When Fazer Met Fraser...
You would think catching up with one of the most chatty and entertaining bands in the country right now would be a total pleasure, and easy-peasy. Especially as there's only three of them - they shouldn't be too hard to track down, right? Wrong!
I am here to tell you that attempting to interview the mighty N-Dubz is not unlike trying to herd cats into a bag made of wet tissue. Armed with nothing but a list of phone numbers - don't ask, they have been destroyed now - I settled down to ring Dappy, but there was no answer so I left it a bit, then tried again. And then again. And again. Then I rang Tulisa. Same problem.
After 10 minutes of alternating between phone numbers, a cheery male voice answered the Dappyphone. It was Fazer! He told me he was on the way to Dappy's house to pick him up, and if I rang back in 10 minutes, they would do the interview together.
10 minutes later, I rang back, and Fazer did not answer. A few minutes later I tried again, and he was there, but apparently Dappy wasn't at his house...o I believe the interview you are about to read was conducted with Fazer while he sat outside Dappy's house. Either in a car or sitting on the kerb.
Those crazy kids...
ChartBlog: First of all, how's Tulisa?
Fazer: She's absolutely amazing. She's on form, and she's as good as she can be.
ChartBlog: And she definitely doesn't have swine flu! Was it weird seeing her in the papers?
Fazer: Yeah! At the time I was out in Costa Del Sol in Malaga, in Spain, and I got a phone call from my mum saying "Tulisa's on the front page of the newspaper, she's got the swine flu!". I said "you're lying to me!", and I rang Tulisa. What happened is she got tested for it. She was feeling a bit run down from the tour and everything. She was on the plane and she kind of passed out on the plane and she was being sick, so they tested her for it, and then all of a sudden it was in the newspapers. Madness!
ChartBlog: Did anyone say it was a publicity stunt?
Fazer: Nah, nah. That would've been absolutely ludicrous. When I found out, I was laughing. I was like "how did this get in the newspaper?". I'm still questioning it now!
ChartBlog: And this came not that long after the lady in Cambridge called her daughter My Name's Shaniqua And What Miller. What happened there? Have you met her?
Fazer: [Laughs] We haven't met her yet, and I don't know what happened. Maybe the music is having such an impact on people that they wanna decide to call their babies My Name's Shaniqua And What! Absolutely ludicrous! It's amazing though...
ChartBlog: Have you heard of anyone called Fazer yet?
Fazer: No not yet. But we went to this show the other day in Stevenage, and we were doing meet and greet backstage. These three little kids came in, and I looked at this small boy and I thought "he looks like me at that age", and I looked at the other guy that was with him, and I thought he looked like Dappy at that age, wearing the Dappy hat and everything. And I looked at the girl... it's like they copied our image...it was the weirdest thing, it was like looking at myself from eight years ago.
ChartBlog: And you're all like "chuh! MOVED ON..."
Fazer: Yeah, but how we look at it is that we're still the underdogs, still gotta catch up, still a lot of ground work to be done, and we're working hard on the second debut N-Dubz album. And it's currently sounding like a success to me.
ChartBlog: Oh yes? What's it going to be like?
Fazer: It's going to consist of about 15 songs, and it'll be a very electronicky dance sort of album. The other one was more classically kind of strings, sort of emotionally stadium status sort of thing. This one we're going to bring that essence back, but with a more electronic-ly dancier vibe. The next tour that we do will be like a big party.
ChartBlog: It seems to be around at the moment, that dance/UK hip hop hybrid, what with Dizzee Rascal, and Tinchy Stryder working with Dappy...
Fazer: Yeah, but N-Dubz we do our own sort of music. We wouldn't class it as dancy music, we call it N-Dubz music. We try to put an essence on a track that no-one else does. It kinda works for us, the whole arguing, answering back thing. If you have a look on YouTube, the amount of reconstructions of our videos there are, there's millions of them. And if you watch them it's like people are really intrigued by what we do. And it kind of pushes you to work harder in the studio, y'know?
ChartBlog: So it's success on a really real level?
Fazer: Yeah! At first when we started, we didn't come in to be role models. But we know we have a certain responsibility now. Like, to be a certain way. Cos obviously the younger generation and knife crime and everything like that, people do actually listen to what we say and the content of our music. So we do have a responsibility to keep it to a certain level where people can relate to it, at the same time as think about it and act on it.
ChartBlog: You mention knife crime, which is something the media have become very interested in...
Fazer: I've got a younger brother who's just turned 17...I know how it is, if you go to a house party in a certain area, and there's people there from another area, or you're not from that area, things happen. I don't know how to advise people on it except to say don't use a knife. If you're going to fight, do it old school. Knife crime, once you've used it once, it goes through about 12 people, if you know what I'm trying to say. It's a longer story, it carries on, and escalates from one thing. When you look at how many people get hurt and how many losses come from that one thing, it's not really worth it, man.