The pop producer talks turning 21, touring with Mat Kearney and paying the price for a career.
"I always feel like I grow and learn a lot during that time away," he says.
There is a price you have to pay for a career in music. Ask any active touring musician, and they'll tell you some stories of the road; some are grim, others are disheartening but still others are rather uplifting. Pop producer filous, best known for his enslaving remix of Selena Gomez's "Same Old Love," carries that torch with aplomb. "I think being away from my family is the hardest thing for me about being on tour. I get homesick very fast and just miss having the freedom of being home and being able to do whatever I do," he says, writing an impassioned email to Popdust.
Despite that reality, it is a necessary vehicle for personal development. "I always feel like I grow and learn a lot during that time away, because it make you realise again what you appreciate about your home," he affirms. In making peace with being away so much, music becomes that much-needed cathartic release. "One of the best ways though to stay grounded and clear is making music. Playing guitar or working on unfinished songs just makes the whole experience feel that much more productive."
On the heels of a remixed update to his For Love EP, which features such vocalists as Emily Warren and klei, the young creative has hit the road with singer-songwriter Mat Kearney on dates stretching into April. "Playing in LA feels always great to me. It almost feels like a little homecoming show as I get to see a lot of friends and just can catch up with everybody there," he says of favorite tour stops so far. "I also had a great time playing in New York. We had an off day before the show, and I got to spent some time walking through Central Park. You spend so much time inside on tour, it was so great to be able to explore a little!"
Below, filous discusses turning 21, initial reactions to new EP remixes, his contributions to Kearney's new record and one hilarious backstage incident.
What was your first reaction to the For Love remixes?
Getting one of my songs remixed is always super exciting. It's always super fascinating for me to see other producers' approach to the same song. I was blown away by how creative and original everyone's approaches are.
How do the remixes give each song a new energy?
All the remixes are pretty different, stylistically, from the originals, which makes for a very exciting listening experience. NVDES' remix of "For Love" takes the song into a completely different lane. I was blown away listening to that remix the first time! I loved how he stayed true to the original's vibe while being unapologetic in his production.
Do you have a favorite you gravitate toward most?
I really love all of the remixes! The one I caught myself listening to the most, though, was the Decco remix of "For Love." Everytime I listen to that remix, it just blows my mind. It's one of the most tasteful, original and musical remixes I've heard in a long time.
What has been the most electric show you've ever performed up to this point?
One of my all time favourite shows was a sold out headline show in Amsterdam. That show was a party! Everybody was feeling it, and my band and I just felt super connected with the crowd. Amsterdam is one of my favourite citys, and everytime I play there, I always have a great time.
How was your 21st birthday? Do anything you regret?
It was amazing! I played an amazing show, and after it, the whole tour fam surprised me with a birthday party in the bus! I regret only eating one piece of the cake! That was a good cake.
Before 21, what was your favorite age to be?
I always wanted to be older than I was. I hated being a kid. Now being 21, I sometimes reflect on the careless world of being a kid, and it makes me nostalgic.
In what capacity are you contributing to Kearney's new record?
I produced one of the songs on his next album. Working with him was always very inspiring, and I'm super grateful that he invited me to contribute to it.
What have you learned from him that you plan on taking into your own music in the future?
What I love about Mat's approach to writing is that he truly cares about every word he writes. Writing is something that I'm just getting into, and watching him work was super interesting.
Any fun backstage tour stories you can share?
I once accidentally locked myself in my bathroom and almost missed my show! Not so fun for me; pretty fun for everybody else!
Check out filous' remaining tour dates:
March 22 – Birmingham, AL – Iron City – USA TOUR 2018 with Mat Kearney
March 23 – Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle – USA TOUR 2018 with Mat Kearney
March 24 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium – USA TOUR 2018 with Mat Kearney
March 28 – Toronto, ON – The Phoenix – USA TOUR 2018 with Mat Kearney
March 29 – Cleveland, OH – House Of Blues – USA TOUR 2018 with Mat Kearney
March 30 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogart's – USA TOUR 2018 with Mat Kearney
March 31 -Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room – USA TOUR 2018 with Mat Kearney
April 02 – Saint Louis, MO – The Pageant – USA TOUR 2018 with Mat Kearney
April 03 – Kansas City, MO – Uptown Theatre – USA TOUR 2018 with Mat Kearney
April 05 – Austin, TX – Stubb's – USA TOUR 2018 with Mat Kearney
April 06 – Houston, TX – House Of Blues – USA Ton UR 2018 with Mat Kearney
April 08 – Dallas, TX – House Of Blues – USA TOUR 2018 with Mat Kearney
April 21 – Munich, GER – Muffathalle – egoFM Fest 2018
Jason Scott is a freelance music journalist with bylines in Billboard, PopCrush, Ladygunn, Greatist, AXS, Uproxx, Paste and many others. Follow him on Twitter.
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