Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with Luke from unsigned Dublin electronic indie project FOZSA to find out more…
Where are you from and how did you first get into music?
I’m from Dublin, Ireland. I kind of accidentally found my fascination for music when I was 12. My younger sister was going through a phase of singing karaoke with a toy microphone that would hook up to the TV, my parents thought that this would grow into her passion so they got her a guitar for her birthday. Curiosity got me and the guitar ended up in my hands, it became an obsession for me very quickly and grew when I began secondary school and made a group of friends who all played instruments too. Two of which play a big part of the FOZSA project today, Adam Lunnon Collery and Victor Bell.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
Growing up in my early teens I listened to a lot of guitar based band music, Indie Pop and Rock artists like Bombay Bicycle Club, Bloc Party and Kings Of Leon, I remember early on I used to idolise John Frusciante from Red Hot Chilli Peppers, I would dissect and learn all of his parts from RHCP live performances and then play them obsessively.
Now my influences are far wider and draw from many different angles. I had a shift towards electronic music after hearing Jamie xx’s album ‘In Colour’ when it came out four years ago. That really changed things for me, hearing electronic music crafted in a way that it came out sounding so organic and colourful and the realisation that it could be created by one person with minimal equipment. Other artists in this realm I later discovered later like Four Tet, Bonobo and Mura Masa’s early stuff I find super inspiring.
I love contemporary R&B and Hip Hop music, while it’s not always evident as an influence in the music, artists like James Blake, Frank Ocean and SZA I find myself going back to regularly. Tierra Whack is another artist I’m super excited about at the moment, she’s making some of the most unique sounding music in hip hop.
I have a playlist I update regularly on my Spotify page called ‘The Fozsa List’, it has all my old favourites along with what I’m currently listening to.
How would you describe your sound?
I started this project last year with no real intentions or ideas of the sound behind it, but I finally feel like I’m finding a sound and direction with the music I’m making at the moment. My goal is to make music that sounds textured and colourful with a dance or downtempo beat holding it together, layered with subtle touches of pop and R&B melodies. Victor has a huge say on the direction of the sound and is like a creative director for me, his bass playing always adds another layer to any of the productions. Many of the vocal inputs come from Adam, his tone is completely unique and can bring a song to life, he’s played a big part in finding the FOZSA sound.
What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
The latest release ‘Even If’ is part of a collection of songs I’ve been making over the past 6 months or so. I wanted to create a laid back dance song with a smokey, bright vibe. The song started off with a sample I found of a female vocal. I messed around with the sample to give it a rhythmic feel with shorter phrases and this inspired the rest of the song. I thought I had this song finished 5 or 6 times before the final version that's out today.
What’s your local music scene like?
Dublin has a blossoming Hip Hop scene at the moment which is really exciting to see. There’s exciting artists popping up everywhere, my close friend from school, Shane Richardson just released his debut album last month and is one of many putting themselves out there at the forefront of Irish Hip Hop. Unfortunately live music is struggling particularly electronic music as venues are being forced to close due to Dublin’s licensing laws, the culture is there and its strong but things need to change to fully support it.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
I have yet to bring the FOZSA project to a live show and it’s something I’m really eager to do within the next year. As for new music I have a folder of songs ready that I’ll be releasing throughout the year starting with an EP in the coming months.
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
I’m always interested in collaborating and it’s something I want to begin to introduce in the coming months, particularly with so much talent coming out of Ireland right now. If it was a dream scenario though and I could pick anyone I’d love to work with someone I could learn from like Kevin Parker, I feel like that man has an otherworldly understanding of how music works. If it was to produce a song for somebody, any of the guys in Brockhampton would be really interesting to work with.
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
I haven’t performed live with FOZSA yet but I used to play regularly with a band though and I really miss it. We used to end our set with a cover of ‘Crazy In Love’ by Beyonce, that song never fails.
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
I just hope people enjoy the music as much as I do making it really.