The Fey, an Alternative R&B band, was formed by singer, songwriter, and producer Zach Watkins. While the infrastructure of the group’s style and sound is developed by Watkins, it is made complete by instrumentalists Michael Rogers (lead guitar), Ludwing Siebenhor (rhythm guitar), and John Fucinaro (bass).
Today, Watkins current project The Fey has released a single off their upcoming LP Palm Tree Shade slated to drop in the fall, “Tear It Off.” Much in the way of the latest single release “Contender”, “Tear It Off” allows the band to build a strong rhythm section and surround Watkins’ expressive melodies with classic tones of guitar and synth. The Fey produces an edgy “rock star” aura with this model which showcases an anthem-esque vibe that is funky, moody, and heavy.
We caught up with Watkins recently to hear more about him:
Let’s start by talking about your sound, it’s so instantly groovy. You guys have a very smooth and unique take on future-funk and synth-pop. I’m sure some of your influences are universal, so who are some more regional or even local artists that have left an impression on you.
Yeah, we definitely have an eclectic taste in music influences. But generally it always stems from our attraction to rock-soul music. I don’t know how “regional” this is from where we reside, but lately I’ve been digging a lot into Black Pumas out of Austin, TX. Those guys ooze soul/R&B/rock music. Love them. And I guess since we tour through Austin a lot I feel a bit of connection with them and their sound.
I love the confidence in “Tear It Off”. Lines like “call your friends, yeah they’ll sit perfect in my other Benz” just hit so hard. Pairing that kind of attitude with the vibrance of the video creates this whole intricate world the track seems to live in. How much of that is fantasy and how much is reality?
“Tear It Off”, and some of the other records on this album, are pretty much the first time I wasn’t hesitant to be confident and a bit egotistical, in some ways. That whole “say it with your chest-walk with a swagger” attitude stems from a hip-hop culture upbringing. It was a lot of fun both fantasizing and re-living some epic moments. I may or may not have 2 Benz’s ready to go at will, Haha. But I and the boys are definitely into riding cafes, living out the night, and leaving a mark in each city we hit, for sure.
Last question; we’ve heard you have a fascination and some personal connections with LA. That seems obvious watching the video set in a neon city that has that LA/West Coast feel. What does LA mean to you and what is the future of the project?
Ever since I was a kid I’ve just felt like LA gets me, you know? There’s a style, vibe, and swagger of that city that is unmatched. Not to mention the history of art, music, and entertainment alone. From studying classic movies to Tupac’s poetry of the city of Los Angeles, I was soaked in. I kind of think LA is like this trophy I’m looking to conquer, metaphorically. Like, the house in the hills, shopping sprees through Rodeo Drive type of fantasy. Haha. Whether it be LA, New York, etc. the future of The Fey alone is to prove our existence alongside the big dogs. LA is just the court we believe we can play our best game in.