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An Interview with Fatherdude

Fatherdude is a powerful voice in the music industry. The talented singer is from New York and like a true New Yorker, he works hard and its paying off. Fatherdude started out as a part of Smokey Robotic along with the Grammy-nominated producer !llmknd. He continues to make more milestones in his career, garnering over millions of plays and has collaborated with big names in the music industry including San Holo, Benny Benassi, Troyboi, Lido, and most recently Brasstracks, who he is currently touring with. Stage Left had the opportunity to chat with Fatherdude about his music, touring, and inspirations behind his amazing music.

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this! What inspired or what is the meaning behind the name Fatherdude?

"Of course! It all started from an esoteric reference in a random Mystery Science Theatre 3000 episode. This surfer looking guy came back from the dead as a priest in this B-movie and they quipped that he’s “Fatherdude” and I just had to take it."

Congrats on everything man, you have created awesome music throughout the years that get people to get groovy. From “Eyes On You” to “No Complaints,” what inspired you to make groovy tunes compared to other genres?

"I always have a soulful/R&B twang to anything I do, but when I was starting to make a name for myself in electronic music, I realized I could take those 4 on the floor house vibes and give it a harder James Brown vamp-inspired treatment and do my thing over them."

I also thought your modified versions of Childish Gambino’s “Redbone” and Chance the Rapper’s “Same Drugs” were absolute fire! Why those two songs specifically?

"I grew up on doo-wop and early rock and roll and R&B. When I heard Redbone, I immediately was like… oh! so, it’s cool to just do this now. haha. Sometimes it takes an artist to open or re-open what is acceptable. Both of those tunes just reminded me of all the soul stuff I was inspired by but now didn’t have to dance around anymore."

I saw that you were recently announced to join Brasstracks on their upcoming shows! Congrats on that! How did that opportunity come about?

"I met the guys about 3 years ago and we’ve become super close since. We’ve made a lot of music together and while only some of it is out, so much is on it’s way. We’d always guest at each other’s shows in NY or if we were passing through each other’s tour cities. It was time to do a proper run together. The shows and music compliment each other so well - I even flipped my live set-up again to mirror their duo presentation. Just me and a drummer this tour!"

One question that I’ve asked every artist that I have interviewed so far is who was the first artist that you saw live? Who did you go with and where? How was your overall experience!?!

"First live show I saw was Johnny Maestro & The Brooklyn Bridge on Long Island when I was a kid. It was an oldies review with members of The Coasters and The Marvelettes opening. If you don’t know who any of these people are, google is happy to answer. I just loved the music and it inspired me to form my first singing group."

You also recently released your new single “Let Me Live” which has a great balance of electronic, hip-hop, and R&B. Is there a certain genre that your work on that is more challenging to produce than others.?

"This year, I started to care deeply about not caring. I am many genres, I am of many influences and tens of thousands of hours of vastly different styles and approaches to music. What I output is reflective of that. In subsequent releases like “Summer Gone”, I have leaned into an R&B/rock ballad sound. I guess it’s all within the R&B/Rock/Electronic/Soul world to some degree."

Is there a certain way you both go about producing your music? A dimmed lit room? Having certain items near or around you to get in your zone?

"Haha. I am lucky to have a team of musicians and producers that help me actualize these songs. When writing, I prefer to be in the room together creating from scratch so we can use the vibe and energy naturally found in that session. Usually some weed, coffee and a good attitude."

Who do you draw inspiration from with your music?

"My biggest inspiration comes from my daily life, work, family, friends and the ups and downs that we all can commiserate on. Influences and musical inspirations would be Frank Zappa, Stevie Wonder and Mike Patton among many, many others."

Hailing from New York, it has always been a dream of mine to visit. How would Fatherdude describe New York?

"New York will make someone out of you. You have no choice but to work and dream and fail and work and dream and fail and work and actualize and then get your dream kicked to the street only to wake up and do it again. Guess we wouldn’t have it any other way."

You have also worked with San Holo, Benny Benassi, Troyboi, Lido, and Grammy-nominated producer !llmind. What was working with each of them like? All different relationships of course. !llmind and I were in a band together for years called Smokey Robotic so our relationship is a very special one as we truly grew as artists, musicians and people together. I’m lucky to be associated with and know these guys in different capacities some more personally than others but when you go back and listen to the records… when you think of the tour dates, the laughter and shows you shared… when you think about the music, it’s something very real we have together and that makes me happy.

You have accomplished a lot in your career so far. What is the one achievement that had you to the floor or freak out like the Kermit The Frog meme?

"I don’t know. I guess I’ve been doing this long enough to have some of shock wear off but I still really get those butterflies before every performance. Not a freak out but an excitingly surreal few moments between stepping on stage and pressing my lips to the mic."

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