Elie Dahdouh

Toronto Spotlight: falcxne

After having his track First Time appear on Ta-Ku’s Drive Slow, Homie 4 a few months ago, the Toronto born label Exhume quickly picked him up shortly after. The Greater Toronto Area and sometimes Montreal producer Falcxne blessed us with our first exclusive mix and took the time to answer some questions. Take in this exclusive late night mix as you read what he has to say and be sure to follow him to stay up to date on his next move like future shows in Toronto.

How did you come about getting signed by Exhume?

It was all pretty organic – after First Time ended up on Ta-Ku’s Drive Slow, Homie 4 I got a message from Adam of Exhume saying he was going to be in Montreal. We grabbed a few beers, chatted and I could tell immediately that we had the same outlook and hopes for Future in Toronto/the GTA. I liked the idea of having someone as professional and on-his-stuff as Adam to reach out to, and I guess he thought my music didn’t suck too much, so it was a win-win.

What were your influences growing up?

That’s always a tough one; it’s sort of gone all over the map. A lot of alternative/grunge/classic rock as a kid, then eventually all kinds of metal in high school. Meanwhile, I’d been studying classical and jazz piano throughout, so those influences were always present. Urban and electronic influences really only came on strong about three years ago, but it had been a long time coming. As for specific artists, some of the most impacting on my music from way back were I Mother Earth, Chick Corea, Ensiferum and RATM.

How’d you get into making and playing music?

I gotta hand it to my parents for starting me on piano early (I must’ve been four or five years old), so I’ve been playing my whole life. I had a really dope piano teacher, Tim Cozens, who taught me for ten years straight until I went off to school – I owe him virtually everything I know; coolest guy ever. Eventually my brother and I picked up guitar and started recording crappy little songs together in our basement, and it just never stopped from there.

What’s your song production process like?

I almost always start out on the keys since it’s where I’m most comfortable. I usually come up with the harmony first keeping a melody that I like in mind, find the right sound for it, then go from there. I think what weirds people out the most is that I usually don’t use MIDI for my drums, I prefer to treat the audio files as MIDI notes in Logic.

What’s the hardest part about making music?

Everything *laughs*. There are a lot of apprehensions you experience as an artist, whether it’s during the creative process or its aftermath – the more business side of things. One of the most difficult ones is being satisfied with your music, because it’s both a blessing and a curse. When you’re under-critical of your output, there’s a tendency to “underachieve” and you won’t be as happy with the final product. At the same time, when you’re never satisfied with it… well, that kinda sucks too. I think finding that happy medium is a never-ending battle inherent to creativity, but it’s totally worth it.

Any details on an upcoming EP/LP or shows?

I’m holding off on an EP for the time being until I’ve got more single releases under my belt (plus I’m waiting on a bunch of things to drop as is), but I’m definitely not ruling it out down the road. As for shows, I’m playing one tomorrow night (April 2nd)! I’m visiting MTL before Easter, so going to spin at the Bodega Beats x Bitcoin show at Blue Dog – reach! There should be a bunch more in Toronto in the summer too.

How do you split your time between Montreal/Toronto/Mississauga?

Not as evenly anymore, unfortunately – I was in Montreal for school but graduated in December, and am now back in Mississauga. I really fell in love with MTL, it’s honestly where I feel most at home. There’s something very inspiring about the city and I take every opportunity I can to go back and visit. These days I do my music making in Mississauga and my business grind/shows in Toronto.

What artists do you currently have on high rotation?

I’m really, really digging Potatohead People’s “Big Luxury”; you know you’ve got something good when Illa J is that tight with you. This week, I was really feeling Melo-Zed, IshDARR, Brasstracks, Joseph L’Étranger – the talent on Soundcloud is nuts.

Tell us about your metal days

My metal days spanned most of high school and a little bit of university. Don’t get me wrong, I still love, listen to and play metal, just not as frequently as before; my new stuff keeps me pretty busy these days. What I loved about metal is it was unabashed in trying new things and pushing the envelope – sometimes almost overwhelmingly so. From that perspective I see a lot of parallels with Future. In fact, the most recent major metal phenomenon was ‘Djent’ which traded the age-old neo-classical influences for jazz fusion harmony and technicality (sound familiar?). I actually still have a bunch of old metal tracks I recorded years ago that I’ll be putting out this summer, but they won’t be released under ‘falcxne’ *laughs*.

What was it like working with Dave Versis and playing to a sold out Wrong Bar (that’s right, we did the research)?

Oh damn, you guys did your homework! It was actually the first main catalyst in me exploring hip-hop (I first discovered J Dilla through Dave) and eventually taking up production, so definitely a hugely influential experience. I was playing keys with The Fillas for Versis’ live show and things just really clicked; each of us knew what the other was trying to say musically without even having to verbalize it. I’ll honestly never understand how more people haven’t caught on to his music – if you’re reading this, it’s not too late people! Peep the homie! Something tells me we’re all going to be seeing his name pop up a lot more over the next few months.

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