Dave Ruby Howe August 16, 2012
Nick Murphy aka Chet Faker
Nick Murphy's been busy. The Melbourne musician and studio-dweller becoming well-known to music lovers as Chet Faker is in the midst of a national tour - his first headline trek around the country - in support of the critically adored EP Thinking in Textures. He's also coming off the back of a buzzed-over set at the 2012 Splendour in the Grass festival and recently returned from an overseas slog in support of Australian rock conquerors the Temper Trap, where he opened for their European tour dates. That all amounts to a whole lot of activity for Murphy who, as he himself admits, could not have imagined such a frenetic schedule no less than a year ago as the Chet Faker project began.
Back then, Murphy was coming to grips with the first drips of attention coming his way after his inspired cover of Blackstreet's No Diggity caught the ears of the internet's indie bloggers. As Murphy puts it, he was reluctant to buy into his own hype - and still is.
''I'm a bit numb to the whole thing,'' he says. ''Saying 'numb' has a bit of a negative connotation to it but it's quite surreal for me that this is the life I'm living. Hype can be transitory at times, I find, and it can get quite hard to be objective and track how you're going. I feel like, in the beginning, I was almost working against the hype because I got a lot in quite a short amount of time. I think it was a bit of a love-hate thing; I was excited about the success and the opportunities but I was scared of how it could affect me. I didn't really want to accept it because of that transitory nature and possibly set myself up for disappointment.''
So far Murphy has managed to roll with the spotlight on him and flourish, with Thinking in Textures showing off the muso's gift for mixing soulful croons and nodding electronic productions like on I'm Into You and the radio-peppering Terms and Conditions. It's the first step in Murphy's self-assigned task of proving his ''legitimacy as a musician'', as opposed to another bearer of the ''next-hype'' tag, as he puts it.
''My biggest thing lately has been trying not to think about everything that's happening and just focus on what I'm making and doing. I've wanted to cut my teeth properly and show that I've got ideas and songs that can stick around,'' he says. ''Of course, I'm so thankful for all the opportunities that have come my way over the last year - it's been a pretty incredible experience. But it maybe would've been nice if it all happened a little slower for me. I've got my life pretty much booked out for the rest of this year and until March 2013, which is another strange thing to be able to say. I've managed to block out some studio time over summer though, as that's what I've missed the most this last few months. That'll be my chance to slow down again.''
WHEN: Friday, August 17, from 8pm
WHERE: Trinity Bar, Dickson
TICKETS: On the door - $15 before 10pm
■ Dave Ruby Howe is a music blogger (hyperbole.tv), would-be pop academic and Triple J's assistant music director of Australian music