FHUR: Escaping into darker realities and experimenting with uncomfortable feelings


London-based artist, FHUR, only put out her debut EP Defrag a month ago and is already receiving tens of thousands of streams.

What is it about her that draws listeners in? Upon your first listen you find yourself intrigued, hypnotised by the dark synths and sounds that accompany her lyrics, telling stories of existentialism, self-doubt and the wonderment of who we are as people. It transports us to a whole new world. A world that you can picture as one of many ways; an underground night club where strangers sway to the music, a cyberpunk scene where you walk down the street and observe the sights and sounds around you. The list goes on and on.

FHUR herself confesses that her songs represent a part of her, a place where her mind had once been, how her feelings played out, a place between reality of her home in London and where her dreams play out. That’s the beautiful thing about dark pop; it can be played anywhere, anytime. It’s the perfect thing to have in the background of almost any situation.

Exciting times lie ahead for FHUR. She’s about to perform what will be incredible shows in London where not only will we hear Defrag live but even some new material that she couldn’t be more excited to finally perform. Interestingly enough, FHUR didn’t start out a music fan, in fact she disliked it (*shock*, *horror*) but fortunately after getting her first mp3 player everything changed. She cites her first ever musical crush being Tokio Hotel (remember them fellow scene kids?), and her main influences coming from the likes of dark electro/pop artists; Florence + The Machine and Moby.

Having said that she doesn’t always limit her influences by sound but rather by uniqueness and creativity. With her songs now being played on BBC Introducing, FHUR is excited for the future and has many aspirations of who she’d love to work with and where she’d like to perform.

We were able to sit down with FHUR to talk about her career so far, her inspirations and aspirations. Welcome to the Dark Moody Club…

Hi FHUR, thanks so much for chatting with IAMUR! You’ve recently put out your incredible debut EP, Defrag, how do you feel that it’s now out, and how has it been received by your listeners?

Hi IAMUR, thanks for having me! Yes, “Defrag” has been out for a little over a month now. It feels a bit strange, as it’s been in the works for 2 and a half years and many things have happened in between. I’m very proud and grateful it’s out. Releasing your music is always something that puts you at stake, especially emotionally. Each song represents a part of me and all together they really picture what my mind and feelings have been in this period of time. What warms up my heart is how, although being very personal, my music manages to reach other people, who make it theirs and feel something. I’m forever grateful for the support I have had so far.

What was the moment that made you decide to write/record your own music?

When I was a kid I used to dislike music for some reason! Then at around 12 I got my first mp3 reader and I was always listening to music. My first musical crush was Tokio Hotel, I think they really started my love for singing and sparked the desire to pursue music. I’ve always loved journaling and writing so moving to lyrics was almost natural. I still have notebooks full of songs and song ideas. It wasn’t until 2017 that I decided to make my own music. I started playing around with Logic and through trial and error somehow managed to create songs. I can’t explain how tiring but equally satisfying it is, to listen back and be like “Oh, this actually sounds like a *real* song”. I’ve learned and I’m still learning a lot, but I love it so much.

A lot of your songs have a dark atmosphere; where does that influence come from?

I’ve always been drawn to darker sounds and when I started producing music and experimenting on my own, that was just confirmed by my choices. I always say I haven’t looked for my sound, it has found me. Secondly, my music has always been a way to express what I have within and I’ve always found it easy to express it in dark atmospheres.

Dark/dirty pop has always been around but in in recent years thanks to mainstream artists, such as Billie Eilish, it’s had a massive resurgence, what’s your opinion on that?

Being a dark pop artist I can’t but be happy about it! I’m mostly glad that uncomfortable feelings and moods found a new voice in mainstream music. As a listener, it makes me feel less alone. On the other hand, I don’t like when being “dark” is a mannerism just because is trendy, but I guess that’s inevitable.

Who were the main artists that made you fall in love with this genre, and who do you consider your primary influences?

