“We have no fears,” says Fairfax guitarist Blake English. “If we’re fearless and we write great music, that’s good enough for me.”
Blake and vocalist Heavynn formed Fairfax in Los Angeles in 2008, with young-and-hungry East Coast drummer Dave Rundell recently completing this super-talented trio. “Blake and I have the most amazing chemistry,” enthuses the effervescent Heavynn. “We started writing and it was magic; it was crazy!”
Despite being in-demand “hired-gun” musicians with glittering credits (Blake is an acclaimed songwriter/producer/engineer who’s worked with Kelly Rowland, Toni Braxton and George Benson; Heavynn has sung background for No Doubt, 2 Pac and T-Boz)., Blake and Heavynn – who met while writing songs for R&B chart-topper Brandy – are now prioritizing their own outfit.
“I just lost my gumption to give all my babies away to other people,” Heavynn, a California native, explains. “When I was working as a songwriter for other peoples’ projects for major labels, I had to stick to their vain … and that was just so restricting and taxing on me as an artist. So I’ve had a determination to focus on my artistry first.”
Interestingly, for musicians with such impressive R&B and hip-hop credentials, Fairfax is a rock band – but no ordinary rock band. Their dance music backgrounds lend the genre a grooving, sensuous sheen, with Heavynn’s emotive, inflected vocals buoyed by burly drums and melodic guitars. Fairfax’s songs have hooks, heart, and a subtly dangerous demeanor.
“Our stuff is definitely soulful and funky,” says Blake in his laid-back Georgia timbre. “It’s not just straight ahead, textbook rock. It’s got something special – something grimy and soulful about it.” Lyrically, Heavynn explores love, pain and her fertile imagination with rare honesty. “I try to feel every single word that I’m saying,” she says. “It really needs to mean something to me for me to write it.”
On top of their cultured studio skills (Heavynn and Blake run their own production company), Fairfax is also an electrifying live act. “Our shows are really high energy – there’s a lot of energy coming off that stage!” Heavynn laughs. “Whereas the music releases my creative energy, I also have all this physical craziness going on in me and I can go on stage and be as crazy and weird as I want and it’s totally OK – in fact, the weirder, the better!”
Fairfax will soon unleash their sophomore EP, before their debut full-length drops in 2010. Then it’ll be time to go on the road and hit the major summer festivals. “We’re doing six songs at a time, because it kinda keeps it fresh and gives us a chance to continue to develop – because we’re always changing,” says Heavynn. “Nobody can do what we do in the way we do it. You listen to us and you’re going to clearly tell that are music is different … we are way different.”