Chet Faker

Photo Credit: The Windish Agency/Lisa Frieling

A week or so ago we featured the revolutionary producer and DJ, Flume. Hailing from Australia, he has been a driving force in the electronic music industry lately. However, there is much more coming from that part of the globe right now. Also bringing his own style, Chet Faker has risen to success in almost the same timeframe. His soulful voice layered over the beats he produces is creative and original, both soothing and invigorating at the same time.

In June 1988, Nick Murphy was born in Melbourne Australia. When he was growing up, Nick listened to a lot of his mom’s Jazz records, as well as his father’s Ibiza CDs. He even came up with the name Chet Faker to pay homage to the late Jazz musician Chesney “Chet” Baker. You can hear the Jazz and house music influence the music that he writes today.

Before there was Chet Faker, Murphy was still playing a lot of music. Nick was first in a band called the Sunday Kicks. Nick partnered with his friend Will Jones in August 2007 and they put a couple of songs together (hear them here). This first project had a rock influence and a sound that is much different from what he produces today. Then in 2009 Murphy started a DJ duo called Knicks with another friend (hear their tracks here), Nick Thompson. Now we can start to see the transition to what makes him popular. It had a sound similar to Cut Copy, layering robotic vocals over thick melodies. Nick has even played under the name Atlas Murphy at times; this typically just involves him with a guitar and microphone on stage.

Nick first rose to fame when he covered Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” as Chet Faker in 2011. He put himself and this song on the map. Now it was off to the races. In 2012 he released his first EP, Thinking in Textures. The most popular track of the extended play was “I’m into You”, a song that immediately showcased Nick’s production skills and vocal ability.

Next came a huge collaboration with Flume in 2013. They put out a 3 track EP and became Australia’s hottest new duo. The songs seem to perfectly bridge the gap between each of their styles. Flume’s unique rhythmic production is the perfect backdrop for Nick’s vocal power on “Drop the Game” (the first track on the EP).

Then earlier this year, Chet Faker’s first full-length album Built on Glass was released. When working on the album, Nick started over twice. First he wrote an album that he thought fans would love, but that didn’t please him; he didn’t like what he had written. Then he tried to write just for himself. He soon found himself trying to create a style of music that was completely different, overthinking every line or sound. Finally he found himself in the middle somewhere, writing Built on Glass about how one feels in certain moments, something that everyone can relate to.

That’s the best part about his music. No matter the time or place, I feel that I can always listen to and relate to Chet Faker. You find yourself in a euphoric state, being lulled by Nick’s soothing voice, but also grooving out to the refreshing sounds he creates so well. He connects soul and electronica, almost as if Detroit’s Motown music met up with Detroit’s underground music and shared a candlelit dinner together. It’s groovy and sexy as well as comforting and reassuring at the same time. Keep an eye out for anything from Chet Faker. As his European tour starts to wrap up, hopefully well get some new songs in the New Year. In the mean time, make sure you take full advantage of his what he was already released. 

By Ben Lowden

Bonus Material:

Chet Faker as Atlas Murphy