Interview Date: 07/08/2017
Interview Type: Telephone Call
Interview Venue: My house
Who It Was For: BritzNBeatz
FØNX’s single ‘Can’t Get Enough’ was released recently and received great reviews! FØNX was a lovely guy to speak to and I know you’ll love to read what he has to say. What you read below has been quoted from my review on BritzNBeatz website which you can find here: —-> In Conversation with FONX – BritzNBeatz
“So, how has it been since the release of your single ‘Can’t Get Enough’?
It’s been good. On the day of release, I was pretty much inside all day emailing people and tapping buttons! There was an awesome response; there’s more to come with other stuff to be released too so this was good to see.
You mentioned other stuff to be released, what might this include?
Well, for the past few months I’ve been focusing on this single ‘Can’t Get Enough’, but now we’re working on a new remix of the song which a lot of great people have worked on and we’re also making a lyric video. The video is mainly half lyrics half video but it’s going to be animated. I have worked on the animation a little myself using software. Aside from this, I’ve been writing loads, have a few more singles that are recorded and are ready to be released as part of an EP and am slowly working on videos for those as well!
So, if you had to, how would you describe your sound to new listeners?
I always find this question a really hard one to be honest. I’d describe my sound to new listeners as RnB/Pop with a jazz and soul influence. The new single is the furthest I’ve gone in terms of guitar work. I don’t usually use distorted guitar but it was exciting to try. The single was demoed at home, and from the start, I knew I wanted to use a really dirty kind of grimy guitar to go along with the beat and that was the initial idea for the single. I wanted to make it more specific, something different that I hadn’t tried before.
Awesome, so tell me a little more about the single ‘Can’t Get Enough’?
I guess at the time I was moving house and staying on friends sofas, literally staying with anyone I could, including my family and my grandma and just getting trains around to various places. This was like early summer and during the time of The Great Escape in Brighton, which if you haven’t been to, you really should. I played a few shows over there that weekend. I was catching up with an old friend who is also a musician, getting some cocktails and having a good time in a bar. He began telling me a story of how one night he took something a little funky and long story short he ended up tripping out for 2 days straight and I was like ‘Woah!’ He said it was the most awful thing, like being stuck in a nightmare. I spent the night wandering around with this story in my head and I had thoughts going around about what made people addicted to things and then started throwing ideas down on paper about where addiction comes from, and kinda just attempted to add a humorous twist!
Do you find the music industry challenging?
Being in the music industry is a challenge full stop in my opinion. It’s a grind. It seems like it’s a tough industry to get into, but if you love it, it’s easier to get to where you want to be. Because it’s my passion, I can tackle it.
What are your favourite aspects of the industry?
I love writing. It’s the most rewarding because it’s hard to find that initial spark and idea and when you get on a roll with something it’s super exciting. You have the feeling that you can’t wait to share it with people. I have always been writing lyrics from a young age, not in this style obviously. I must have been like 10 years old and a friend introduced me to Eminem and I was so hooked I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. He was a huge inspiration and then I started messing about with backing tracks. I am pretty sure I still have some of the recordings at home!
When was it that you started playing the guitar?
I started learning guitar when I was 7. I had lessons in school and it got me out of class so I enjoyed it. I was also a bit of a class clown so it was good for me to go play I think! My mum put me into classes because she said she wanted to learn guitar when she was younger but never did and encouraged me so I could! At first, I didn’t really like it, but if I didn’t practice mum went ape sh*t! But of course, this is when I started learning.
Did you ever want to do anything other than music?
No, I always wanted to be a musician, making silly tracks on old CDs. I got into singing when I was like 15 and then started writing more songs on guitar. I’m pretty sure that was why I wanted to get into the Brit School.
Can you tell me a little more about your time at the Brit School?
It was amazing being at the Brit school, every day studying what I loved and what I wanted to do. It was so good being creative around people all the time and having people dancing around you in canteens.
Would you say your success is down to Brit School or your self-motivation?
Self-motivation got me here. The Brit school helped me to focus and get me better at my craft and, of course, there were some great opportunities. They open your eyes to start producing with different genres of music and recording. As much as I loved it though, I was so preoccupied with wanting to move on and write my own things.
What would you do if you had to do another career?
Film. When I was a teenager I had a couple of hobbies; music was one and film was another. I used to grab a camcorder and my buddies and I would get together and write the screenplay, act it out, take it away, edit it and come to school with all these finished films. I absolutely love it and can’t wait to start using it in my music career, it gives me an idea of the things I might like, the look I want for videos maybe.”
Would you say there is a song/book/film that changed your life?
No there wasn’t, Eminem was a big deal. Music was always around the house because my dad was a professional singer. He did session singing mainly such as singing in choirs and doing some West End stuff plus jingles, so opposite to me! But still influential. The music that my parents used to play in the car was Earth, Wind & Fire. I remember being five and playing my little Gameboy, something like Mario, and ‘Earth, Wind & Fire’ was on in the car and I loved that album. I still absolutely love it now.
Mentioning Earth, Wind and Fire, who is on your playlist right now?
Let me look…I was listening to music just before you called actually! Tom Misch is straight up there, he is awesome, he has like some Jay Tiller style beats with some guitar. He is a proper wicked guitarist! I like him because of his musicality, it seems that everything he puts out is so good at the moment. I am also loving John Mayer as well.
