Hailing from Jordan but with a singular approach to electronic music that has won them fans the world over, this week’s Guest Mix guests Fairplay could soon be making a claim as your new favourite duo.
Releasing on labels like Kindisch, Stil Vor Talent and Bar 25 their approach favours organic sounds, often focussing on the trippy and the obscure, to create deeply layered, spellbinding productions.
Formed of Faisal and Fuad who met in their native Jordan before moving to study in the UK and USA, the duo started out promoting their Kollective Music parties, which welcomed electronic stars like Phonique, DJ T., Subb-An and Mihai Popoviciu. Buoyed by the success of these events they formed Fairplay and started Djing and producing together.
From the very start the music they made had always been deep, unpredictable and evocative, with Fairplay often incorporating Middle Eastern and Arabic sounds and instruments into their productions. A love of both nature and their experiences at festivals like Burning Man has shaped the grooves and melodies of Fairplay, resulting in music that feels contemplative, even as it propels you onwards.
Thank you for the mix guys! When and where did you put this one together?
Faisal: Thanks for having us, it’s a real pleasure. We made the track selection together and Fuad mixed the set in his studio in Amman
What is your goal with this mix? What are you trying to convey with it?
Fuad: We wanted to up the tempo – make it more upbeat than what we usually go for.
Faisal: There was no real goal, we’ve been enjoying producing and mixing this type of music the past year and wanted to share some tracks we really like.
Are there any stand-out gems we should keep our ears open for?
Fairplay: We have so much good music it was difficult to decide what to play for this one. Out of our selection, we are really diggin this new Jimi Jules track, “Don’t take it personal”
How have you spent the first 5 months of the year so far?
Fairplay: We spent a lot of time in the studio coming up with new tracks. Lockdown has given us the opportunity to hide away and get down to creating and experimenting with music. At the same time we are glad that the lockdown restrictions have eased off now.
Do you have any upcoming releases this summer you can tell us about?
Fairplay: Yes we do, we have two EPs on Bar 25 and Click Records and a bunch of singles coming out in the next few months.
Also, we have an interesting remix project that was worked on for a Jordanian artist, it’s coming out next month. We are working together alongside the guys at Keife Records to release some cool content along with the release.
Gigs… the magic word! Any of those on the horizon at all?
Fairplay: Things are looking better so yes, hopefully soon! We are still really focusing on the music right now, we have so much to finish, but definitely excited to test out some tunes on the dancefloor asap
Not to divert too much off the subject of music, but how are you guys living the horrific scenes that are happening in Palestine right now?
Fairplay: It’s truly heartbreaking to see what is happening over there. Our thoughts are with them. It’s such a difficult situation and we really hope things get better soon.
What can artists and our industry do to help?
Fairplay: We believe music should be used as a unifying force especially in this issue which is so polarizing. It’s easy to be negative so it’s best to encourage love and compassion.
Electronic music and politics have always been intertwined, since the beginning of the House and Techno movements. Do you feel we have a responsibility to be involved and lend a voice and a hand where we can, as an industry?
Fairplay: It’s true that electronic music has had a powerful voice in politics in a uniting and spiritual way. It’s up to the artists to decide what they want to convey with their music. Dance music is about freedom, and it will always have a subjective and objective voice; we feel music individually and collectively. It’s a language without words but we know what it says to us.
By the way… where do you guys live these days?
Faisal: I’ve been living in Barcelona for the past few years.
Fuad: And I’m living between Amman and Dubai at the moment.
How much of your heritage is still part of your everyday life now?
Fairplay: It’s definitely present in what we eat! Music wise we don’t listen to many Arabic tunes to be honest, although we are mixing a lot of Arabic sounds in our productions these days, so perhaps it’s inside us trying to get out.
How many hours do you spend in the studio a week?
Fairplay: It depends but not less than ten hours a week each.
You’ve released on a lot of quality labels. What are some tips and advice you can give to aspiring producers on getting tracks signed up to labels?
Fairplay: Put the time in, hard work pays off. The music and work ethic are the most important things. The more time you spend in front of your DAW, the better. Having a good network is an extra, but if your music is good enough, you won’t have trouble getting it signed.
What are some of the lessons you have yourself learned in these past 12-15 months of lockdown? Personal or career wise…
Fairplay: That we live in a simulation…But jokes aside, consistency is really important, it keeps you at your best. When we spend even a week out of the studio, we feel out of touch with our creativity. Putting in even 1 hour a day builds momentum and inspiration. Waiting for the right “vibe” rarely works.
Can you tell us a bit about what a typical weekday looks like for you?
Fairplay: We are both in different cities and have other things going on in our lives other than music. A lot of family, friends, work time and a lot of studio time. Sleeping and eating obviously.
Have you managed to find time for new hobbies and passions?
Fuad: Definitely we always try to keep ourselves busy and give ourselves a break from the studio. I’ve always had a weak spot for video games
Faisal: I have been getting into Jiu Jitsu and working out a lot the past few years, it definitely helps to calm the mind and keep the body strong.
What is your favorite thing to do outside of music where you live?
Fuad: Swimming, hanging out with friends.
Faisal: Going to the beach, hanging out and checking out new spots in Barcelona.
One last Q: Can each of you share a secret about the other not many people know?
Fairplay: Hmm.. sharing secrets on the internet… we might just keep our secrets, so they continue to be secrets…
Thanks very much for having us, we hope everyone enjoys the mix!