He’s one third of multi-award winning chart toppers N-Dubz but this year sees the most musically talented member fly the nest and follow in the footsteps of Tulisa in seeking solo stardom.Wonderland sit down with Fazer to talk his new single and his new song for Rihanna – plus, we premiere an exclusive remix of “Killer” by MNEK.
Your new single ‘Killer’ couldn’t be further away from what N-Dubz fans expect. Was it a conscious effort to steer clear of that signature sound?
Yeah, it really was. Coming out from the back of the band I knew that no-one would really know what to expect from me. I could have released an indie record and people would have been like “That’s not what we expected..”. I could have done a hardcore hip hop record and people probably wouldn’t have expected it. I was in a very weird situation and I think that whatever I released it wouldn’t have been what anyone thought it would be.
It mirrors a similar sound to Will.i.am. Are you at all concerned about being labelled as the British version?
Not really. I think that’s what I’m about, I’m an all-round producer just like Will.i.am. To be thrown into that bracket just goes to show that the audience are realising what I’m about.
Does this mean that we can expect a diverse range of sounds on the album then?
There’s going to be a song on the album for everyone. I’ve done a bit of indie, I’ve played around with the whole lo-fi Drake sound and there’ll even be guitars and ‘real music’ on there too. I love to play the piano so that will also feature heavily on a few tracks too.
Are you producing the album yourself or can we expect a range of visiting producers?
A lot of the album is getting produced by myself and in-house. I’d really like to work with an American producer called No ID.
Can we expect any guest vocalists?
Yeah there most definitely will be. There will be some amazing collaborations on the record but I don’t wanna jinx anything just yet.
What can we expect from you this summer? Any festival dates?
I actually cancelled everything this summer. I didn’t wanna go out there and play all of these festival but be thrown onto the main stage at midday singing songs that people don’t know and closing on an N-Dubz medley. I wanna come back next year once the album has been released and the singles are out.
When will the album be ready?
I’m hoping for a release in the New Year. I’m really looking forward to finally getting it out there.
Are there any plays for the band to reform after your Greatest Hits came out last year?
Yeah, I’d love to do that at some point.
Would you ever get Tulisa and Dappy to appear individually on a Fazer track?
Ha, that would be amazing, wouldn’t it! Maybe they could appear incognito as Ms T and Doppy.
Would you ever follow in the footsteps of Tulisa and do reality TV?
Probably not. We did ‘Being N-Dubz’ which was a kind of reality insight so i’d consider doing ‘Being Fazer’ as it would be loads of fun and it would give people an insight into my life again but doing big shows like X-Factor and The Voice ain’t for me.
Are you fashion conscious? How important is image and style to the way in which you choose to represent yourself?
It’s massively important to me. When I’m out there in the public eye I try to make sure that what I’m wearing is completely different to what anyone else is wearing. I aim to tour heads and keep people on their toes. I love Alexander Wang and Christopher Raeburn. I like my independent labels. I’m not all about being seen in Gucci and Louis Vuitton. It’s not about that.
You’re classically trained, a producer and a songwriter. Who else are you writing for at the moment?
There are some interludes on the album where I just sit and play my piano. I love that diversity of going from one sound to something completely different. I’m writing for myself at the minute as well as something that I’ve just sent over to Rihanna for her next record.
Fazer will release ‘Killer’ as his solo debut single on August 26.
Words: Shane Hawkins
Images: Luc Coiffait