Soul is where it’s at – Melbourne artist Chet Faker is a testament to this statement. A. Because he said it. B. Because he ‘is’ it. Whilst aligned with aspects of electronic music, Faker’s output is smooth, sexy and strangely haunting, just listen to his breathtaking cover of Blackstreet’s ‘No Diggity’. Building an identity and concept from scratch (under the alter-ego of Faker) Chet’s sound is raw, natural and a refreshingly unexpected presence in the electronic music genre.
Who is Chet Faker, a man or a project? Both?
(Laughs) I’m a man. I am conscious of what sort of music I want to produce, so in that sense you could say it’s a project, but all the songs are about my personal experiences and people I meet. So I guess you could say both…
How did you choose the name?
Chet Baker was a real bad-boy in the jazz scene. For me he represents a bit of a dying breed; he didn’t have a clean image, he was flawed and he didn’t try to hide it. I think mostly I like the idea of producing something real rather than polishing a piece within an inch of sounding like plastic. You know it’s easy to get lost and actually forget it’s about the human feeling a song portrays.You can fix a flat note, or you can step back and ask yourself, “Does this flat note add character to the song?” So in that sense I wanted to embrace flaws in the music I was making and Chet Baker represented an embodiment of that.
The use of an alter-ego or side project is becoming more prevalent in the music biz, why do you think this is?
I think people need consistency. If you’re an artist writing songs on the violin and then you drop some deep cosmic house track under the same name, you’re going to confuse the hell out of your listeners. People rely on an artist to give them a certain type of music. For me personally there is a guy who plays around Melbourne with the same name as me so I’ve always played under a different name to my own. I like it. It also stops randoms adding you on Facebook (laughs).
Chet Faker is aligned with electronic music, however you have an unmistakable soulful element. What do you enjoy about these two sounds?
Soul is where it’s at; people would be surprised at how many hits they hear on the radio which were actually written in the 1960s! As for electronic music, it’s just so open. It’s all about the vibe of a track. It doesn’t matter what sounds you use as long as it has a feeling to it. So, I’m not really sure why they fit together. Good question. I’ll let you know when I figure it out (laughs).
Your cover of Blackstreet’s No Diggity is gaining coverage and support from countless blogs/outlets. How have you received this coverage?
It was pretty overwhelming really. I suppose the one lesson I learnt was that it doesn’t change anything. You’ve still got to keep making music.
If you waste your time worrying about who likes your new track, then that’s time you could have been working on making music.
For Chet Faker’s latest music hit chetfaker.com