WHO ARE YOU…? Fakear
Just a few days before his first concert at legendary Parisian music venue Le Trianon, Clique met Fakear at the studios of Nowadays Records in the French capital.
Who are you?
I’m Théo, or Fakear. I’m 23 years old. I’m tall and I have a beard (laughs). I’m from Caen and I make music. I’ve been making music since I was born. My parents were both music teachers. I played the guitar for a long time, and a few other instruments too. At first, I didn’t have any plans to do it professionally. I was going to be a sound engineer.
One of my school pals, Gabriel – Superpoze – was already involved in the Caen music scene. When I wanted to start performing, I turned to him. I also tried my luck in a competition, “Le Tremplin du Cargö”, which I won. That’s where it all started for me.
So it’s a partnership, really?
A little bit, yeah. We went our separate ways for a long time. We each went off on our own tours before coming back together here, a little while ago. Recently, we’ve been seeing a lot of each other. We’ve got some ideas for some projects together. We’ll see where those take us, but come what may, I’ve always stayed in touch with him.
How would you describe your music?
I make electronic music. It’s quite a hybrid style – a mixture of lots of different things I’ve listened to since I was young. Whatever happens, if at any stage it is possible for people to put me in a box, I’ll make damn sure I get out of it. The most important thing is to make good stuff.
Two years ago, Tsugi said that 2013 would be your year. And since then, your popularity has shown no signs of fading. How does it feel to be considered a credible musician at the age of 23?
It’s a question I ask myself all the time. I often think I don’t deserve to be here. When I see how beautiful or how complex the stuff some people do is, I think “Shit”. Recently, after a bit of a clash on the internet, I was supported by artists whose work I really admire, like Stwo and Point. It’s crazy to be recognised by people who you consider to be top artists. As soon as you feel you have a right to be there, you stop chasing “likes” and followers. I feel like I’ve been freed from all that.
What do you mean?
At the start, you want to establish yourself, like anyone. You post a track on Soundcloud, want lots of people to listen to it. That’s normal. At the beginning, everyone plays the game of notching up views, of chasing quantity, albeit reluctantly.
The goal is to last, and that is the hardest thing in the world.
Often, a guy will get a million views for one of his tracks, and everyone suddenly pounces on him and says “this guy is the next big thing”. Then three months later, he’s disappeared.
And you didn’t feel the desire to become extremely famous overnight, to be a huge star?
Of course, the temptation is there, but that’s not the most important thing. I realised that this summer. I was touring all the time. I played the game every step of the way… and I went crazy. When it all suddenly stopped, I rested a little and I realised that that was what life was about. In this business, you meet people all the time, but people love you for what you do, for what you represent, and not fundamentally for what you are. It is vital to keep a second category of people: friends. I feel a lot more at ease with it all now.
When the track “La Lune Rousse” was released, did you realise immediately what was happening?
At the beginning I was more into rock. I don’t have a great knowledge of electronic music. At that point, I didn’t have a clue which of the tracks on my album might be hits. La Lune Rousse, which is obviously the track that made my name, is really a B-side for me. I didn’t even want to put it on my album, Sauvage. When it became a big success, Superpoze and I tried to work out why.
We took the top 5 off iTunes, the things that were being listened to the most on YouTube, etc. Boom-clack, a little bit of guitar, a girl singing. La Lune Rousse has all those ingredients. It was bang on trend. As Isaac Delusion said,
If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll do your own thing, and there’ll be times like that when you happen to coincide with a trend.
I didn’t see the success of La Lune Rousse coming. I wasn’t even aware that what I was doing was so of its time.
I take it it’s not your favourite track, then…
No! Not at all. My favourite is Darjeeling, or Morning in Japan. In any case, now I’ve understood what happened with La Lune Rousse, I can’t do it again. You kill creativity if you always follow the same recipe, because creativity moves and evolves with you. I’m in a different place now, taking other directions in my “career”, if you want to call it that. That’s not what I’m doing anymore.
Would it be wrong to say that honesty is more important to you than mainstream success?
No. That is the goal I set myself as soon as I started to experience a bit of success and I began to see it coming. To be as honest with myself as I could.
For the moment, things are going brilliantly for you. So maybe it’s easy to take that stance now. But let’s imagine that one day, things stop going so well…
Every day, I try to convince myself that this level of fame isn’t normal. When you get a taste of it, it’s amazing. Superpoze told me that a long time ago: “You have to choose between doing what you really like and doing what you think other people will like”. I’ve made that choice. At the moment, things are going my way. If it all falls apart, so be it, but if Fakear is really good enough to get a gig at Le Trianon today, then I’ve accomplished what I set out to achieve. It’s my fans who have put me here, and I want to pay them back for all that love. But I don’t want to do what they’re expecting.
Fakear will be in concert at Le Trianon on February 7 (Sold out), at the Printemps de Bourges festival on April 25 and at the Paris Olympia on October 8.
Photographs © Julie Walser