Following up from previous single ‘Broadhurst Gardens’- which lined up an impressive amount of compliments from the music press (dubbed one of “three emerging folk artist to watch this fall”, by Ear To The Ground) – Fairhazel now returns with an impressive collection of work: the jaw-dropping folk jewel ‘I Sold My Soul For Fairhazel’. London-based, the folk mastermind is set to reach for the starts, with an ever-rising amount of support from listeners and media alike. The album went straight to our personal playlists, and, curious about the whole project, we had a chant with Fairhazel himself to find out more about his creative universe. Enchanting. This is what he told us.
YMX: Hey Fairhazel, thanks for talking to us. How have these gloomy times been treating you?
FAIRHAZEL: Pretty good, thank you! I can’t complain, I feel busier than before and a lot of new opportunities are cropping up, and I never was too bothered with going out and partying anyway.
YMX: How did you decide music was something you wanted to pursue? Are there any particular episodes that inspired you in doing so?
FAIRHAZEL: In Cape Town, there is this big garden/park/outdoor concert venue called Kirstenbosch and I remember seeing some legends play there when I was very young and ever since I have just been fascinated by music and can’t seem to get rid of it!
YMX: Here’s a fun game: name 3 artists, or bands, that inspire you and influence your work, and explain why:
FAIRHAZEL: I love Paul McCartney’s solo stuff like Ram, and I’m really looking forward to his new album. The melodies are just so smart and sculpted like a fine sculpture. Every time I listen to Tony Allen drumming I get inspired to make something funkier and better than I have before, so he’s up there and always Harry Nilsson, pure genius, amazing range of styles, amazing lyrics and concept and amazing melodies.
YMX: You recently released a powerful and inspiring album, ‘I Sold My Soul For Fairhazel’. Can you tell us how that project came about?
FAIRHAZEL: Usually I will write things and worry they are too simple and try and change up the chords or change anything to make it appear more complex musically but with this song I just wanted 100% pure unfiltered Kinks British pop-rock and this is what came out!
YMX: How did the pandemic affect your personal music recording experience? Was it easy adjusting to working remotely?
FAIRHAZEL: I do everything myself, the recording, mixing, mastering etc so it was the same as always for me. The only thing I don’t do are the drums which Louis Giannamore does in the UK and he is a monster and just pounds out songs from his studio there in no time at all. So nothing changed!
YMX: Professional livestreams seem to be really taking over these days. Is it something you would consider doing?
FAIRHAZEL: I have been doing a few livestreams, and would be happy to do more, if there aren’t going to be in person shows, it’s important to find ways to increase momentum, so why not.
YMX: Since pandemic began, online music promotion has become crucial for an artist’s growth. How important is that for you, and are there any strategies you are willing to share with our readers?
FAIRHAZEL: It’s important to me only as a tool but I find no enjoyment in creating social media content and engaging in that way. I much prefer the feeling of a live crowd, and face to face interaction, but I’d be a fool to ignore it completely and try to live like it was 1969. So I’m happy to embrace it. I’m not sure I have good strategies, but I did do a series on Instagram where I wrote and made a video for one song every day for 150 or so days. That was great, I love series and things that keep me sustained!
YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future?
FAIRHAZEL: I just released my second album so I’m going to relax on the recording a little bit and focus more on growing a fanbase, and in an ideal world, zipping off to Taiwan and playing a ton of shows there as it’s all up, running and open and I have a friend who is playing shows out there and I’m very jealous.