What is your name and role within Feng Suave?
My name is Daniël de Jong, I’m the singer and writer of Feng Suave. I work together with Daniel Leonoard Elvis, he’s the lead guitar player and writer of Feng Suave.
Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
We’re currently based out of Amsterdam. The music scene is pretty chill, but it’s not huge. Amsterdam has never really been a major ‘band’ town, but that changing slowly. More and more bands are doing cool and quirky things around here. It’s got a pretty solid hip hop scene though.
How would you describe your sound?
It’s quite easy on the ears. We like our music to be pretty, thus far, we never know what the future might bring. We take influences from a lot of warm sounding 70’s soul but also from reggae and some electronic music. But our sound so far has mostly been warm and dreamy.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
At this very instant the song Gürbet by Ozdemir Erdogan is being played. When we’re not listening to that song we’re listening to 70s soul records, mostly.
How has 2018 been for you and what have you been working on recently?
2018 has been amazing for us, it has taken us further than we expected even though our new music hasn’t even been released yet.
What do you like to do away from music?
Reading books and checking out museums is fun as well as going to the movies. Some days we just sit around and have coffee. While I’m writing this I started to realise that we don’t really have other hobbies other than music. Taking long walks through town don’t count as a hobby right?
How did Feng Suave form as a band?
We had the first four songs from our EP ready and we managed to get 2 gigs as a support act in Amsterdam and London, a month before the first show we didn’t have a band yet so we contacted some people we knew and got together, as simple as that really. They’re all great and make our live shows possible.
In Dec you will be touring across The Netherlands, UK, Belgium and France, what do you have in store for these shows?
We’ll be playing and trying out a lot of new material. In addition to that we’re just trying to take the existing tracks and smooth them over real nicely and play a tight set.
How do you prepare for each live show?
We don’t have like a ritual or anything. We just practice and try to get as good as we can get. Every show has to be great since people paid for their tickets and we don’t like letting people down.
How do you usually go about writing music and lyrics?
Lyrics usually come in a series of epiphanies while the instrumentals are just a matter of trying out layer after layer of different instruments until something sounds good. We never throw any take out, because even the dumbest take can have a tiny gold nugget of a melody in there you know. Most songs start with just a handful of chords and we work our way up from there.
What programs/equipment do you use?
We use Logic pro X. For our new EP we use real amps, but for our first 4 songs we used only an audio interface and our instruments. We plugged them directly into our computer and simulated an amp in Logic. Using real amps and microphones makes for a great upgrade though. Our new stuff sounds way better.
How did you first start playing music?
We both started playing the guitar in our teenage years and learned it by trying to imitate John Frusciante and Jimi Hendrix. And what remains from that is a thin foundation of corny pentatonic blues licks that we still accidentally play sometimes to this day. After that I started playing acoustic fingerstyle guitar – the really hectic Americana on steroids thumb-pick fuelled Travis picking stuff – which was a really weird detour.
What do you have planned for 2019?
A new EP and a lot of live shows all over Europe, we might even fly over to another continent, but we’ll see about that.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
We frequent this Thai place called ‘Bird’, which is my street. It’s real good. Our favourite hangout is just any public bench in the particular neighbourhood we’re in.