Since first emerging on the scene, the 17-year-old singer-songwriter, Vaughn Prangley, has self-styled a massively dynamic career with a string of critically acclaimed singles, projects, and an EP, ‘Where it Begins’, released early 2021, and today he gives his fans what they’ve been waiting for – his first studio album, ‘Destination Unknown’.
Vaughn has become one of South Africa music’s most buzzed-about talents, earning lavish praise from major mainstream publications over the last two years since he kickstarted his career back in 2020.
Composed of ten emotively poignant tunes that spotlight Vaughn’s mastery in songwriting and melody making, ‘Destination Unknown’ stands to be the young artist’s strongest foot forward in his debut year.
Each song delves into the deeply emotional renderings of Vaughn’s own past and present, allowing for anthemic singalongs like ‘Avalanche to the Sea’ and ‘Beside You’ while tracks like ‘Rise and Fall’, ‘Borders’ and ‘White Lies’ wrench the heart harder in its reflection.
The album carries an implicit message about making the most of the years, months, and minutes we’ve got left.
Vaughn Prangley comments on his debut album
“The title ‘Destination Unknown’ describes the general path that life takes. We are all on some form of journey, yet we very rarely know where it is, we are going. What the future holds for us is often a mystery and for this reason, the words ‘Destination Unknown’ emphasize how important it is to live life in the present and enjoy every moment as it passes.”
“Try not to obsess about the unknown future because it is overwhelming and scary to attempt to wrap your head around something that just has not happened yet. Instead, deal with what you have control of now, enjoy and appreciate the things you have now. At the end of it all, the destination of life is the journey itself.”
“The album in many ways is a representation of my life over the past two years. If you listen to ‘Destination Unknown’ from top to bottom it tells a story. The struggles, the uncertainties, the happy and exciting moments… they are all there told as a melodic adventure.”
“The ideas for the songs came from how I was feeling as well as how the world was feeling. I had seen and experienced things that just had to be shared and so I would go ahead and write a song about it. The very first song that sparked the album’s existence is the opening track ‘Rise and Fall’.”
“Telling the story of someone that keeps getting knocked down by life but never hard enough for him not to stand back up again. My creative process is heavily influenced by what happens in my environment and so the album is a story of life written by what I have seen and felt.”
More info about Vaughn Prangley
Vaughn Prangley’s music unfolds like the kinds of stories you share with your best friends. It’s intimate, detailed, personal, and meaningful. These songs on the album are for the small hours, late-night drives, quiet contemplation, and conversation in the twilight.
Vaughn explores the full spectrum of human emotion, with a lyrical rawness that is both disarming and life-affirming.
Vaughn comments on the lyrics
“The lyrics of every song on the album have been written with the intention of sincerity. Everything I write is a depiction of what I was feeling at the time, an experience that I had witnessed, or how the people around me deal with and are affected by everyday life. This often leads to the writing process being quite emotionally driven. Every song I write comes from a special part of my soul and so every song does affect me in one way or another”
Vaughn has been building hype for this album since the release of ‘Passing Seconds’ and ‘Call our Own’, released in late 2021. The growth within Vaughn’s artistry is noticeable within every track as he experiments with new sounds and vocal stylings.
Vaughn comments on his music
“My music has changed a lot over the past two years, and I can honestly say that this album along with every song on it, is a true representation of who I am as an artist. All my previous music has been me trying to figure out who I want to be in the music industry and this album is the answer to that question.”
“I think people from all spectrums of music taste will be able to find something they can resonate with on the album. The album is extremely diverse in sound ranging from loud alternative rock songs with heavy electric guitars to intimate love songs with nurturing acoustics”,
In celebration of the album’s release, Vaughn shares more about the leading track, ‘White Lies’
“White Lies is a message of encouragement to anyone’s ears that may stumble upon it. The song shares the message of “Be who you are and not who the world wants you to be”. There are so many beautiful people out there that are too scared to express their true selves because of what others may think of them and so it is easier to lie and create a fake persona to block out the monsters that live amongst us.”
“I chose this song to be the main track of the album because it addresses a very serious issue. I want to encourage people to learn to be okay with who they are and by doing so they will attract the people that will support and love them without a need for them to change.”
Vaughn wishes to create music that listeners can relate to and find solace in. This record is a glimpse into the heart and soul of the mysterious artist. This record is a journey inside oneself, an exploration of one’s emotions.
Penning lyrics that serve both the heart and head, ‘Destination Unknown’ perfectly showcases his knack for effortless, heartfelt storytelling. For such a young talent, Vaughn has evolved his sound continuously. Each track has something unexpected up its sleeve; this is alternative-rock songwriting at its finest.
All the songs on the album are written by Vaughn himself, except ‘Beside You’ featuring and co-written by his producer, Howie Combrink. Vaughn Prangley and Howie have been working together since February 2021 and have curated quite a strong work ethic and friendship.
Howie Combrinck comments on working with Vaughn Prangley
“Working with Vaughn has been an amazing journey. I’ve gotten to watch him grow so fast as an artist over the past two years. Spending time with him in studio and in life in general is always a pleasure. We engage in long discussions along the way and take those conversations to the studio and get creative.”
“We pushed the creative boundaries on this album attempting to make most of the sounds from scratch. It was a great journey and a hope the listeners enjoy his latest offering ‘Destination Unknown’. It truly did come from the heart.”
The ten songs on Destination Unknown are adorned with bass, drums, guitars, piano, banjo, Flugel, trumpet, and a variety of richly textured synths and keyboards.
Vaughn Prangley shares more about the production process as a whole
“The production process of the album created some of the best memories of my life. We played around with every aspect of music and there were literally no limits as we wanted the best possible version of every song that we could get.”
“Some of my favorite moments include drumming on the lid of a piano, screaming and shouting random words, jamming on a banjo, oh and of course recording trumpet and Flugel… Between you and I, I did not know what a Flugel was up until we recorded ‘Alluring Avenues'”.
The production of the album took place over a period of 18 months and so it gave us enough time to ensure that every song was made with love and care. I can honestly say that not once during the production of ‘Destination Unknown’ did I feel rushed. We would sometimes spend quite a few sessions in the studio over several weeks on one song, making sure that it would be the best that it could be.”
Destination Unknown is a celebratory record and an inspiring one too. Do yourself a favour and go and listen to this record from top to bottom. Listen HERE.
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