Bolstering a silky-smooth voice and introspective style of songwriting, Auckland based alternative artist Fable is on the cusp of something special. Backed by a recent EP and Dera Meelan produced single ‘Beware’, the young artist has some special plans for the rest of the year. We caught up with him to discuss getting back into making music, his personal style of songwriting as well as futures plans for the rest of 2019.
With a delivery that tugs on your heart strings, Auckland crooner Fable’s introspective and personal style of songwriting offers a rare glimpse of something authentic. With the four track EP ‘Catch Flights Not Feelings’ released in late 2018, and the recent Dera Meelan produced single ‘Beware’ featuring Deadforest, Fable’s catalogue isn’t extensive. But what we have seen certainly leaves its mark. Fable reveals that he almost gave up on making music entirely, crediting the support of a tight network of fellow artists and friends for his return. The four track EP ‘Catch Flights Not Feelings’, broke this musical hiatus, as well as drawing inspiration from his studies of Maori politics.
“’Catch Flights Not Feelings’ I put out in September last year, so it’s been a while. That was sort of my first proper project. When I started making music I was 14 or 15 and I was inspired by one of my really good friends who’s a producer by the name of 24/7. He got me into making music when we were at boarding school together, then we left and I kind of lost my drive to make music. Last year I had the urge to do something again, all my friends were really encouraging and helped me out with studio time. So that’s sort of how ‘Catch Flights Not Feelings’ came about, or the start of it anyway. It was me just getting back into music and playing around. I’m still finishing my degree and a lot of what I study revolved around Maori politics. Some of the songs are really influenced by Maori culture. The track ‘Noble Savage’ is really like a love song to the crown.
“After the EP I connected with DeadNakedParty, he heard that project and showed Dera Meelan and Deadforest and that’s how ‘Beware’ came about. We’re all from the same area, but I never made music with them before that. Dera sent me the beat at midnight one night and I just wrote something half asleep and sent him the stems in the morning. At the time I didn’t really think anyone would fuck with it, just because it was so different, but then I had a really good reception which was really cool.”
The fear of being judged is always an issue for any young artist, with the pressure from third parties often at fault for hindering the creative process. Fable knows this feeling all too well. If it wasn’t for the close support of friends, the artist may of given up making music altogether. But the talented songwriter acknowledges his growth, not wanting the feeling of being judged to ruin an endeavour he truly enjoys.
“When I was at school I didn’t like the whole ‘oh he’s trying to be a rapper’ stigma. I’m a really introverted person so I didn’t like when the attention was drawn to me and I got really uncomfortable. I really liked making music, but I didn’t want to be that guy so I just kind of stopped. Life and school got in the way and I just wanted to finish other things. Then some of my mates at work one day started listening to my music from ages ago and said you’re not going to lose anything from making music. It’s not like if it doesn’t work out you’re going to be any worse off, at least you tried. Then from there I thought I might as well because I really enjoy it, but now it’s turned into a bit of an obsession and an escape.”
After stepping out of his comfort zone to make music, the genre-bending artist credits international alternative artists helping him to find his footing and establish a unique identity. This influence was important for Fable, who didn’t want to conform with the stigma of having to make music a certain way because of where you’re from or who you are.
“I’ve always been someone’s who looks for the alternative path in terms of music ever since high school. Me and the bro 24/7 and a few of the other guys who were making music back in 2014, we’d listen to Team Sesh, Bones, Waterboys, Bobbyraps and Spooky Black. When I first started out I wanted to be the New Zealand version of Spooky Black, haha. Looking back, it was pretty cringe, I didn’t do the Du-rag, but I had the turtle neck and the chain. I think the alternative thing really drew me in, especially for New Zealand Maori artists or South Auckland artists there’s always this certain expectation that you have to be a certain type of artist. If you’re Maori you have to do reggae, Kapa Haka or you’re a rapper doing boom bap. I always like pushing that boundary because I don’t fit into any of those categories. I want to do my own thing and try and pave the way for younger artists who want to do their own thing but don’t feel like they can.”
After working to establish an original sound and style Fable has no plans of slowing down. Following a positive reception from his last Dera Meelan produced single ‘Beware’, Fable reveals there is much more in the pipeline. Including more music with heavyweight producers and friends Dera and 24/7, as well as working on a project with New Zealand Hip-Hop legend Tom Scott.
“I’m really excited, I’ve got heaps and heaps of music that I’m working on. A bit of different stuff which is exciting, but I think for me the cool thing is being able to work with a lot of producers that I want to work with. They’re mainly my friends and being able to do that is cool. When I first started I just jumped on whatever I could. Then you get to a point where you have friends that are so talented, and you really fuck with their stuff and they’ll send you something and it’s just yep i’ll get on that straight away. At the moment me and Dera are working on a few singles and we’ve got something coming out really soon. I’m working on a big project with 24/7, aiming to have that finished around October. He just keeps sending me stuff and I just keep wanting to jump on things, so it’s turned into a whole 15-20 songs of just crazy experimental kind of things. His little cousin is working on that as well, which is awesome.
“I’ve got stuff with Tom Scott, big shout out to Tom, he hit me up out of the blue which was just crazy. I thought it was a random Tom Scott who hit me up at first haha. He’s been really cool to work with, just go over and make heaps of music and I get to work with a lot of his producers which is crazy. He’s a really good dude and I’ve got a few songs that I’m working on with him.
“Then a lot of stuff with Bobandii, he lets me use his studio all the time and it’s in the city which is perfect. We’re going on a tour around New Zealand soon which will be really fun. Me, him, Deadforest and one of the other bros are coming down.”
Check out Fable’s recent single ‘Beware’ below and be on the look-out for more new music in 2019.