Three Great Things: Aaron Frazer

The Durand Jones player tells us what’s keeping him sane.

1. Staying in the car for a minute before going inside

There’s something about the silence and stillness after cutting the engine that I’ve always liked since I was a kid. It just feels like a moment of calm, private space, which is especially rare for a lot of people right now. The trip is over, you’re at your destination, but whatever it is that comes next can probably wait a minute. It’s kind of like the extra minute of sleep after you turn off the alarm, or the extra bit of a bathroom break when you’re on the clock at work. Small stolen moments of joy just taste a little sweeter I guess.

 2. B Sides

It’s the side of the 45 where they put the slow jam. The sweet, the tender, the weird. The stuff that might not sound like a “hit” but the band still loved it enough to get it out there. Most people first heard my voice on a song called “Is It Any Wonder?,” which appeared on the B side of our second single. It was a song we never thought would go on to be one of our most popular, but now people play it at their weddings, proposals, and for their new babies. If you’re out there collecting records, make sure to flip ‘em over!

3. UniverseCity

Ever heard the term “food desert” or “food apartheid”? In lots of places, people are denied the option of healthy, fresh food; access to things like fresh fruit, vegetables, and meat is difficult or impossible. UniverseCity is a nonprofit organization based in NYC that focuses on giving neighborhoods that food access through aquaponic urban farming. That basically means they grow crops indoors using tanks of water that have fish living in them. The fish help fertilize the crops, the crops help filter the water for the fish. It’s this amazing, sustainable cycle. AND on top of that, they teach these farming techniques to community members as job training in an industry that’s just starting to blow up. When you have food sovereignty, you don’t need to rely on outside resources to provide the things you need. You can follow them @UniverseCityNYC or their website,

(Photo Credit: Alysse Gafkjen)

The Brooklyn-based, Baltimore-raised songwriter Aaron Frazer first came into the international spotlight as multi-instrumentalist and co-lead singer for Durand Jones & The Indications. He penned some of the group’s most notable tracks, including “Morning In America,” and sang lead on “Is It Any Wonder?” – the latter an instant sweet soul classic anchored by Aaron’s falsetto, which caught the ear of producer and Black Keys guitarist Dan Auerbach. Frazer’s debut album, Introducing…, will be out Jan. 8.

(Photo Credit: Alysse Gafkjen)