Exclusive Interview with Faul & Wad: “Don’t Listen to Haters”

“If you want to live as a musician, you need to invest 100 % of yourself.” Parisian DJ and record producer duo Faul & Wad took the world by storm with their single “Changes” in 2013. The song was even used in adverts for Mercedes-Benz. When we checked their stats, one thing immediately stood out: they have about 58k followers on Spotify – not a bad number in itself –, but almost 900k monthly streams on the channel. It seems people know their songs, but a lot don’t really know who they are.
Interview with Faul & Wad: “Don’t Listen to Haters”
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Urban Klancnik

Maxime Le Du and Camil Meyer, better known as Faul & Wad, met in high school and started producing music while still in their teens. In 2013, they released the song “Changes”, which ranked #1 in the Belgium Ultratop Chart and in Germany’s GfK Entertainment Chart. It was also #3 in the UK Singles Chart. The tune includes the chorus of Australian electronic duo Pnau's song "Baby", which was a big hit in Australia, and it works perfectly in their adaptation.   

 

A lot of young musicians might assume that all you have to do is create music, publish it, and get famous. But it’s not that easy, right? What was the journey like for you?

It sounds easy when you say it like that. Can we sign up for that job? 🙂

First of all, you need a good idea, a good team effort, and also a bit of luck and good timing, because you have to release the right song at the right moment. It’s always about good and consistent work.

We had a great idea with the Pnau sample "Baby", and we decided to build a House song around it. Summer 2013 was into sax House, so we added some saxophone vibes, and it spread all around the globe very fast, with help from our music label, of course.

Faul & Wad are definitely on the rise, as their Instagram followers almost doubled in the last two years, while SoundCloud engagement rose by 50 %. Source: Artist's archive

What are the challenges and advantages of working as a duo?

There are many advantages to working as a duo, because we sometimes have two different visions regarding the direction we want to go with a track. We both like to work on the project, and then we meet to compare our ideas, but in the end, we always end up working on a better version than either of us had started with.

“Music is a passion, so you mustn’t count hours or failures. You keep playing and composing, over and over, if you feel like you want to live as a musician. You need to invest 100 % of yourself.”

What does your creative process look like? How do your songs get created?

Actually, our process for making music is always changing; we each have a home studio where we both gather ideas, and when one of us has a good one, we start working on it together. Sometimes we sit together and start looking for vocals or a sample that can start a song. The overall idea is to trick our minds into feeling like we're doing something new every time, and not to fall into some boring routine 🙂.

“The duo is going strong on SoundCloud, with over 300k streams per month on average in 2019 and just below 4M altogether in the last year.”

We believe it’s good to work like this, because there's no ego struggle or disagreement among us; we can both express our ideas and debate with each other, so neither gets frustrated because he hasn’t been able to show his vision on the track.

We don’t see many challenges in working as a duo; maybe it's because we've known each other since high school, so there aren't any major issues.

 

The success of the song “Changes” was huge; how did it affect your lives?

Everything changed when Changes“ got into the top 10 music charts in more than ten countries; it was like a dream come true. We were suddenly able to work with so many people; we could remix Lykke Li, and also start to create our studio with our own music gear. Moreover, we traveled all around the globe to play sets and shows, from the USA to Singapore, Brazil, and all across Europe. Also, to meet the people who listen to our music, it was the best feeling ever.

"Changes" was the song that got them worldwide fame.

For musicians in Electronic music, streaming services like Spotify, SoundCloud, and Deezer are extremely important, maybe even more so than YouTube. Do you use any special strategies on social media to attract new fans to listen to your music?

Digital service providers (DSPs) are extremely important for artists to have global reach, because our music can now be heard everywhere by anybody. It’s a game-changer, so you also need to adapt to your audience and continuously check your statistics.

The thing with social media nowadays is being consistent and creative. Your music can easily interest people, but they can also switch very fast to another artist or another song, especially with DSPs' genre playlists. It’s helping a lot of people to discover new artists, but as an artist, you need to develop your profile to convert listeners into real fans. By the end of the day, all that matters for a musician’s career is getting your fanbase and being in touch with your supportive fans, sharing your music, your ideas and your passion.

They don’t want to limit themselves with genres or styles, so it'll be interesting to see where their creativity will take them. Source: Artist's archive

You’ve often said that your music is uplifting, positive. Is that important to you to release something positive into the world?

Yes, we try to bring this kind of positive vibe/energy to our music, but actually, it depends on the mood we're in during the production process. We've made a couple of remixes, such as “Gunshot” (Lykke Li) or “Fear the Night” (Luke Million), that are a bit melancholic but still energetic.

We love to produce all kinds of music, and we do not limit ourselves with genres or styles. It’s like with any other artist, we can have a period for positive/summer vibes, and later, we can create dark and moody music.

“The main thing is to do whatever you like and not listen to haters or get upset by hateful comments.”

Are there any significant differences in performing in Europe and the USA? House, it seems, is even more popular in the USA than in Europe.

Yes, the feeling is always different when you play in other countries. Each crowd has its own vibe and energy. The USA is a special place for House, because House culture is strong there, but there are also many differences among European countries.

Brazil is so good for electronic music, and we love playing there. We perform in this amazing country, to its amazing people, every year.

 

Can you give any advice to young DJs at the beginning of their careers, or any mistakes they should avoid?

There are a lot of different success stories in music; you can start from DJing and then go to producing, or only stick to remixes, or simply stick with DJing. The main thing is to do whatever you like and not listen to haters or get upset by hateful comments.

Music is a passion, so you mustn’t count hours or failures. You keep playing and composing, over and over, if you feel like you want to live as a musician. You need to invest 100 % of yourself.

A piece of important advice we can give is to be close to your fans and listen to them, because sometimes they have better ideas than any marketing department or management. In the end, they chose you; they’re the ones making you famous, and they’re the ones supporting your music.

“Wild Love” was quite a big summer hit in 2018.

Plans for the future?

Produce genres and music styles that we haven’t produced yet, and go back to Electronic music roots, such as old-school House music, or mixing House music and Latino or Dub music vibes, for example.

 

It’s hard to say what we can expect from the French duo in 2020. Will it be something that pays tribute to the beginnings of House, or are we going to get something completely different? Whatever it'll be, we're excited about it.

 

 

 

Cover photo source: Artist's archive

 

 

 

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Urban Klancnik

Urban Klancnik

Guest Writer at Viberate
A journalist, writer, drummer, and music enthusiast. Spent the last 20 years destroying his hearing with Metal and Rock and sharing his experiences from some of the biggest festivals in the world.