[INTERVIEW] ELI & FUR

[INTERVIEW] ELI & FUR

There is power when people of similar creative intentions connect, and the magic is evident and compelling with this prolific deep house/tech house production duo. Hailing from London, England, Eli & Fur have been growing steadily since 2013 with well-received releases on Anjunadeep, Defected and Toolroom, including collaborations with Santé, Erick Morillo and Dantiez Saunderson. Their sound is imbued by captivating melodies and sensual vocals, enchanting dance floors with mesmerizing vibes. Recently, the DJs played the last season of Music is Revolution, Carl Cox’s legendary weekly party at Space Ibiza, including the epic Closing party. The pair are showing no signs of slowing down as they continue their North American tour and relentless focus on production. I had the great fortune of catching up with them over the phone recently during their first stop in Toronto. We talked their production process and creativity, staying true to yourself, what makes it work as a duo, turning points and their experience with Carl Cox this summer. It was a fun and engaging conversation - permeated by thoughtful reflection and light-heartedness, often bouncing off each other in concert. Enjoy getting to know these talented, inspiring and hard-working artists!

Welcome to Toronto!

Thank you! It’s good to be here!

When you play a set or produce a track do you have an intention of what you’re wanting to create with it for an audience or listener?

Eli: It really depends. Sometimes we’ll just make a track without thinking about anything and just see what happens. Most of the time we’ll have an idea in mind, or have inspiration from something, and know where we want to take it. But saying that, it can always veer off into something else.

Fur: Yeah, sometimes we’ll sit down and be like, Let’s make something that’s a real banger that we can play out in our sets, and then it ends up being really mellow and melodic so… It’s kind of nice though, I suppose when you go from an idea anything can happen.

It’s the same with a DJ set. It really depends on the vibe and the crowd. There’s always a bunch of tracks that we know that we want to play, but it’s fun to just see where it goes and be creative with it and not set anything in stone. When you try to do a formula it can really limit you.

What do you think the most important personality quality to have is, when working as a duo - what makes it work with the two of you?

Eli: I think you’ve got to be quite tough, in a way. I guess traveling and spending a lot of time on the road and not sleeping that much, you’ve got to be pretty robust. I think that’s for anyone doing this kind of thing. But I suppose as a duo our personality traits complement each other when it comes to that.

Fur: Yeah, I think we bounce off each other quite a lot. If one of us is a bit lower than the other one, the other one sort of picks the other one up and then vice versa - it changes. And you have to get along pretty well, otherwise it could be pretty bad (laughter).

Eli: A lot of people are like, Who’s the more crazy one or who’s the one that does this.. and it’s funny because we always look at each other and we’re like, Uhhh, it totally depends! We definitely fill the void of each other and that’s why we’re best mates and it works really well as a duo.

Who and what inspires you?

Eli: It’s always a really hard question. I mean, definitely my friends and my family. But I guess overall experiences. It’s weird, today we were just looking out over the view and I was saying, Oh, this is so awesome to be traveling to different places. I just had to go into the room and write down all these lyrics. I got really excited about it. I think it’s just having amazing experiences, and definitely it’s what drives creativity. We share so many amazing moments, so to be able to write about those is just a massive thing for us. Life in general is inspiring.

Fur: I think for me it’s important not to be stuck in the same place for too long. Obviously with our job I don’t do that, so that helps. But yeah, definitely going to new places, meeting new people, seeing different things.

Eli: And making music, obviously.

Fur: Yeah!

Is there any advice you’d give to yourself looking back from where you are today to when you started?

Eli: I think I would say stick to your values. Don’t try to do what everyone else is doing. And it does sound really cliché, but it’s true. So many people have opinions of what we should be doing, what we shouldn’t be doing. But it is true. Whatever you are most passionate about is what you will do with the most emotion and feeling, and is what you really believe in.

Doing what you’re good at, like your strengths, rather than doing something that doesn’t really work for you. Just focus on what you’re good at because that’s what you’re going to excel at, rather than trying to be good at all these different areas. Go with your gut and what you love and that should be what you’d be best at.

Was there a turning point when you decided to go all in on this?

Eli: I think when we got that gig in Tokyo maybe.. When we first started, quite early on, we [sent out a set] and someone saw it and we went to Tokyo and had this crazy week of playing like every single day. We’d never gone anywhere internationally. At the time we were doing it for fun and then suddenly we were like, Oh hang on, we could actually do this. And it was really exciting going to visit different places. It was incredible. Like, this other culture and seeing them respond to the music we were playing. That was crazy. That was a moment where we were like, Okay, I think we can actually do this and make a living out of it.  And I think to get a break like that or a show like that, that just gives you so much more confidence.

I think when we first got an agent as well. That was another moment. I guess when you get recognition, and find that you could be doing something you’re really passionate about. When people start to respond to it, that’s a real confidence booster.

Which came first, Tokyo or the agent?

Eli: It was Tokyo. When we started out we were kind of acting as our own agents and sending emails to agents and promoters and just really getting as many people as possible to know about us. We didn’t have an agent for awhile so it was a big deal that we managed to have that experience.

What was it like to be around Carl Cox, he’s so generous, playing his closing party and another time [at Music is Revolution] this summer?

Eli: Yeah, oh my god.

Fur: It was amazing. It was just such an honour to be part of it. I mean, we looked up to him for so long. He’s such a nice guy. He’s so down to earth.

Eli: And to believe in younger acts and to see us and give us the opportunity was amazing. Especially it being the last year of Space [Ibiza]. It was pretty mind-blowing to be honest.

What’s next for you in terms of production or the North American tour?

Fur: We have so much music that we’re just organizing. We’re sort of making music and touring at the same time.

Eli: Yeah, and hopefully near the end of the year we’re going to have a bit more studio time because it’s been quite a busy summer. But it’s nice because in between all the dates we’ve been working on demos. So when we get back from tour we’ll be tying those up and then I think looking forward to more releases and hopefully an album at some point.

So you actually produce on the road?

Eli: Yeah! You write a lot on the airplane. Get inspired the air.

Fur: Yeah, a lot of ideas start on the airplane, it sounds a bit strange but… (Laughter) No distractions anywhere..

Amazing! Thank you so much for taking the time to talk today!

Eli & Fur: Thank you!

Many thanks to Eli & Fur for taking the time to talk, and to Nadia and Chris at HouseAddict for setting it up! 

 


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