I think 2 albums really shifted me towards electro/dark pop: “Ceremonials” by Florence + The Machine and “Destroyed” by Moby. From that point on I really started looking for more inspiration in that realm. I always find it hard to define who my influences are *laughs* the artists I look up to are The Cure, Placebo, Florence + The Machine – especially for their authenticity and uniqueness in making art. Sound-wise I think listening to BANKS, Lykke Li, Depeche Mode and Bat for Lashes gave me a first imprint of what I wanted to sound like. But then again, I was listening to a lot of unknown artists when I first approached music. It’s really broad!

Your track ‘We Just Wanna Have Fun (niina Remix)’ of the track received a really positive response from BBC Radio 1 Dance Introducing at the beginning of this year, and was Tune of The Weekend on BBC Introducing the West – what did that mean to you as an artist? How did it make you feel to get such recognition?

Being played on BBC Introducing has always been a dream of mine, it represents a huge milestone to me. When I received the email I couldn’t believe it. When ‘Honey’ was played on BBC Introducing London, I was at the cinema and started crying. People were asking me if I was ok and I was like “Yes! My song is on the radio!”. I will never forget those moments and I hope to have more of them.

I like the description in your bio, “The blur between what is real and what is not is at the core of her tracks, creating a grey space where dreams, desires and reality coexist”. When writing your songs what does that dreamland look like to you? What inspires or influences the way you write music?

I’ve always been a very imaginative person, both in a good and bad way. Especially before moving to London, reality wasn’t enough for me so I would always escape into my imagination to have more. And I still do that. I live a lot in my mind and I try to find other layers to situations I’ve lived. Sometimes I just imagine what could have happened and develop it. What’s more, I remember most of my dreams and sometimes they inspire some verses or entire songs. I think especially for these first songs I’ve put out, this blur has been really evident. The new material I’m working on is based more on things I’ve lived and forced me to get out of my imagination. It’s been really refreshing.

Do you have a location or scenario that you feel your songs would be perfect to be played in the background?

Oh! I wouldn’t want to sound presumptuous *laughs* – I would love to hear my songs in underground clubs and fashion shows. It would also be amazing to have them in installations and exhibitions. I’ve recently visited Future Shock at 180 The Strand in London & I’d love to do something where art meets visual soon.

Where did your stage name come from/ what’s the significance behind ‘FHUR’?

I wish I had a more intriguing story about it! Initially my project was called SWAN, but after a few years I felt the need for a change. As aforementioned, I love writing and have a lot of notebooks. One day I found one with potential names on it and one of the options was FHUR. I felt something: it was short and easy but also memorable (and not on Spotify!) so I went for it!

You’ve got some shows coming up towards the end of the month, and into September – what can we expect from your set?

Every time I play live I love trying something new, whether is a new song or a different arrangement, just because it’s a learning curve to build a live show both you and the audience enjoy. You can expect OG tunes and new surprises (I can’t keep my new music secret any longer!), good, dark vibes, quirky dancing and my lovely friends singing the lyrics along. I’d love to see you there!

When it comes to your own headline shows what would you love to see happen; what do you imagine the stage and audience to be like?

Everything sounding good and no technical issues would already be huge! *laughs* I would love to see great light effects and visuals that add up to the music and contribute to the music. I’ve always dreamed of a stage with a “runway” bit so definitely that. And I’d love to see an audience that’s having fun, really feeling it and singing along. A full venue singing my lyrics would be insane, as they’re very personal, hearing people singing them back to me would make them even more special.

Do you have plans to record a full-length release in the future – and if so who would you love to work with if you could work with anyone?

It’s really likely at some point. I really want to put out an album with a developed narrative. In terms of producers, I’d like to work with AG Cook, Jack Antonoff, BJ Burton and UNDERHER. In terms of collaborations, definitely Charli XCX, Florence + The Machine, Gesaffelstein, Giolì & Assia and many more!

Any other bucket list aspirations?

Go on a headline tour throughout Europe, play at the Royal Albert Hall (and more things I won’t say because I’m very superstitious! *laughs*)

And finally; if you had to sum up your music in three words, what would you say?

Dark Moody Club

Listen to more from FHUR on Spotify:

For more info, check out FHUR on FacebookInstagram, and  Youtube. If you enjoyed this, check out more reviews and interviews from IAMUR… You might just find your new favourite artist!

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