Following up the unveiling of his highly praised singles Borrowed Nostalgia, Closure and Sometimes in the last few months, Hong Kong-born but Melbourne-based singer and songwriter Alex Fasso is back once again with his latest swoon Happy 4 U.
Using little more than an acoustic guitar and his own sensational vocals, Alex delivers one of his most emotional and heartfelt offerings to date. Co-produced alongside Lach Marshall, the new release is a warm and inviting serenade that looks to pull at your heartstrings throughout.
So with the new single out now, we sat down with him to find out more about the single and what he has planned for the future.
Hi Alex, how are you today?
I’m doing amazing thanks!
For those that aren’t familiar with your sound, how would you best describe it?
I think my sound is very flexible. Flexible folk for sure. I love to experiment with elements of pop music like 4 chord choruses or drum machines. But I also love to write ballad type tunes that are extremely stripped back and it’s just me and my guitar, almost fighting against each other and making music that way. And I use the term folk very loosely, because I think when people think of ‘folk music’ they think of banjos and someone playing a drum kit out of pots and pans. But to me, folk is not necessarily a sound but rather a way of writing music. It’s opening yourself up and laying all your emotions out on the table for everyone to see. That’s what it is to me.
You have just released your new single ‘Happy 4 U’. What was the inspiration behind that release?
‘Happy 4 U’ is a song about trying to stay supportive for your partner in a relationship even though it tears you up inside. I bought this guitar in the UK a couple of years ago, in November, it was cold and wet and grey. And I was in the UK because I was visiting someone over there, but they kept getting busy and had to take care of work and stuff. But they were happy, and I was happy that they were enjoying themselves so much in this new country, but I felt so alone because I felt like I was waiting the whole time I was there. And I kept telling them “that’s great I’m happy for you!” when they would call me up to cancel plans but really it was so hard on me. And I was just alone. Walking through the grey streets for days on end and then going inside to play guitar. And then one night I get a video call from my friend Ollie McNabb and he was asking me to show off the new guitar. So I started playing and singing and after all the emotional build up I just improvised a song about my time in the UK and that song was ‘Happy 4 U’
And was there a particular vibe you were going for on that release?
I wanted the song to be as barebones as possible because I think when you’re making a very personal and emotional song it’s very easy to hide underneath a song with lots of instruments and tracks on the song. But I wanted to make myself vulnerable on purpose and just express how I felt in a raw way.
I honestly have loved the lockdown because it almost forces you to be creative
Can we expect a new EP or even an album from you in the near future?
I’ve been writing a lot over this lockdown period, I honestly have loved the lockdown because it almost forces you to be creative. So I’ve written all the songs for an upcoming EP and recorded all the demos. But, the only issue is that I currently live in Melbourne Australia, which currently has the strictest lockdown in the world. Which is making it really hard to record because I can’t see producer Lach Marshall. We can only leave the house to go to the supermarket, and I don’t think we could record the EP in the milk aisle. But there is an EP coming I promise, and it hopefully should be out by the end of the year.
Coronavirus has obviously halted the live gigs, but what do you have planned for the rest of the year?
The rest of my year is going to be focused on just writing and recording and then releasing the EP. I also cannot wait to get back to my other home, Hong Kong, where I was born, raised and spent most of my school years.
And finally, what has been the most unusual thing to happen to you since you started as a musician?
The first gig I ever played was this bar called Holy Moly in Hawthorn. And I was so so anxious about playing, to the point of where I didn’t tell my parents or my family that I was playing, because seeing them there would make me even more nervous. So I showed up to the gig and started playing and having fun and what not. Then halfway through the gig my Auntie comes running through the door with my Mum on Facetime yelling, “Alex is playing guitar and singing! What the f…!!!” And they were very proud. And I was very glad they saw me play my first gig even though I was so nervous playing in front of them.
Alex Fasso’s new single Happy 4 U is available to stream and download now. Have a listen to it below.