Could you enlighten me a little more on some of your favourite artists?
At the minute, I am loving people like Tom Misch, Kendrick Lamar, Anderson Paak and Francis and the Lights. I am also loving people like George Benson, Earth, Wind & Fire and classics like Michael Jackson.
Mentioning all these guys, is there anyone that you’d love to collaborate with?
A lot of people. I dunno, I’d love to do something with Tom Misch, Anderson Paak and Tuxedo who are really good. There is so much to be involved in.
Have you got any dream festivals/venues you’d like to perform in?
I love to play everywhere, but some places I aim to play in would be Brixton Academy O2, Kentish Town Forum, Shepherd’s Bush and of course the O2 arena! Some of my favourite places I have already played include the O2 Islington in London, but at the end of the day if the sound is good I’ll play anywhere. There could be five people listening or 5000 and I’d still love it because of the sound.
So when you’re not performing, how do you wind down?
I’ll admit I don’t give myself much time. I’m a bit of a workaholic, literally, if I’m not working I’ll feel bad and I must do something. I live right by the sea so to wind down I’ll go for strolls with my headphones and take my dog. Her name is Cookie.
What is a typical day for FØNX?
I usually get up quite late, I’m normally in bed at like 3 am from working and producing, not partying yet! As soon as I get up there is always something to be getting on with. Either working on a new track or producing it. If I have a gig coming up, I’ll be rehearsing for that, or I’ll get working on a new video or develop ones already on the go. Demo wise and writing the video stuff I usually do at home and the other work happens in the London studio, but because I’m on the move quite a bit, I do write and work on trains or in coffee shops too. At the moment, I am working on content for a video and a follow-up single for ‘Can’t Get Enough’. It will be a bit different; this is more in the direction of things I’ve been writing recently. I know I have only just released this single, and there is more stuff to put out and already recorded, but I’m so eager!
What else is coming up for FØNX?
I don’t think it will be long before we get another release for you guys, as soon as this has done its thing I want to crack another one out as soon as possible. I want to get more stuff out there! The new single has been awesome; we’ve had quite a lot of blogs talking about it and listening to it, offering reviews.
What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Some advice one person gave me was to never stop writing. I think that’s a pretty good tip because I guess you start writing and you think you might have the song or the EP sorted (the song meaning the “big hit!” as they say in the industry) or whatever it is but you probably don’t have the song. Keep writing even if you have something ready like an album or EP. Another one I guess is to keep going. Keep pushing and striving for more. If you stop or give up then that’s it. If it’s your passion, like music is for me, then keep going.
Can you tell me a cringey moment?
I went to see a band called Snarky Puppy and my dad is like a massive fan of theirs. So, I managed to get us on the guest list for his birthday and I surprised him and he was so happy and we went to see them at Hammersmith Apollo and had a great night and ended up going backstage to meet the band. He was so excited about it and couldn’t believe he met the guy who was cool. Laura Mvula did a special appearance with them that night as a supporting artist and sang a couple of songs. I’m a huge fan of hers and she was backstage too. I wanted to see her and get a picture so I started Googling her, found out her real name, walked over and used her real name to begin a conversation. I don’t know what I was thinking and she looked at me and said “What? Who are you?” I got the photo with her but it was so awkward. I guess only her family and friends call her by that name… It was one of those moments where you walk away and you feel like such an idiot!
I am all out of questions, but is there anything else you’d like to add?
I am going to be doing some live streams with the band on my Facebook page from the famous venue in London, The Water Rats. We’re going to be doing it over the next few weeks, and will be playing the new single this Sunday (August 13th). It’s been a lot of planning to get it set up, shooting it on 4K and having good microphone sound for streaming.
The Water Rats is a small intimate venue where Oasis actually got a record deal after doing their first interview there. Bob Dylan also performed there in 1962, I didn’t realise it had been a venue that long!
Do you prefer playing small intimate gigs or big festivals in that case?
I love seeing people that I’ve paid to go to in a bigger venue for gigs. I love gigs because the sound is usually really good and you’re really in there with the crowd. However, I prefer to play festivals. I played a small stage at the Isle of Wight festival this summer and that was awesome, I love the hype of it all!
Finally, let’s get rid of the curiosity, why the name FØNX?
My last name is Fox and the music has some funky elements in… Mix them together and that’s where the name FØNX came from!”
Since this interview that I conducted with FØNX he has in fact done his live performance at The Water Rats which you can find right here: —-> FONX – Live At The Water Rats London. It was an amazing performance and the song is so good I have even found myself singing it around my house from time to time purely because of how catchy it is!
DJ Vergenta (Anders Hegrestad) has recently taken the song “Can’t Get Enough” and has remixed it into a beat which FØNX reports has been played around nightclubs in the UK for the past couple of weeks including places such as London, Bristol, Northampton, Liverpool and Brighton. Most amazingly, the remix has even had it’s first play in Ibiza which is an amazing breakthrough for the artist.
Upon listening to the remix I can tell you that it is a proper hit and I can see myself listening to it n holiday in a country like Ibiza and I would definitely recommend following FØNX on Spotify and listening to the mix because I love it! Will definitely be requesting it the next time I’m in a nightclub.
I’d say if you are a fan of people like the Arctic Monkeys and Ed Sheeran then FØNX is a great artist for you to check out. I can’t wait to see what else he has to offer and will certainly be staying up to date with this one!