UK new talent FJ Law is ready to take on the next step of the music industry as his debut EP 'Tape 1' is a wonder of convoluted soundscapes that catch you in a heartbeat.
From the emphatic 'intro' that concludes into the burnished, electronic synths of 'catching 22', FJ Law - formerly known as Danny Hall - beats into a 'snapshot' of his past and give fans perfected flaws of alternative indie-pop within his debut project.
As he continues to rise into one to watch of 2021, we caught up with the songwriter and producer to talk more about his debut EP, the pressures of the industry and the dream to work with Mura Masa.
Firstly, with your debut EP Tape 1 just around the corner, what can you tell us about the 7-track project in terms of the theme, and what do you hope to achieve from it?
These seven songs are a snapshot of my life over the past four years or so. All the narratives that are talked about in the songs are themes taken from my uni years and growing up. The nostalgic and present experiences that have shaped me into the man I am and the music I make today. These are the songs that stuck with me and the ones I thought are most special to me and my sound. I hope that in putting these songs out, someone might listen and connect to a certain story or feeling that I was feeling during the process of writing. I want people to connect to the songs like I do, and if that wins me a fan in the process then great.
Speaking about the tracks of the EP, what is your favourite and why?
My favourite track on the EP is ‘family.' Feeling something is important when writing songs; there’s something strangely satisfying to feeling a rush of sadness listening to a sad song. This song makes me feel something the other songs on the EP do not. Listening to break up songs can remind you of a feeling you once had and forgot, but 'family' for me resonates a current feeling, something I'm going through right now, and that’s why it hits home for me. I didn’t want any fancy production around it; the first half of the song is just vocals because I didn’t want anything to distract the listener from the lyrics. As it's so different from the other songs on the EP, it means so much to me personally - this is my favourite.
As your first ever project and produced entirely by you, how have you coped with the pressure of the industry this past year?
I was previously in a band called Little Giants, and we had a small introduction to the industry, but this time around it has been a different kettle of fish; new faces, a different approach with different music and a new structure to releasing. Not to mention a different way of going about meetings and introductions due to the pandemic. My manager has guided me through a lot - it's scary, but I'm very excited for the coming months with new music.
Throwing back to your debut single 'friends' - what inspired you to pursue music, and when growing up, did you ever see yourself as an artist?
I started displaying my music in quite a conventional route as an artist as a kid, uploading videos to YouTube when I was around 15 and building a following on there; very singer/songwriter stuff. I didn’t, however, think in the future that I would be making more electronic music. This shift happened because of music uni and an unexpected unit/curriculum of learning Logic Pro X. In hindsight, I'm super thankful it happened as I don’t know if I would have started producing otherwise. Once I learnt the basics of Logic Pro X, I caught the bug and never stopped. I think it's a natural progression to start making beats when you first pick up Logic as it's so easily accessible to do so, and this again shifted into my music now. Merging my singer-songwriter routes with my bedroom electronic beats.
In other news, you have gained attention across the UK and even in America these past few months - personally, what is it like as an emerging artist to receive that recognition and what is your next step?
It's an unbelievable feeling, to say the least. I make music for myself first and foremost, but if other people connect and support it - I'm over the moon. I've had a lot of these songs sat in my back pocket for a long time, and you naturally go through periods as a creative of not believing to loving it. But the satisfaction of finally releasing it and hearing the people love it is a great feeling. It brings back the initial excitement you had when you first made the demo. So, the next step is to keep building and building and not drop standards in the quality of music.
Whilst you are still new to the music scene, you have already worked with Nina Nesbitt and Kwassa. What was that experience like, and who is your dream collaboration?
Although I am new to releasing my own music, I have been writing around the UK for a long time now. Crossing paths with some great writers and artists over the years (Nina and Kwassa included). The talent across the UK is unbelievable; great writers provide great experiences for you as an upcoming artist/writer, teaching you new ways of writing and general life lessons to take on board in your career in music. I think a dream collaboration would be with a producer known for their sound rather than a writer known for their lyrics. I would love to be alongside Mura Masa producing a track. His ability to think outside the box in terms of sounds is second to none in my eyes. That would be a living dream.
On the other hand, with live music slowly getting back to normal, how excited are you to perform live again and can fans expect any upcoming shows this summer?
I am announcing a show very soon that I'm playing in the late autumn. Nothing announced yet, but it will be in London, and I'm super excited to play all these new songs to people's faces, finally!!!
Finally, with an EP to your name and continue growing into the music scene, what is next for FJ Law?
After the EP has played its part in my debut to the world, we can expect some collaborations, live videos, productions that I have produced for other upcoming artists, which I'm super excited about. And some more live shows throughout the UK. I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve, a lot I won’t give away at this point, but I can say watch this space lots of good things coming.