Going back four years to FAUXE's remarkable debut EP, UBUNTU, introduced on record label Phyla Digital, we could already tell that the veiled beatsmith was going to be something special. And though 2012 doesn't seem like such a long time ago, that period of time has seen FAUXE grow from a fledging producer trying to refine his craft into a confident figurehead who has taken a whole community of young musicians, producers and rappers under his wing via his HYBRDTHRY banner.
We've seen FAUXE grow into himself as an artist before our very eyes, using his constantly restless and continually experimental musical nature to explore his own creative boundaries. From the swirling Gold Panda-esque sound of his earliest incarnation to his adventurous approach on noise and ambient music to his current breakthrough with hip-hop, soul and R&B - FAUXE 's development can either be jarring or revelatory to follow at times, but what's key is that he is never stagnant.
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That drive to push himself, to do more, to make the most, is probably the biggest foundation underpinning the masked producer's mountainous body of work. From his own numerous solo releases to his frequent collaborations with good friends like Mediocre Haircut Crew and Gema to his inspired work behind the boards for singers such as Sam Rui and ERI to a multitude of other side-projects that we can't reveal - FAUXE's output over the last couple of years has been nothing short of incredible.
And in between that grueling schedule of live shows, DJ sets, perpetual songwriting and rapid-fire recording - FAUXE has notably also begun to step out from behind the laptop and the instrumentation to discover himself as a singer and a rapper as well. The use of his expressive croon and silver-tongued flow in recent months has probably been the most startling aspect of his evolution to witness, and also the most demonstrative of his unceasing willingness to access new artistic avenues.
But through it all,the one thing that has never wavered has been his FAUXE's steadfast decision to obfuscate his identity. On show days, when he knew that his public fans would be around, the secretive producer would don his mask during soundcheck, during the show and even when hanging out after. The desire for anonymity spoke volumes about how he wanted his music to speak for itself, and to fans, that admirable ethos came symbolize what the mask stood for eventually.
A little over a week ago though, something changed. Booked for the October edition of long-running underground party series Good Times, FAUXE came to play without his mask. It was an inspired move that surprised the event's organizers, his collaborators, his fans in attendance, and even some of his closest friends. We recently caught up with FAUXE to discuss what prompted his unmasking and how he intends to (literally) face the future.
Take us back to the origins of the FAUXE mask. How and why did it come about?
It came about when I thought about how I would present myself when I was about to start playing shows back in 2012. I knew that I wanted to be anonymous so the whole mask concept came naturally. The first mask covered my face fully, which led to me to cut in half.
A couple of weeks ago, you played without the mask for the very first time. Why?
I felt that both FAUXE and myself became one finally. It was the next natural progression.
Did you feel any different performing without the mask, considering you've spent years beforehand performing with a safety veil so to speak?
To be honest, not really. I really thought it was gonna be a bit nerve wrecking but it just felt like any other day as I started.
Why did you choose Good Times to be the place where you unveiled yourself?
I think so that I can be myself completely and just be calm when I did it. Good Times did that for me. They are what Home Club is to many people here; an institution.
What does the future hold for FAUXE, either in terms of releases or live performances?
Well I'm beginning to stay more put in the studio to focus on exploring ideas, concepts and virtually anything artistic that inspires me. As long as I like it, I'll try it once.
Live shows is another part of me I've been practicing and trying to do. I've felt very lazy about my sets in the last few years and I just want to challenge and excite myself. So anything can happen really. I've never felt more free in my life than now, so I'm never gonna take my days for granted.