Chet Faker’s lo-fi electronica and laidback vocals had the blogs and radio waves a-buzz in Melbourne, and now it's doing good things overseas. To support his new single, ‘Love and Feeling’, Chet is heading out on a national tour. Be sure to get in quick to get a feel for the man behind the beard, as the first night on the 7th sold out.
How was SXSW? You haven't done a whole lot of live shows, have you?
No – I think our last gig at SXSW was our tenth show. It went well. Hitting the top spot on Hype Machine is a pretty big deal for a relative newcomer.
How did that feel?
It happened pretty fast. Hype is a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing if you aren't prepared to back it up. It made me a bit nervous initially, but to have the EP out was a good step for me in terms of legitimising it. To put an actual physical release out with six originals on it felt really good.
It's pretty obvious you've got what it takes to back up that original hype – the EP's been really well received.
Yeah, I've had some really positive feedback. It was a bit of a relief to see that people like the originals as well – that I wasn't going to be that 'No Diggity' guy forever.
You've got a pillow talk sample in 'I'm Into You' that sounds very real.
I'm a massive fan of found recordings, I think they really add to the aesthetic of a song. That song was based around two people in a bedroom so it made sense.
Quite a few of your songs are about two people in a bedroom.
Well, two of them are… I think everyone thinks I'm a bit of a sex addict.
Chet Faker is a bit of an enigma. Is the mystique of your brand intentional?
It was intentional, but not to the ends that I wanted mystique. It was more about privacy. In today's day and age it's not just about the music you make anymore, you're actually selling your personality. I think a lot of artists get confused when people like their music; they think that means people know and like them. I'm sure there's an element of truth to that, but to me, the music I make is what I'm most proud of. I prefer to focus on that and for people to focus on the music too. And I don't really see putting information about myself out there as all that relevant.
So what is the name all about?
Chet Faker's a reference to the late Chet Baker. I'm a big fan of his vocal style, it's quite fragile and soft, and that was a style I wanted to take on. There's also another Nick Murphy in Melbourne with a whole bunch of albums out. I used to play gigs as Nick Murphy and people would rock up and be like, "Who the hell's this?" That was probably the biggest reason for the name – it's just practical.
You grew up with the internet, so you obviously feel pretty comfortable in that environment.
I don't read that much about my stuff – it can produce a bad chi. But I did at the start and there were a few people commenting that I had a "smart" internet presence. Our generation's grown up with the internet, so it's an extension of our social lives, it's an extension of us. It makes perfect sense for me to use that medium. It's given me a lot of opportunities that I wouldn't have got if I'd just played around Melbourne. As lame as it sounds, it's like… power to the people. If people on the radio don't like you and you're not signed to a major label, it doesn't matter, because people can still find your music.