We sat down with Fazer, N-Dubz producer, grime star and dedicated father to find out more about the man behind one of the biggest British music sensations in recent history. Take a look below to see what he had to say.
Hi Fazer, thanks for sitting down with us today!
It's cool man cheers for coming by.
You've been rapping and producing since you were a kid, did you ever think that it was going to get you this far?
Yeah I did, every single second from the day I started until where I'm at now, I always believed I would get here. I'm a huge believer of what you put into this world is what you get out. If you don't believe in yourself then no one else is going to believe in you, so yeah I always knew from the jump that I was gonna make it.
Did you just spend the whole time in the studio?
Yeah pretty much me and Dappy man just lived in the studio. His dad had a studio up in North West London, Dollis Hill. He set us up a little corner with a little PC and a little crappy mic and he just said 'you guys just sit here and learn how to make songs' and that's what we did man. Just sat there writing and producing songs together, me and Daps man.
How do you think growing up in London influenced the sound that you produced?
London will always be at the forefront of what's current musically. I don't know why, I don't know what it is but it's just such a multicultural city and such a diverse city, there's just so much inspiration to take in. From things you may have experienced in your life, things your friends may have been through in life or things that you may have just seen walking up the street. I feel like London has a big influence on music in general, a lot of people like to use London slang and like get the London sound in their music, where grime originates from.
Yeah look at Drake now!
That's what I mean, all of that man. Where England was before trying to be like America, now America is trying to be like England and that's good. A couple years ago, what they would be listening to in the USA charts we'd end up listening to six months later. Now the tables have turned, whatever we're listening to they're listening to six months later. And I'm happy for the scene in general, that it's made that change because it's been a long time coming.
Having been working since you 15 are you happy to see that British MC's are finally getting the recognition that we all knew that they would?
Yeah of course I am. I bumped into Skepta the other day at the Drake show and was with him for a little bit and just said "congratulations on everything you're doing man". To be honest with you I'm just so happy for the scene in general man because it's finally getting the recognition it deserves. In England we've always been mad creative musically, vocally and just pushing barriers with our music.
It's good to see that this little country is finally getting recognised. It reminds me of back in the 1960s when the domination of British music came along and you had people like The Beatles, The Monkees, The Rolling Stones, all of that sort of music was the takeover of British music. I feel like it's coming around again now, it's coming full circle. Grime is the new punk.
When you were in N-Dubz you produced all of the albums, did you ever feel that there was more pressure being both an MC on the track and creating the songs as well?
Oh yeah there's always more pressure man because you've got to do it all! (laughs). Deadlines that's what gives you the pressure, not so much the creative side of it but the deadlines that make sure you finish everything. That shit there, that is stressful. When you know you've got a deadline to do 14 tracks but you're only three tracks in. Oh my lord, I've only got two months left to do 10 records.
The way we used to work as a group as well, we wouldn't do 20 songs and pick the best 15 - no we haven't got time for that. We're in a massive studio, it's costing X amount of money, every single song we made had to make the album. We didn't have time for demos or anything like that. It was like 'that's the record, that's gonna make the cut.'
Since you've split from N-Dubz you've gone solo, your new track "I Woke Up" has come out. We love it at The Idle Man. How happy with the reception of it are you?
Thank you man, thank you very much. It's different, I don't know if it's different in a good sense but it is different. Personally I think it's a breath of fresh air compared to everything that's out on the scene right now. I haven't released music properly ever, I've done a few things here and there you know "Killer", "Fireflies" just for the fans so they've got so music out.
Where as this time round, it's the first time I'm really serious about putting music out for myself. For me not to put music out for the last couple of years and to see the views that it's getting on the video and everything like that, it's been overwhelming man. I've been really happy with the response and I'm glad that people are liking the record to be honest with you.
What was the creative inspiration behind the record?
Just life in general bro. It's about certain things that I live by in my life, morals and stuff like that. It's just a feel good record and it's just to show that if you work hard and you know what you want then you can achieve that. Bottom line is though, you've got to know what you want. If you don't know what you want you're going to get a confused energy, the wrong energy, and that's why you see people who have been on the same shit for years. They've never excelled or progressed and that's because they're not pushing boundaries, they don't believe in what they do. That's what this record was about.
You're a dad now as well so has it been growing up and taking responsibility of your daughter?
You have to take on the responsibility as an adult when you become a father, you know? Make sure that your kids heads are in the right place. But at the end of the day, I'm still the same guy bruv. I'm still as immature as I've always been but I'm mature when I need to be. It changed me as in work ethic cos I was going hard before but now I'm like Super Saiyan (laughs). I'm putting mad work in now.
You really opened up in your Not For The Radio Interview, why was that?
I felt like I wanted to do an interview like that, which was just really open and honest. I do a lot of interviews and people ask funny questions and stuff but they're just touching the border type of thing. No one's ever really gone into depth with those sort of questions and I felt like, at that time, I wanted to do that. Just to clear up certain things, certain stigmas around stuff that happened, and for people just to understand me as a person.
I don't care what you think about me, I don't care what anyone thinks about me, as long as I know what I want and what I wanna give to others, then that's all I care about. If I can give knowledge to someone or give a good vibe to someone then that's all I care about. If I can inspire someone to get out of bed because they've heard one of my tracks and thought 'what am I doing?' then so be it, that's all I want.
Who's a go to style inspiration for you?
I'm my own inspiration, I might follow a few things on Instagram all about men's fashion posts and take little notes but mainly it's me. I like high end trainers like Lanvin, Balenciaga, Dior but I'll mix it with street fashion. I am a sneakerhead at heart, you know that's my thing I love shoes.
Do you think growing up in London influenced that mentality?
Definitely! Especially the school that I went to because I went to a non-uniform school. We didn't wear uniform in my school, you could wear whatever you want. If your trainers were dead in school, everyone was gonna rinse you! I always made sure that I had fly trainers on, TNs, Air Max's all of those shoes. The shoes I wore in the "I Woke Up" video, the Nike Air Max 90's, I remember saying to myself "if I had these in school, I would of been the man!" (laughs) I would have been the guy!
Have you got any big plans for 2017?
Everything is starting to come in as we speak now, I've only just released the first record. Once I start releasing the new records in the next few weeks and next coming months then all the shows will start coming in. If the demand comes for an album or a tour like that then yeah I will go and tour it but we'll just see how it goes man take it step by step.
It's not about charting for me or anything like that at the minute or getting a number one record. I don't care about that, it's not what I'm about. It's about building a core fan base to Fazer, away from what I've done with my group. This years gonna be about showing people about my life more you know, bringing people in to my world and how I live, the things that I live by. I've really started to open up more via my social medias and stuff like that, I never used to be on all that stuff but right now I am. I'm gonna start using my snapchat like it's a reality TV show, so you can see behind all the scenes of what I do.
Finally, who is a 2017 artist that you think we need to watch out for?
J-Hus is doing well man, I like the fusion between the Afrobeats and the rap.