Even though no one makes it in the music business without some help along the way, the Australians-turned-Los Angelenos in Feenixpawl, Aden Forte and Josh Soon, are real do-it-yourselfers. They often produce their own videos with limited means, and last year, the duo launched its label Eclypse Records and the broadcast Eclypse Radio.
However, Feenixpawl has been around for more than a decade, and worked its way up into the worldwide dance culture consciousness before embarking on its own record label. The duo’s fifth single, “In My Mind,” produced with Ivan Gough, caught momentum on the club charts in 2012, and an Axwell remix of the track scored a Grammy nomination for Best Remix.
Since then, it’s been onward and upward for Feenixpawl. They’ve been on world tours and high-profiles residencies until launching Eclypse Records in conjunction with Wind-up Records last year with a successful lead single, “Ghosts.”
Speaking to us a duo, Feenixpawl told us that the reason behind creating its own record label “was always a matter of control, both creative and administrative. You strive to do things to perfection as an artist, but once a track is in the hands of a label, things can get mixed up and mishandled. We felt that the best way to stay on top of our own releases was to put them out ourselves, and if anything went wrong in the process, we only had ourselves to blame. We were lucky enough to partner up with Wind-Up Records, who have been great in giving us freedom but also lending us support and advice along the way.”
Starting one’s own label is not something to rush headlong into. While it’s a viable path in some situations, Feenixpawl said, “We’ve been around for a while, so we’ve built a certain following, which helps with the success of the releases. Coupled with having a great partner in Wind-Up, these aren’t things anyone can just attain overnight.”
However, creating your own videos is something that almost anyone can attempt these days. For its new “Blue Sky” video, premiering now, Feenixpawl took a DIY approach to creating this southern Californian, beach-time party video. The noticeable alcohol product placement may not be something you can replicate without the right connections, but Feenixpawl gave some advice on creating a simple video that projects your personality to the fans.
“Music videos are an integral part of our singles. In the past we’ve rarely been in them, but these days we feel its important for people to see our personalities. We’re goofballs at heart, and we just want to entertain people. As you can see in this video, we literally just grabbed a camera, had a rough outline, and just went shooting. And the video kind of evolved. That’s the best way to do a video on a budget — keep it simple! If you’re going to be in it, just be yourself, even if you’re idiots like us.”
Feenixpawl may be silly on camera, but their successful singles show that they know what they’re doing in the studio. “Blue Sky,” also made with producer Jason Forté and singer Mary Jane smith, has already hit the Mediabase and Billboard dance charts. Several high-energy sections of “Blue Sky” have the kind of thickly layered, wall-of-synths sound that often works well for this type of “big-room” progressive house music. Again, the duo gave us some insight on achieving this sound.
“Generally when we create a synth line, we like to use about three or four layers of sounds that are completely different from each other. One mistake a lot of producers do is use two or three sounds that are basically identical, which clouds the mix and cancels out some of the sounds. We like to use different textures of sound to get an overall full synth group. And of course, a glue compressor and lots of EQ!”
Check out the video here, and find out more about tour dates, podcasts, etc. on the Feenixpawl website.