Downtempo R&B folk
Ones To Watch - Chet Faker

Most musicians surpass the ten-gig mark before performing for a crowd of bloodthirsty industry elitists, like a prize stripper at a white collar stag night. For Chet Faker, AKA Nick Murphy, this occurred on gigs number six and seven: “I played my first solo show ever in LA on an industry night. The one after was SXSW. I shit myself on both nights.”

Chet Faker is a project in rewind. Born from late nights in his Melbourne garage, it was supposed to be music for himself, not us. The result is a visceral seven-track EP, which was never meant for the stage. Nick explains: “I didn’t even consider the live show when I made it. I was just building pieces of audio. I wanted to work on music for myself. Kind of funny that that’s when other people finally took notice. Now I have to reverse engineer it, and go backwards.”Murphy’s sound is a blend of mutoid R&B pop inspired by downtempo house, framed beautifully by his delicate folk vocals. The inspiration for all this takes synesthetic form: “The ‘Thinking In Textures EP’ is a reference to focusing on the texture and tone of sounds. I wanted the release to have its own form. I didn’t care if the lyrical content was consistent, I just wanted the texture to be.”

The technique shows boldly, as each track blends seamlessly into another, not an inch of silence allowed. He uses noises from the settings that inspired each song, to help transport the listener there: laughter from a local park; the sounds of bed covers shuffling. Wherever the location, each atmosphere has its own tonic of aural moods. But for ingenuity, it’s his cover of ’90s swingbeats Blackstreet that’s sparked interest. “‘No Diggity’ was stuck in my head. I tried to replace the vocals with my own. I wanted it to be my own song. But I just couldn’t beat that ‘No Diggity’ line.”

Words by Joe Zadeh
Photo by Samuel John Butt

Where: Melbourne
What: Downtempo R&B folk
Get 3 songs: ‘No Diggity’, ‘Cigarettes & Chocolate’, ‘Everything I Wanted’
Unique Fact: ‘Cigarettes & Chocolate’ contains 23kHz peaks of such high frequency that dogs have been known to howl when it’s played.



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