INTRODUCING FHAT; A BOLD NEW SOUND words Luca Mitchell
FHAT is the American-born, Berlin-based, Electronic R&B duo whose music is packed with a clear and empowering message of self-improvement and self-love, making their words resonate within in a powerful way. Their tunes evoke pure feelings and lyrically FHAT is incredible, it’s no wonder they have been quickly snapped up by Universal Publishing in Germany. FHAT exude passion and are true artists even beyond the audio; trust us, It’s not just their vocals that are to die for.
The Ultra-cool boys Sedric and Aaron are undeniably one’s to watch (and listen too), to look up to as members of the LGBTQ+ community who constantly champion their identity, and to get deep in conversation with right now...
Luca Mitchell: Let's start from the beginning; where are you both from? What was growing up like for Sedric and Aaron? Sedric: I’m from Philly. For the most part, I had a pretty good childhood. I have a big family, had lots of friends, and was really active in sports and music. Aaron: I'm from Pittsburgh, growing up in Pittsburgh was quite something as we had a very industrial or work-oriented lifestyle. I had jobs from when I was 14 years old and was always singing on the side.
L.M: How did you two come together as a duo? S: We had met in L.A for a year and a half prior to becoming a duo. We travelled a lot and supported each other’s projects, then one day in London, I went to a recording session of Aaron’s and we came up with 'Back to Life'. We teased the idea of being a duo, but over time we realised it was growing into its own entity. A: Exactly, it really presented itself to us and we noticed its existence and fostered its vibes.
L.M: Were there any defining moments from your childhood or school years that have stayed with you? S: I think I daydreamed through 95 percent of the time I was in school, so the special moments really stood out. I remember my first show at school and how all the kids couldn’t stop screaming because no one knew I could sing. I sang “Overjoyed” by Stevie Wonder. A: Defining moment? Hmmm, when my mother passed away when I was 17 and I realised life wasn’t promised. It changed me to believe that everything we believe could be taken from us at any moment so do what you love and don't miss any chances.
L.M: In what way have these years impacted you as individuals now; especially as members of the LGBTQ+ community? S: My high school had its own holiday called “International Day”. All the kids dressed in traditional garb and brought dishes from their culture. Each hallway had its own theme. We’re talking 3000 students celebrating and learning about each other. I realised that I didn’t know much about my history and it made me want to explore myself deeper. It also made me want to really acknowledge my sexuality. After I graduated, I realised the rest of the world wasn’t as progressive as my high school. It made me want to own the truth everywhere I went, no matter how difficult.
A: The past 2 years I feel have been my blossoming years. FHAT moving to Berlin and signing a publishing deal with Universal Publishing Germany has been the catalyst for me expressing my truest self. I finally am comfortable enough to say I am a gay artist. I have been identifying as homosexual since I was 15, but always worried about being labelled as a “Gay artist” or being too Flamboyant, etc! But that’s who I am. People compare me to Jack from Will and Grace and I always took it as a bad thing; but not anymore! This is ME take it OR leave it!
L.M: 'Unapologetically Gay' is a pretty inspiring comment; what would you say was the thought and feeling behind it? Can you walk us through your creative process? S: Aaron and I share a lot of differences. But one thing I love about our friendship is that we encourage each other to be our best selves and give each other the freedom to always express what we’re feeling. That safe space of acceptance is what we wanted to share with our listeners. It shows people that “gay” doesn’t have to look or sound a certain way. It doesn’t always have to be about sex and sass, although there’s plenty of that in our music. A: Yes. It’s about being comfortable in your own skin and body. Whoever that is, however, that is! We need to be loving and be open to other people's choices.
L.M: Could you tell us about how music became your passion? S: I would spend hours in my room drawing, painting, putting on concerts for my toys. As I got older, I realised nothing could fill the void I got from singing, but I had to go to college and get a job at some point. Then I made the decision to make it my career. I hated the idea of making music a side job to function in the “real world”. I guess you could say I have Peter Pan syndrome. A: Oh man! My family was such music lovers. My mom a soul, Prince, Janis Joplin, and En Vogue lover. My father Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne and Godsmack. My sister would hit me with Lauryn Hill, Blink 182 and Bink. I was just exposed to so much good music all the time! Then I started singing and people enjoyed my voice so I continued exploring.
