For those who've come across the seas, Chet Faker has boundless plains to share
The second Key of Sea compilation once again pairs established local artists (Paul Kelly, Lanie Lane, Dick Diver and more) with artists who’ve come here in search of a better life to create something that represents our patchwork heritage. Melbourne’s Chet Faker describes working with the Royal Swazi Spa and the creation of their track, ‘Fear Like You’.
Were you familiar with Key of Sea?
I had never actually heard of the project, to be honest, but once I got the vibe, it was something that I was immediately keen on doing. Music is a very narcissistic business, so it’s nice to work with something a bit bigger than yourself.
How did you meet the Royal Swazi Spa?
Romani [Benjamin, co-founder of Key of the Sea] asked what kind of artists I would be interested in working with. I mentioned to her that I listened to a lot of Afrobeat stuff, particularly Abdullah Ibrahim who is one of my favourite jazz musicians. She mentioned their drummer had also been Ibrahim’s drummer for many years, which was a bit of a celebrity shock for me: I would be playing with the drummer I have listened to a million times!
In terms of the political intent behind Key of Sea, is treatment of refugees something you’re passionate about?
Yeah, it is. The title ‘Fear Like You’ itself represents my approach on that. I looked to model a few people I know who wouldn’t consider themselves racist but still are afraid of these refugees coming in. The idea behind the song is that miniscule fear is nothing compared to that of the people who are running away from persecution to a country they have never been to. I’m a humanist at heart: at the end of the day we are all human beings.