featured interview

Fakehunters A kind of blue soul The French producers’ trio of NoLive, Dadz and KnK recently released their debut album ‘Blue Soul’ on Swiss label Feelin’ Music. Special guest stars are J Sands from US duo Lone Catalysts and Brea from San Diego’s own Deep Rooted alongside a handful of fresh French talents. Another case of Europe meets America and Internet once again proving its utility in blending creative forces from different continents into fruitful collaborations. Représentant les cités de Reims, Bordeaux et Albertville, on vous présente les FakeHunters…

So what's the definition of 'Blue Soul'-music?

FH: There’s no definition for Blue Soul music. It’s something that we feel. We have chosen “Blue” in reference to the Blue Note in jazz music.

There are two albums being released at the same time (along with ‘Jazz Is…’, ed.), how did you manage to do that?

FH: Actually, when we decided to work on a LP (in January 2008) we didn’t expect to release 2 albums. We made around 30 beats including some joints with foreign MC’s, and when we started to contact some labels for digital distribution, we got a positive reply from both labels (Feelin’ and Root70). So we decided to release 2 different albums on 2 different labels, because we had enough productions already made.

How would you compare both albums?

FH: ‘Blue Soul’ is a tribute to the golden age of hip-hop, taking its strength into the roots of black music and more notably jazz and soul music. ‘Jazz is’ is more jazzy than the other one. It sounds jazzy hip-hop to chill out !

How did you connect with Feelin Music?

NoLive: Through Myspace. I stumbled on Chief’s page 2 years ago and was amazed by his beats! We stayed connected and when our album was almost done, we sent him a snippet. He decided then to sign us for worldwide digital release.

J Sands is featured on the album, how much of an influence has the jazz-orientated duo Lone Catalysts been for you guys?

FH: Like all hip-hop lovers, we have many Lone Cat 12”’s in our collection; this group is classic ; so we were glad to make a joint with J.Sands.

So you worked with each other through the Internet?

FH: Yes, only through the internet

Were you familiar with Brea's collective Deep Rooted: Mr Brady, Johaz,..?

FH: Not particularly, we connected with Brea also through Myspace. She’s a talented singer.

The other guest musicians didn't really ring a bell, could you tell us some more about them?

FH: They are all really good musicians from France, not famous abroad. Both Nico Bruche and Renaud Collet are friends for a long time. They are professional musicians now, playing in many bands (jazz, hip-hop, world music bands...)

Would you consider rappin over your own beats?

N: K’n’K raps already on some of his tracks. I also tried several times, but I’m better for beatmakin. (laughs)

Dadz: We will make beats for K’n’K! I personally hate my voice. (laughs)

Are you looking for other emcees to join the crew or will you keep it a strictly productional crew?

FH : We never know... but now, we appreciate to make joints with many different MC’s who have a different flow, different timbre...we consider the voice as an instrument, so these MC’s who collaborated with us are like musicians who brought their layer to the beat.

ThatKiddCee named your guys work in our 2008 survey, how much did you pay him for that? In what way are you affiliated?

FH: This guy is a turntablist like us, we made a connexion with him through some French turntablism forums.

What French artists influence/have influenced you?

N: The classic IAM, N.T.M., Assassin...and more recently Triptik, La Rumeur for hip-hop.

D: Like NoLive, I would say IAM, NTM... but I didn’t listen to hip-hop for a long time... I entered in hip-hop when I started scratchin and beatmakin. Before I mainly listened to funk-rock, jazz.

K: IAM, 2bal 2neg, Scred Connexion and the 1st tape of Cut Killer.

What did you think of Carla Bruni's last album?

FH : She was better as model than as singer.

The French hip-hop market is really strong and hip-hop in English isn't that popular in France, how did you, as a French group, decide to release English hip-hop?

FH : The 1st joints we made was with American rappers, so we have continued in this direction. Moreover, most of the French hip-hop crews are crappy! They try to imitate what American rappers do, but always with 5 years delay. Hip-hop comes from the USA, so it was normal to release an album with American MC’s... but we have some projects with underground French MC’s.

So do you think English hip-hop has potential in France or are you mainly focusing on the foreign, European (or American even) market?

FH: We are not focusing any country particularly. We think music has no boundaries. We just want to share our love for authentic music (especially hip-hop) with people who keep digging something different than the commercial stuff that everybody hears on the radio.

NoLive you're from Bordeaux, Dadz you're from Reims, are you wine/champagne connoisseurs? What's your fav's?

N: Champagne Krug, Château Margaux and Tertre Roteboeuf...try them!

D: Of course we are connoisseurs and above all ‘consumers’! For Champagne, I would say Gosset and Veuve Cliquot. No doubt!

So KnK do you order a crate from them now and then?

K: They bring me some freely. (laughs)

You're each from a different area in France, how do you manage to work together?

FH: Most of the our sounds are made together with the help of Internet. We send over the tracks to each other, which is easy.

D: For example, K’n’K makes a beat, he sends it to NoLive and I, NoLive records a bass line and I lay guitar on it. Then we send him back all separate tracks...

N: Sometimes, we work together, like during last summer to record ‘Summer night’.

What's your production set-up and how has it evolved throughout the last few years?

FH: MPC, Rhodes, Bass, guitar, percussions, keyboards, PC or Mac, Cubase or Logic. Year after year, we purchase new tools, for example to replace virtual instruments by real ones.

Why MPC?

FH: It works very well to make beats, even if it’s a quite old model. The sound of an MPC is hot!

Does any of you play instruments (besides the MPC of course) and how do you integrate that into your music?

FH: Before making beats or scratching, we are musicians.

N: I studied saxophone for the last 20 years and play other instruments too (bass, Rhodes, percussions, didgeridoo,…).

D: I also started playing music for a long time (drums, guitar, bass, keyboards and even violin!)

K: I only play percussions and keyboards.

Do you think that this gives an extra special, fundamental dimension to your sound?

FH: Yes, it’s the key of our musical identity.

So you definitely make music besides hip-hop?

FH : Of course! For example, Acid Jazz (like the track #19 of ‘Blue Soul’), NuSoul and other kind of funky stuff.

What's the idea behind making loops for other producers/DJ's, loopers.com? What's your goal with that?

FH: We started beatmaking by producing loops for scratch DJ’s, for training. We already used multiple instruments to make those loops. Finally, our loops were also adapted to musicians for jam session, MC’s for freestyling also.

If someone wants to get into jazz music what albums would you give him/her?

FH: ‘Kind of Blue’ (Miles Davis) and ‘Headhunters’ (Herbie Hancock).

What's the first rap album(s) you bought?

N: The Roots – ‘Organix’.

D: Pete Rock

K : KRS-one – ‘Ghetto music: the blueprint of hip-hop’ 12”

What's the last album(s) (rap or non-rap) you uploaded unto your iPod?

N : The Crystal Pharoah – ‘Blaxploration’.

D : FakeHunters – ‘Blue Soul’.

K : Defari - ‘Focused Daily’.

What's next for FakeHunters?

Several projects :
- Soul Purpose EP 12” (A Bridge Too Far Recording - UK)
- LP with Warpath
- LP with ethemadassassin and Veteran Eye
- and some EP projects with Asylum 7, PricetAG...
- probably a new FakeHunters album maybe on the same concept...


Dedication to our families, all MC's and musicians who collaborated with us on this project, Chief and the Feelin' team, and all the people who follow and support us since the beginning.


POSTED 02|01|2009
conducted by Cpf

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