Bearded, soulful, and mysterious in his own right, Chet Faker has become a name on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Hailing from Melbourne’s tight-knit music scene, Faker– whose real name is Nick Murphy– first become known to us when his hit cover of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” hit number 1 on Hype Machine about a year and half ago. Since then, he’s released his award-winning debut EP Thinking in Textures, which was recorded in his own garage (by choice).
Heavily influenced by artists like Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, and obviously his namesake Chet Baker, Faker has managed to create music that transcends the boundaries of what it means to make “electronic music” in a cool and stylistic way. We recently had the privilege of catching up with him during his nearly sold-out North American Tour.
For the last few years, your music has been labeled a number of genres, from “post-dubstep,” to “downtempo soul,” and even “adult contemporary.” How would you describe your music?
I find myself saying “Electronic Soul” a lot, although I’m not sure if that’s just because it’s easy to understand for your regular Joe.
What was it like to be recognized internationally, by everyone from small blogs to Rolling Stone Magazine, in such a short amount of time?
It was genuinely surreal in the first year. Nothing really settled in my psyche until recently. There was a huge learning curve that came with it all too, so it wasn’t all rainbows. I consider myself a lucky man and it’s important that I work hard now. I guess the main lesson was to focus on what I was creating and not worry about who was covering my work, be it Rolling Stone or a small blog.
A few tracks off your EP incorporate some very noticeable found sounds, including your hit “No Diggity.” Coming from a background in audio engineering, do you have a natural inclination to include these textural sounds into your music?
I don’t think the audio engineering had much to do with that. Most of the sounds are recorded on my phone, so they’re pretty low quality recordings. The thing I like about found sounds, and location sounds especially, is the imagery that comes with them. If I’m trying to tell a story that’s associated with a place, it makes sense for me to put in sounds that are going to help imagine that place.
How do your audiences in North America compare to those in Australia?
Well so far, the North America tour has been amazing. Most of the shows have sold out and the people have been vibing. The audiences here have been really supportive. I don’t like to compare countries though; every audience has something special to offer and it can change from show to show.
Which up-and-coming acts should we keep our eyes on?
What’s your favourite album of the year so far?
Can we expect a full-length album anytime soon?
Hopefully soon. I’ve been working on it for well over a year now. It’s been hard finishing it when I keep getting these amazing opportunities to travel the world and play music. Plus, it’s the first full-length I’ve done, so it’s been a challenge working on such a large body of work. I have some time at the end of this year, which I’m going to dedicate to finishing the record.
Check out Faker’s video for Archangel (live) here: