We had a quickie with Smooth Mike from hot local band PHfat

2014-07-23 06:00
Cape Town – Their song is all over radio so we decided to get to know the men behind PHfat before they blow up this summer’s festivals like Tribeone.

Smooth Mike tells us everything on his mind from record labels to collaborations and parties.

Check out the chat here:


"For all our readers who only heard your hit single Lights Out on the radio, tell us all more about PHFat?"
PHfat’s Smooth Mike :

"PHFAT have always kind of been a bit of an anomaly. You see, there is a secret version of a corporate ladder that most musicians are expected to climb that leads to the top of a funny little established structure that exists that most people here call the music industry. And whenever music industry folk saw us doing our thing they were like 'Hey guys, the music industry is over here, you should come and climb our ladder and try get to the top.' We would always look at them and laugh and be like 'Nah, your structure looks shit, we're gonna do our own thing if you don't mind.' And they would always look at us smugly like 'Well, enjoy doing your own thing to nobody, we're going to go and polish our SAMA awards now.'
"Except a funny thing happened after that, we kept doing our own thing (mostly to ourselves to be honest) and then some people started paying attention to it. Not fancy pants industry folk with SAMA awards though - actual human beings, who just happened to be in clubs we were playing in and found that our music caught them off guard in a way that they enjoyed. And then slowly but surely more and more of these people were coming to our shows. And slowly but surely we found that we didn't have to beg club owners and festival organisers to let us play because they were asking us to play instead (well the cool ones at least). And then we got a manager, but he wasn't a dicky manager who sat there trying to force us to make music that would go on radio and sell corn flakes and cellphones. He was just a cool dude who liked our music and saw that it might be sustainable if he could help us stop being such a bunch of useless fucks who just wanted to surf and make music.

"And All of a sudden we were a full time rap act. And all the fancy pants industry folk were like 'damn, how did you guys do that? Where is your producer? where is your mixing engineer? where is your mastering engineer? Who wrote those choruses?'and we were like 'Huh? you guys get other people to do that shit?'

"Sorry... that's the long version. We make rap music that people can party to. It catches a lot of people off guard because we do everything in house which means that we break a bunch of rules which makes our music kind of... 'Off Kilter' - but in a way that people can connect with. A lot of pop music is polished to the point that it's robotic and it's had all the dangerous sharp edges ground off. So you can't hurt yourself with it and it doesn't offend anyone... but it's also boring.
"It's really easy to find our music. It's all free. Just type "PHFAT" into google...  most of the good stuff is at the top... (sic)"

"We love your collab with JungFreud, how did that come about?"
PHfat’s Smooth Mike:

"Nonku (Jungfreud) is a freak of nature. Just like... one of the most talented human beings you will ever meet. Anyways, we started hanging out and just connected on the most hardcore human level. I think we started hanging out because we wanted to colab for one live show. But it was quite clear that this relationship was just gonna be a problem cos we clicked properly. We did the show but kept hanging out afterwards. Like all rad co-labs... the track was a complete accident. We were hanging out talking kak and then two hours later were like basically done with the basis of the track.
"Like all good co-labs... the track started with friendship (sic)."

ICYMI here's the collaboration of which we speak, Lights Out:


"What electronic or rap acts have inspired your sound?"

PHFat’s Smooth Mike:

"Personally for me (Mike) a lot of the mid 2000s Cape Town Hip Hop was huge. Ninja and Spoek Mathambo and the real estate agents and Felix laband and Mr Sakitumi and alladat. Later on it was a bunch of obscure underground indie hiphop from the states and lately it has been mid 2000s pop music like Justin Timberlake and Missy Elliot and Outkast (sic)."


"Who would you like to work with?"

PHFat’s Smooth Mike:

"We're pretty happy working by ourselves right now. I really dig who we kicking it with. I feel like a lot of co-labs are just political moves to try climb that stinky old music industry ladder (I seriously feel like the rungs of that ladder are wet in a way that might make the pages of those magazines from under your dad's bed stick together). Obviously if we meet some hugely influential musician and click with them then we'll jam... But it has to be organic or it will suck. If a co-lab starts with 'Our people have spoken with your people and we have decided that a collaboration would be in all of our economic best interests' then 90% of the time that co-lab is better off crawling into a distant corner of the room and dying.
"You know who I would be keen to work with? A record label that was into to doing cool original shit with our recorded music and not into asking us to sign retarded contracts. That would be awesome (sic)."

"We asked what song makes you guys fappy?" But he heard, "happy" so we just went with it. We’re cool like that.

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PHfat’s Smooth Mike:

"That Happy song by Pharrell... I don't hear it as often as other people though because I don't have a TV and the radio in my car is broken. Also, just about anything by Flume and also Flying Lotus. Those dudes both make very happy music (sic)."

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