And as his star rises, Rex continues to find himself working with his contemporaries. He wound up playing guitar for Frank Ocean at a couple of Frank’s much talked-about festival dates last summer; he also helped Skepta open up the 2017 Mercury Prize ceremony, playing guitar for the ferocious Queens of the Stone Age riff which gets sampled on Man. “I definitely feel like a solo guy at heart, but I love working with other people,” Rex says, reflecting on sharing a stage with a small cast of heroes. “It’s ideal, I’m just playing guitar, and I love the songs I’m playing.”
During the same week as our conversation, Rex is announced as the second place runner-up in the BBC’s Sound of 2018 poll. The poll has an illustrious history of identifying superstars-inwaiting and accelerating their ascent. It’s another indelible mark of approval for Rex, an artist who only properly started writing and recording music three years ago.
I ask him – in light of the buzz that surrounds him – what he’s hoping to achieve over the next 12 months of his career. His response is straightforward: “The goal is to make another album. I don’t think it will come out this year, it will come when it comes,” he says, calmly.
Rex Orange County’s debut album, Apricot Princess, is out now. Interview taken from HUNGER #14.