitate towards it.”

He embodies those feelings of nostalgia and familiarity on songs like “Out Of My League,” “People Pleaser,” and “All That I’m Craving.” Bissett sings “Out Of My League” with the same wounded sweetness Wallows’ Dylan Minnette displays on tracks like “These Days” and “Talk Like That,” firmly grasping onto the execution of the feelings he has known all his life: “She was sittin’ on the sofa lookin’ like a supernova / She don’t know what I been thinkin’ in my head / And when she talks about her boyfriend I wanna drink a little poison / Cause I know it should be me instead of him.”

His time studying and observing the acts he admires have led to his own creative prowess, looking for both fan accessibility and unexpected dynamic changes within the music itself to define his sound. “Especially early on, I was obsessed with starting a little smaller, then having something really big to slap you in the face,” he said, citing “Grocery Store Girl” when prompted on its stellar hook. “I love the idea of rocking out in the chorus. At the same time, I was always really into making a chorus that was relatively simple that people could latch onto and sing easily, even if they didn’t know the words. I worked really hard on… all those things that feel like a chant. I felt like chants were the easiest way to get people into a melody that they don’t know.”

Reaching Towards a Debut Album 

Largely due to his rapid exposure to the masses on social media, Bissett dove headfirst into a career in the music industry, and all of the job requirements that come with it, before he had even graduated high school. The adultness of the job has not stopped him from fanning out over Dawson’s Creek and N64 Mario Cart when given the chance, but he takes his position seriously. “You do have to mature a lot faster because it’s a job… a REAL job,” he said. “You’re working with people much older than you… you have to learn how to handle yourself in those situations. A lot of my friends are still in college. Learning how to navigate those relationships while also navigating adult relationships has definitely become a different way of living than I was used to, but I think there are a lot of pros to it.”

Supernova, as it stands now, is yet another pop project with no limitations. No set boundary. Bissett adds to it as he sees fit. His next effort will fall under the album category… his debut full-length. “Every project you put out should just be a little bit better than what you put out in the past,” he said. “Tackling an album will be a challenge, but is something I’m ready for. Telling a full story like that. Surrounding myself with the right creatives is something I really value and learning from those people is important. As long as I’m absorbing new knowledge… new information, I think we’ll definitely put out something just as good, if not better.”

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