@dubiousfeux ©

Culted Sounds: Feux talks new music, new styles, and new directions

Culted Sounds: Feux talks new music, new styles, and new directions

by Robyn Pullen
8 min

London-based music artist Feux is shaking s*** up in the industry right now. Having established himself as one to watch through his debut album “OPAL BLUES” released in 2022, Feux just took a year long hiatus to develop his music into something bigger, better, and more out there than ever before. But he’s not just reappeared on the scene this summer to just drop tracks and dip; Feux’s M.O. is about more than that. He’s a rapper, singer, director, project artist, and more, and don’t forget: he’s only just getting started. We sat down with Feux to talk his freshest release, “Lightbeams”, which just dropped on Thursday night, the deeper message in his new music, and what’s on the horizon – spoiler, it’s a lot.

Hey Feux, how’s it going? Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

All is well; I’m alive, I’m breathing. Just trying to get everything done before [“Lightbeams” drops] tomorrow. And yeah, my name is Max but I also go by the name of Feux. I’m a musician, artist, director, I’m 22, and I live in London. 

@dubiousfeux ©

You took a short hiatus between “OPAL BLUES”, released in 2022, and “Lightbeams”, dropping soon. What have you been up to in the past year and how did your hiatus affect/help your creative process in developing your music?

A lot’s happened behind the scenes since my last release, and I think that’s because the project opened my mind to a lot of possibilities and essentially kind of broke things down for me. When the new stuff came around I didn’t want to have any boxes around my music; I needed creative freedom, so decided to experiment and to push a new sound. Something that I hadn’t really done before was just singing – no rapping at all – and “Lightbeams” is very much representative of that transition. Since one year ago, a lot has been created and a lot has been thought through; now “Lightbeams” is like a perfect starting point.

Is there a deeper message behind your upcoming track, “Lightbeams”?

My music has always had depth to it, and I think that’s because I make sure that I always convey my true self. Sometimes I even discover new things about myself when listening back to my songs, and think “oh s***, I actually felt that way”, so that’s always been the case. But I think with “Lightbeams” specifically, the deeper message is the start of a new chapter. It holds a lot of meaning and symbolism to my evolution as a person and as an artist. “Lightbeams” shows true emotion, as well as my new strength and ability to convey that.

What’s your favourite song to perform live and why?

I did a tour with Franky Stew in April and that was a real learning point for me. I’ve done a lot of sets and a lot of support for other artists and my friends, but this tour was definitely a bigger step and I felt the need to level up and push everything. So, I actually performed “Lightbeams” and it’s all sung – whilst I’m used to rapping, like jumping around and getting people energised – but I had to really sing it and feel it properly. By the end of the tour I was able to properly go for it and sing it properly, and that felt really good. There’s also a couple unreleased songs that I love to perform but I can’t drop their names just yet.

@dubiousfeux ©

I’ve heard that you have French-speaking Belgian roots on your mum’s side; is this where the name “Feux” comes from?

Basically I went to a French primary school and then an English high school, and you know how English people like to make fun of French people? Yeah, anyway a lot of my friends would go out to studios and do some MCing then, and obviously every MC needs a name. So some of my friends would call me “MC Baguette” or “Mc bottle of wine”, but one of them was like “MC Feu” – I can’t remember who but whoever that was, big up to them – and I took that on. I went from “MC Feu” to just “Feux”, which means multiple fires, although the meaning behind it has nothing to do with fire. It’s more that it’s a French word and a symbol of half my upbringing, so I guess it did come from speaking French in a way.

You’ve also got your foot in the door of the fashion world, getting involved in the Converse 2022/23 ‘All Star’ Program and the Culted x Lacoste SS23 campaign. What inspires your fashion choices within the “Lightbeams” music video?

You’ll see as the new music starts rolling out that there’s a lot of progression and cohesion in the new aesthetic, and I think that’s really because it’s an artistic piece more than a regular music video. My friend TJ helped with the curation and the whole creative side of the videos, and for us the aim was always not to take away from it with the fashion and to be quite simplistic and clean.

@dubiousfeux ©

Your tracks appear to pull on a lot of different influences across genres and cultures, taking on aspects of hip-hop, soul, jazz, etc. Is there one genre or artist that you’d say is your biggest music inspiration though?

That’s always a hard question, but I’d say globally – if we’re talking music, influence, message – it would actually either be Bob Marley or Kendrick Lamar. I was brought up on a lot of reggae, from my step dad, and it was just so beautiful to hear music that makes you feel something when you listen to it: it just makes you feel good, but also has a deeper message. I think that’s really powerful. And obviously on the hiphop side, Kendrick Lamar does that as well, in the way he conveys his deeper thoughts and inner self. That’s something that I aspire to do.

What about your upcoming track “Lightbeams” sets it apart from your past discography? Are you taking on new directions?

Yeah, I think the new stuff’s different because I’m more confident in myself and what I’m putting out. For the first time I have this feeling that I’m certain this will help people and allow them to feel good about themselves and inspire them. I think that feeling says that, whilst it’s new for me, it’s good that I’m pushing boundaries. It’s a portal into more experimentation, and generally just better music, so I’m definitely going in a new direction and it feels good.

If you could collab with any music artist, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Kendrick Lamar and Bob Marley – one or both. For the reasons I said earlier; they’re just super inspiring people and artists.

What’s something your fans probably don’t know about you?

I have a gecko. Well, me and my flatmates have a gecko, she’s called Kimchi. I live with two very cool and creative flatmates, one of which is called Lauzza – he’s a video director, a very much an active and hard working guy – and the other is Tom Austin who goes by Niko B – I hear him making gremlin videos upstairs sometimes.

@dubiousfeux ©

I know you’ve said before that you like to use your music to convey a mood or make the listener feel a certain way. What mood would you say “Lightbeams” is aiming to make us feel?

I think “Lightbeams” is definitely a song of introspection and deeper emotion; it’s not exactly a song you could play at a party. I wanted to start strong in that sense, in that I wanted to sort of trigger some introspection, but it’s not necessarily a sad song, it’s just a bit more melancholic or down tempo. Really I just want people to feel something, but some might feel happy. I mean, I do. All of the upcoming stuff is definitely a mixture of up and down, like life in general which I’m trying to convey in my music.

Apart from “Lightbeams” release, what are you most excited for this year? Is there anything else on the horizon you can tell us about?

All I can say is that I didn’t make one song in one year. As I said, everything’s bigger, better, more impressive, and I want to inspire more people on a bigger scale. I’m just trying to put out love and positivity through my music; there’s a lot of people that have done that for me, and that’s sort of my job now to do that for other people. So yeah, just a lot of good stuff coming up and I’m excited for you and everyone to see it.

More on CULTED

See: Culted Sounds: Bou on his introduction to drum n bass & his Glastonbury set

See: Culted Sounds: The comeback of the team playlist for summer

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