L.M: Who or what has most inspired you as musicians? S: Little Richard, Eartha Kitt, La Lupe, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Lauryn Hill. A: Jill Scott, Kelis, Maxwell, Jack white and so many more.
L.M: We know that you have gone away for a couple of years and travelled to Europe. What would you say were the most memorable moments or experiences from that time? S: It’s always when you wake up feeling hazy from a crazy night in a new city. The first thing we go for is food. Once we eat, we start waking up to the fact that this is real life and that we’re about to do it all over again that day. A: Being exposed to so many different cities, people, environments has been incredible. We are blessed to be working and exploring our music together and independently.
L.M: Has the culture from the places you went to influence your creative process? S: Absolutely. Our second single 'ONATD ' strictly talks about our experience being in Paris and Berlin and experiencing the club scene. All different people, outfits, languages, dance styles. A: Yes, it has also influenced how I hear the music. Having been exposed to such diverse people cultures and music I find it so inspiring n writing and performing.
L.M: Have these countries influenced your sexuality in any way? S: Yes. I think America places a lot of emphasis on sex - they use it to sell food, cars, and everything else. But when it comes to the actual thing, people are weird about it. In certain European cities, it seems people are more body positive and there’s more emphasis on the intimacy of the moment, rather than trying to sell you something.
A: YES! America is very binary, Masculine Vs Feminine. I find Europe to be so open to sexuality. I have encountered many more swingers, bisexual people and queer people. I definitely find Europe to be overall a more accepting place. Still, lots of huge issues to work on considering racism, I notice this is still a huge problem in all parts of the world.
L.M: What is the best place you've been during your travels: S: That’s a hard one, but there’s something about London that pulls me back. It’s so fun, crazy, and mysterious sometimes. The intersection of nationalities mixed with ambition is something I really love. A: For me is Barcelona. I find the city, food, people and the weather so lovely.
L.M: We love your song ‘ONATD’. What was the thought behind it? S: Drugs, sex, and rock & roll. A: Atmosphere. We wanted to capture that 6 am after club vibe. Mysterious, sexy, and beautiful.
L.M: Can you tell us about some more of your current work and where we could catch you live? S: We worked with Olisa, the gay star of Chewing Gum for a music video coming out at the end of the month. We won’t reveal anything, but it’s going to be incredible. A: Music Video, more songs and some gigs in Berlin! Hoping by next year we can get on a tour supporting someone we love.
L.M: What most inspires you as artists? S: The struggle of trying to be one. It’s an uphill battle with no guarantees, but a really fulfilling journey.
L.M: How is it creating together; is the process quite smooth and easy or do you have some heated discussions every now and then? S: I plead the fifth on the process part, but the end result is always an interesting balance of both of our personalities. We’re pretty dynamic characters separately, so it’s always nice to see how we blend and fit it into a track. A: As a gay interracial duo from the States living in Europe we find many differences. But our communication and respect for each other is so great! It always ends up a love fest.
L.M: Let's do a quick-fire-round: Which of you is a bigger flirt? S: Aaron! A: Sedric!
L.M: Favourite and least favourite food? S: Favourite, Jerked chicken, and plantains. Tomatoes are spawns of Satan. A: Favourite, Grilled salmon pasta with cream sauce. Least favourite, iceberg lettuce.
L.M: Who would be the top three artists you’re into at the moment? S: SG Lewis, Ariana Grande, Freelance (friends from NYC). A: Mac Ayers, Teyona Taylor, Sade.
L.M: If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing? S: I’d be a spy. A: I would open a bar/coffee shop with live music near a beach somewhere.
L.M: Three people (dead or alive) you would love to party with: S: Grace Jones, Little Richard, Rihanna. A: Rihanna, New York or TS MADISON.
L.M: The one thing you CANNOT live without: S: Crab legs. A: Face Moisturizer.
L.M: A dream place to visit: S: Chile. A: Greece.
L.M: Music for you is… S: The voice of God. A: An escape.
L.M: What does being young today mean to you? S: Endless possibilities. A: Push it! Wake up early, stay up late, and have good SAFE sex.
L.M: If you could have any superpower what would it be? S: To never need sleep. A: To fly.
L.M: Sum up your personality in one word: S: Bodacious. A: Kink.
L.M: What’s up next for FHAT? A: VIDEOS, MUSIC, and MERCH. S: Videos, shows, and more music.
L.M: Last but not least; favourite f-word: S: Flerp. A: FHAT.
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