Electro pop duo FEATURETTE have just released a new track titled "Upside Down", whose apparent release is causing lots of hype towards the Toronto based act. The duo goes into discussion about the track, themselves and their coming future.
1. Can you give us a brief history of Featurette, music style, and the members.
We’re an Electro-Pop duo from Toronto, made up of Lexie Jay (vocals, keys), and Jon Fedorsen (drums, synths). Lexie has a classical voice background and Jon comes from the world of jazz drums, so we’re a bit of an odd pairing musically speaking, but it makes for some outside the box, interesting beats. We write our own tracks that are punchy and bass forward. We love music that’s heavy hitting and a little bit dark at times. If you’re into Phantogram, Broods, K. Flay, or Tove Lo, you’ll probably like the sounds we make!
2. Give us a little insight into the formation of the band. When and how did it happen?
We actually met at a Music Camp 6 years ago, where we were both teaching instruments - Lexie on Violin and Jon on Drums. Funny story actually:
Jon’s brother had just won the lottery, and he moved across the world to New Zealand, leaving behind a guitar that Jon picked up. He brought it with him to camp, and wanted to play some tunes for the kids, to show them that you can always learn something new, and pick up a new instrument. Great message, but unfortunately he was a pretty terrible guitar player! He recruited me to join him to strengthen his band a little for the faculty show, and then we just kept playing after that. We actually recorded an acoustic demo, vox and guitar, that will never see the light of day. We soon after traded up for synths and an electric kit, and we never looked back!
3. At what age did you guys start playing instruments? Since when are you into alternative rock music?
Jon started with piano at around 10 years old, and then drums to follow at 11 - god his poor parents haha! I started with piano around then as well, and then violin through middle school and high school. We both went to the Etobicoke School of the Arts, which was a pretty immersive experience in your chosen art form (Jon: visual arts & drums; Lexie: musical theatre & violin), so we both had a solid background by the time we got to University for music.
Jon was a big grunge fan as a kid, and we can both level with things like Radiohead and Björk. As for our sound now, I think we’ve veered into the electro pop side of things, with some some alt rock/indie flair.
4. What's the newest single "Upside Down" about ?
We started writing that track last year - we were inspired by the concept of the ‘Upside Down’ in stranger things; another world that’s not all what it seems, parallel to ours, but much darker. Over the next year, in the changing political climate we’ve been witnessing with our neighbours to the south, in many ways we find ourselves in that parallel world right now. The headlines are darker than ever before, things are changing, and slowly, people are waking up to realize that it’s our responsibility to do something about it, not just place blame. This summer, we revisited the track, chopped it up, and resampled it - we basically flipped it on it’s head. Everything’s upside down, but it’s not just ‘them’, it’s all of us.
5. Will you be releasing "Upside Down" as an accompanying music video as well?
We don’t currently have plans for a music video for Upside Down, but man we’d like to! We’re pretty hands on with the vision for the songs and this track in particular has us dreaming about so many ways we could portray those lyrics. It’s totally something we could pursue, but when we found out we were touring this fall, we wanted to get the single out there so that we could promote it on the road, so we focused on that instead. The timing was so right, what with what’s happening in U.S. politics right now, you know? We couldn’t hold back the release any longer.
6. Do you have anymore new music in the works?
We’ve been in heavy writing mode since the summer actually! We’ve got a lot of new tracks up our sleeves - looks like we’re going to be dropping some bombs in the new year! Hoping 2018 will be a big one for us.
7. What inspires Featurette music and lyric writing? What do Featurette lyrics talk about?
It’s pretty interesting when you’ve got a band of just 2 people, it’s really a blended sound that comes from our two unique sets of experiences, merging. The music is our collective experience imagined for this character that we’ve created for our live set (we call her ‘Featurette Girl’ haha), and the lyrics are her story. We’re inspired by our pasts, and the world surrounding us - lately politically focused, but not always. Sometimes it’s as simple as us finding a sound, or creating a new one, and then thinking about what story that sound would tell. How it would move or sing, what it would say. We do a lot of listening when we’re creating, we’re searching for something new.
8. How did the band come up with the name Featurette and tell us what does it means for you?
Jon came up with FEATURETTE actually, he wanted to have a band that could create smaller EPs, because it takes so long for a full band to record and release an album. He was really into the idea of small releases, perfectly wrapped little nuggets of sound, like a mini feature - or in film, a featurette. I think we were pretty stoked when we realized that the name wasn’t already taken! Running with that idea, whether we’re writing a single, EP or an album in full, we’ve tried to make it so that there’s a story line over the entire piece. All the songs are linked, by key centre or imagery, or motifs we’ve used earlier in the record, pretty nerdy stuff lol.
9. Any plans for the future?
Hell yeah! But if I told you, I’d have to kill you ;) We want to do it all. We want to tour more, take our music over seas and boarders (in your case, walls? lol!), we want to tear down boundaries with our message and create a space where people relate, discuss, and feel things that maybe they couldn’t put into words. We want to write with the best of them, and see parts of the world that will inspire us to find the next sound. We want to take a run at it and not quit until we’re headlining those festivals we’ve always looked up at - dream big. We’re going to work until we get there, and it all starts with the writing.
10. Any thing else you'd like to share with our readers?
There’s no idea that’s too big, there’s no person that’s too small to achieve what you want to achieve. Be loud, be heard, be loved. Thanks so much for chatting with us!! xxFEATURETTExx