In 2011, Nicholas Murphy recorded a cover of No Diggity late one night just for his friends. Shared by a handful of people, the song spread like wildfire until reaching #1 on the indie blog charts Hype Machine, and so the Chet Faker identity was born – a nod to Chet Baker’s singing style but incorporating influences from a youth spent producing house and disco.
Before Chet Faker, Murphy spent his time in suburban Melbourne, Australia. Splitting his musical output between a penchant for soft and soulful singer-songwriter work and an appetite for electronic music production. But it was when he coupled his love of analogue instruments and sounds of early dance music – only this time slowing the tempo – with his natural ability for RnB soaked vocals, that something truly exciting happened.
He soon began recording his debut EP and creating a dynamic Chet Faker live show alternating between solo performances and a 4-piece band, both backed by samples and an electronic soundscape.
An invite to SXSW quickly followed and by March 2012, he had played a stand-out performance at the festival’s Filter Magazine party and was touted as a ‘must see’ act by The Austin Chronicle.
Soon after, his debut EP Thinking In Textures was released on Opulent / Remote Control in Australia, Chess Club Records in the UK and Downtown Records in the USA, to widespread acclaim, and achieved Gold record sales status in Australia.
Chet went on to sell out two tours across Australia, before heading to the UK to perform at The Great Escape Festival with sold out shows in London. Meanwhile, his debut EP picked up spins from Gilles Petersen, Mary Anne Hobbs, Huw Stephens, Rob da Bank and was featured in Zane Lowe’s ‘Next Hype’ section.
Chet has since returned to Europe and the UK, selling out 14 dates across the continent and the UK and featured at the inaugural Laneway Festival in Detroit in 2013. Plus he supported Bonobo for much of his US tour, and even joined him on stage to sing Bonobo’s First Fires.
Chet Faker was nominated for five Jagermeister Independent Music Awards, winning for Best Independent Single/EP and Breakthrough Independent Artist. He was also nominated for two Rolling Stone Awards for Best New Talent and Best Independent Release, winning Best Independent Release.
Chet Faker then collaborated with fellow Australian electronic producer Flume on the EP Lockjaw, which has receiving wide spread support from BBC Radio 1, and scored 7.0 on Pitchfork. Plus his recent feature on Swedish/Australian singers’ Say Lou Lou’s track Fool Of Me didn’t go unnoticed, earning Best New Music from Pitchfork. And he still finds time to lend his voice to the outback disco project Coober Pedy University Band headed by Tornado Wallace on Soft Rock’s label Kinfolk
Now, Chet Faker is set to release his debut album Built on Glass. Two years in the making it brings together all his influences from house to RnB and fuses it together with his smokey vocals. Built on Glass will surely further cement Chet Faker as one of the most unique artists of 2014.
Over the past few years, a musical admiration between Chet Faker and Marcus Marr has grown, which culminated in a four-day sojourn in Marr’s South London studio earlier this year. Over the four day recording session, four songs were written, as the two discovered that Marr’s powerful, punchy dance production perfectly balanced Faker’s soulful vocals. The result is the 4-track EP Work, out December 4 via Faker’s own label, Detail Records. The intergalactic funk-tinged first single “The Trouble With Us” is available now digitally, and can be heard via Soundcloud here: enter soundcloud link. Marr is also set to open for Faker on a select number of U.S. dates this winter, including a New Year’s Eve show at San Francisco’s Mezzanine.
South London-based DJ Marcus Marr has been releasing acclaimed records via DFA Records over the last few years, including “Brown Sauce,” named in Pitchfork’s Tracks earlier this year, and “The Music,” named one of the “Best Dance Tracks of 2013” by SPIN. A regular at Berlin’s notorious nightclub Berghain/Panorama Bar, the lifelong music obsessive’s first encounters with dance music were acid house records which augmented his vinyl collection of rock and soul, and attending all night parties under Brixton’s St Matthews Church. Traveling to the south of England to watch DJ Harvey play a lengthy set, he saw the kind of power a DJ can wield over a willing crowd.
An artist of considerable range, Chet Faker writes, performs and records all of his own music, giving it a warm, intimate feel with a solid groove structure. His critically acclaimed album Built On Glass was released in the spring of 2014, and was widely welcomed by music fans internationally. He’s gone on to perform sold out shows on five continents including three nights at New York’s Terminal 5 and stand-out performances at Coachella, Lollapalooza, Primavera and Glastonbury.
And how does a relationship between a London-based DJ and Brooklyn-based Australian producer blossom? Twitter, obviously. Notes Marr, “Nick posted my song on Twitter. I messaged him and said thanks and a conversation started – all nerdy stuff about recording processes. Pretty soon we started exchanging song ideas in voice memos. He then suggested maybe we try and do something together.”
On the recording process, Marr adds “It was a real thrill as the songs came together. As far as working out lyrics and music the guy is super-talented. He writes all his lyrics in his black book and he loves his pen. Actually, Nick, I was rummaging through a drawer in my studio the other day and I found your special pen – do you want it back, mate?”
WORK – TRACK LISTING
01 – Birthday Card
02 – The Trouble With Us
03 – Learning For Your Love
04 – Killing Jar