Chet Faker is an Australian electronic soul (yes, that is a real genre I just made up) artist who has been around for a couple years. His rise to semi-stardom hasn't been long and troubled, it hasn't even been that well documented if you consult his Wikipedia page.
It has, though, been consistent. The culmination of his consistency is his debut, full-length album, Built on Glass, which drops on Friday.
I don't remember how exactly I discovered Chet Faker; though it was probably during one of my last semesters of college when I would go on a YouTube binge at 3am instead of finishing research, or some other bullshit for class. However, I do recall the first song of his I ever listened to being his cover of 90s R&B mainstay, Blackstreet, and their megahit, No Diggity.
Sidenote: No Diggity, in its original form (produced by Dr. Dre), was the song that kicked Macarena off the top of the Billboard charts in 1996.
The song is ethereal. It becomes the personification of "chillwave," a genre of music I have come to love if only for that fact that the name of it is something that sounds so terribly un-chic and low budget assholish. Yet, the song is entirely nothing like what you would expect from a guy who looks like Chet Faker.
He's almost like a 21st Century, non-trolling mascot version of Rick Astley. The voice doesn't match the look, or the demeanor. This is why I think he appeals to me, and the not-so-vast legion of fans he's gathered since No Diggity became popular, and before it became the anthem for the yuppy trash beer known as Becks Sapphire during Super Bowl XLVII.
The cover wasn't just a one-off shot at becoming the next big pop sensation, it was part of an EP titled Thinking in Textures, that packages the same sound into six more tracks. It's a foray into the landscape of the future of pop music. Something that's much more deconstructed and somewhat analog (which I think is best described by the instrumental track, Cigarettes and Chocolate).
Now, with the imminent release of his first album and the single, Talk is Cheap, the possibilities are seemingly endless in his young career. And, as the title of this post dictates, I hope Chet Faker doesn't slip into mainstream mediocrity by allowing himself to compromise creativity with cash.
Other things Chet Faker related you should listen to: