by Silke Hartung

Fanfickk: Gone Off The Deep End

by Silke Hartung

Fanfickk: Gone Off The Deep End

Now Melbourne-based electro-pop artist Fanfickk‘s new single, Everything’s On Fire, seamlessly follows a back catalogue that sits somewhere between dreamy, sweet synth sounds and a feeling of melancholic taedium vitae. No stranger to long-distance collaborations, this time Fanfickk invited Korean rapper Wellie to join her. Initially not realising that communication was based on an online translation tool, as neither spoke the other’s language, the bilingual song quite likely captures the spirit of mankind in lockdown in 2020/21, and the associated rise in mental illness. 

We last caught up after your trip to MU:CON in Korea in 2018 – what have you been up to since?

I released a song called Pity Party, a sad EP called ‘Skull Pocket’, and Solitude a collaboration with Hybrid Rose. I also moved to Australia. That all happened in 2019. In 2020 I stayed home and cried into my hands like most people. Solitude would have been a good 2020 song, come to think of it.

As an artist how have you been finding living in Melbourne, under Covid restrictions? Has it affected your musical output and general creativity?

I’m lucky in that my day job hasn’t been negatively affected by Covid, so I got off lightly compared to others, especially those in creative industries. Staying home all day and not seeing any humans is very uninspiring though. I’m not the most sociable person at the best of times, but it turns out that you do actually need the occasional out-of-the-house experience to get the creativity flowing. 

I admit I also felt a bit weird about releasing music last year while everything was hitting the fan. It seemed tone-deaf, like crashing a funeral and shouting, “Yo, check out my hot new track!!” I obviously got over that since I’m now releasing music again, haha.

Your Fanfickk Facebook is currently covered in quite doom and gloom vibe memes, which works quite well alongside the new single. What is your personal philosophy and approach to social media accounts.

I don’t post to my personal Facebook profile, so when I see a good meme on FB I feel obligated to share it to the Fanfickk page. Every time I do, I lose followers. Social media is so exciting. 

A few years ago, I worried a lot about branding and how I could be more active and engaging on social media. Then I remembered I want to be a musician, not an influencer, so I stopped caring so much. Hopefully, my faith in humanity isn’t misplaced, and people don’t give up on my music because I don’t post enough Instagram stories. These days, I’m most active on Twitter (@fanfickk).

Was there anything in particular that inspired Everything’s On Fire?

At the time I wrote it, Melbourne was in lockdown. I was checking new case numbers daily, and then I’d doom scroll a little bit since I was on a news site anyway. It just got into my head too much, and I couldn’t sleep or concentrate on anything – I was constantly staring at my phone. I had to back off a bit and try not to consume so much news media. I still can’t sleep though.

What gear, filters etc did you use to create the sound of Everything’s On Fire?

I used my trusty gaming laptop and FL Studio. I just had the synth bass to start with – everything came together quickly around that. I really like how the vocals follow the bass line in the chorus. I hardly remember picking the sounds, but I know I wanted some anxiety noises in there, which is why there’s that beeping sound almost the whole way through. It’s like an alarm clock. The drums in the chorus make me nervous too. 

I read that you and your Korean rapper partner Wellie don’t speak each other’s language. Were there any positives to such a language barrier?

At first, I didn’t know that Wellie didn’t speak English, but she eventually told me she was using translation software to chat to me, and apologised for any inaccuracies. I don’t feel like the language barrier had any negative effect on the process though. The only part that was nerve-wracking for me was not fully understanding her verse. I had the translation, obviously, but the nuances are lost on me because I don’t speak Korean. I have a lot of faith in Wellie though!

How did you find Wellie and what do you like about her style?

I found her on SoundCloud while browsing one night, and really loved her tone. I’ve always wanted to feature a rapper. The problem I usually have is that I find rappers that sound really good, but when I check their lyrics, I regret it. Thankfully Wellie is a woman, so the risk of her writing gross, misogynistic lyrics is way lower.

What can you tell me about the upcoming lyric video?

The video is vertical and the lyrics are presented in a chat-style, so it’s like you’re talking to a friend. Everything on the wall is related to past or future Fanfickk songs. 

I knew I wanted to make a photo collage with video elements, but I was at a loss until I found two ridiculous Snapchat lenses called ‘Ping UWU’ and ‘Frog Puppet’. Wellie doesn’t know that she’s a frog yet.

You released the new track on your own label, Moonkyu. What’s the advantage for you as an artist to have your own label?

I could lie and pretend my label is really legit, but what actually happened is that I noticed my “unsigned” releases were coming up on certain platforms with my distributor’s name as the default record label. I didn’t like the way that looked so I made up a label name, and now I have a label. 

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