Unless you’re Charlie Sheen declaring yourself a force of nature is a pretty bold statement to make. So when an appropriated named three piece EDM outfit appeared on our radar with a slew of expertly crafted tracks and focus on original song writing we knew we needed to welcome them into our new talent section. Harbouring the talents of no.1 hitmaker Ali Tennant who’s previously worked with EDM royalty David Guetta and pop songstress Jessie, Arno and DJ Christian B. this is an act with big plans for the future. With new single The Sunshine set to arrive November 10 backed by a remix from Jason Nevins we sat down with the threesome to finnd out more.
Let’s start with introductions… Tell us how FON came about.
Ali: It’s been an incredible ride so far. I don’t mean to be corny but as soon as we started writing something just clicked. The magic happened. From the outset we realized we had a sound that was our sound and we didn’t really wanna give it away. That was where the band started.
So how did you guys initially meet?
Arno: We met whilst working with a different producer and I said to that producer that in the next session I needed to get in the room with the guy next door as I needed to meet him. I could hear what he’d been doing and knew that it was something I needed to be involved in. That was how we met – with the intention of writing together for someone else but once we realized what we had we knew that this was a chemistry we couldn’t ignore and that this was something we had to pursue. Luckily it wasn’t just us who felt this way as our work really seemed to resonate with people. We had the option to release pretty much immediately so I got on the phone to Ally and presented him the deal. We then knew we needed a band name if we were going to do this and spoke about the things we had in common on a deeper level about life and our outlook on it – that’s a big part of who we are and what we do – it’s a big part of our chemistry and Ali came up with the name pretty much instantly. So there you have it a band pretty much formed over night.
Ali: It felt right from the outset. What was beautiful to me about the whole sound it that it happened from day dot. We didn’t have to look for it.
It’s interesting you talk about your formation as such an organic process with your sound being so closely associated with the EDM scene that has taken the US by storm. It seems you have a variety of different musical backgrounds. Talk us through your creative process.
Ali: The guys will start a vibe. Before we know it we’ve got a riff and some chords and we’re then building from there drums outwards. EDM is very song based and obviously that really appeals to me with my background of song writing. We’re just trying to bring a fresh approach to it. I’ve experimented with a variety of genres from R&B to country and this is that sum of those experiences. We’re fusing everything together for the hybrid that is the FON sound.
Arno: My background is very different in that I’ve spent the majority of my musical career playing in rock and roll band previous to this. I’ve worked with some wonderful song writers and knew it was something I always wanted to do. It’s similar to how Avicii is working with the guitarist from Incubus. You have a grammy award nominated guitar player from a heavy metal band writing with Avicii. I think that shows how open music is now.
Christian: Then there is my contribution which is programming. Bleep, blobs and drums. I first started off when I was about 18 when I had a few small record deals making Jungle and Hardcore music. Then when I was 19 I signed to a label called Stip who had some big house acts on their books at the time. I then had a couple of big remixes and played on Kiss FM before joining a Rock/Hip Hop band in America when I was 21. Then I got into pop writing but I’ve always been very much into dance music. The energy that comes from it is infectious.
So a big variety of influences then! Tell us about your future plans. You’ve got you new single The Sunshine about to land. Could we see an album in the works in the near future?
Arno: For sure. We’re just going to keep writing and see where that takes us but to answer your question as to whether we’re planning an album the answer is definitely yes.
Ali: Ultimately we want to take this all live. We’re keen to explore is the development of a live show as that really plays to our strengths. There are few EDM acts that do the live thing as opposed to just DJ thing although we all DJ too.
Kind of like the whole Disclosure live show?
Arno: Yeah. Although we could also do an unplugged version so it does span any genre and appeals to any age group because it’s just about great songs that can be enjoyed as much acoustically as on the dance floor. For us that how it starts. Before it develops into the powerful energy that is a dance track.
Ali: Ultimately we want a great body of work that we can shape into an album but a foremost concern is each individual track as a single. Each track has to be hot. With the exception of Calvin Harris you don’t see artists really releasing an album which could be 10 strong singles and we were thinking why is that? Each track should be as good as the last.
You’ve also got a history when it comes to producing tracks for other people. What hits might we have heard that people wouldn’t necessarily know you were involved in?
Ali: Well I was involved with the song ‘Repeat’ which was on David Guetta’s album Nothing But The Beat. I co-wrote that with Jessie J which was a cool experience. I also worked with Tulisa on ‘Young’ which went to number 1. Hopefully our music is as well received as that.
Do you feel that the UK gets EDM now then?
Christian: Absolutely. The song based nature of it has made it accessible in a way that many other forms of electronic music weren’t. It’s not about EDM for festivals it’s about EDM replacing pop music.
Ali: We want the world to hear what FON can do. We believe in that magic and we really want the world to hear it and get that reaction. Michael Jackson once said “Make them believe” and we want to make them believe. It’s as simple as that. When they made the Off The Wall Album they felt it in the studio but they didn’t know what the world felt. When they put it out it was actually initially a flop but slowly but surely it started blowing up across all the different territories like an epidemic and we believe that our sound as FON can do something as inspiring.
Arno: It’s also about a deeper message. It’s about putting a message out there as too much music has lost its way. There is a deeper meaning to our music. We share an outlook on the world and we hope that comes across in our music.
FON’s new single The Sunshine arrives November 10. Can’t wait until then? Check out a preview of Jason Nevins’ remix of The Sunshine below.
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