Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Other Side with Fancy Lad Music's Fabian Halabou

After graduating from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications, Detroit native Fabian Halabou began to stitch together quite an impressive repertoire of career experience in the music industry. Once he had given publicity, promotion, booking, and journalism a whirl, Halabou set his sights on audio engineering. While working at various recording studios, he became an audio archivist and worked with Detroit Techno producer Carl Craig. It didn’t take long for Halabou to recognize that his strengths lie in music production and composition, so after touring as the guitarist of The Silent Years and putting out a record with a couple friends under the moniker Sea of Japan, the idea to start a local music production company began to hatch. In 2008, with the help of Sea of Japan band mate Brian Berryman, Fancy Lad Music was born and the music house has been specializing in the planning, creation, and production of original music to supplement the creative endeavors of their clients ever since.

Green Light Go was able to catch up with Fancy Lad Music’s Fabian Halabou during a guest DJ set in Ferndale, Michigan to find out what it’s like to be on the other side:

What exactly is Fancy Lad and what is your role there?

Fancy Lad Music is an outlet for Brian and I to create original music compositions for the purpose of selling songs to advertising, TV and film companies. Fancy Lad was born from our strengths; Brian and I found that we were good at creating cool little chunks of songs and it seemed obvious that this was the route we needed to take [with our musical careers]. Our collective role is to write and record the music, as well as network and make connections with people who would benefit from our services.

Do you produce the Fancy Lad Music in an in-house studio or do you create your tracks elsewhere?

We record at home a lot, because Brian and I have recording setups in our houses, but we also have friends who have studios and we’ve been able to use those when we do a bigger production. So, we have a few places at our disposal.

Does Fancy Lad also work with local or independent musicians?

Our focus now is to build our client base and a little bit of savings, so we can eventually open our own studio and grow from there. Working with independent bands in some capacity is something that has been in the back of my mind since we started Fancy Lad. We’re definitely open to the idea of working with bands in the coming year, whether it’s to try and get them licensed, or do something else. Currently, we’re reevaluating what we’re doing and what we’re going to do [with the company].

What clients are you currently working with?

Recently, we composed the music for the trailer of a documentary film called Lemonade Detroit, which is being made by Eric Proulx. Eric used to be a copywriter who worked in advertising in Boston for a long time. After he was laid off from his job, he created a website called Please Feed the Animals, which is a blog and job posting site for displaced advertisers. Through that, Eric ended up meeting people who had really interesting stories. He decided to make a documentary called Lemonade, which is about people who used to work in advertising, but got laid off and had to reinvent themselves. Through screening Lemonade across the country, Eric came to Detroit and realized that the movie he made was sort of a microcosm of what was happening here in the city. So, Lemonade Detroit will be a sequel to Lemonade.

Fancy Lad will create the score for the film and provide music supervision. Eric Proulx wants all of the talent to come from Detroit, from the filmmakers and crew to post-production, so we’ll be working with Detroit bands to see where their music might fit into this project.

Lemonade: Detroit Trailer from Erik Proulx on Vimeo.

Another thing we just got tapped to do is a Detroit Auto Show TV spot, so we’ll be writing the music for that.

What does Fancy Lad have in the works for the future?

I have always wanted Fancy Lad to be more than a music house. We want to include anyone from around town who we feel is talented. So, whether I team up with a friend to co-write a song for a Macy’s commercial, find [independent] musicians to put music on a Fancy Lad imprint, or even work on remix projects, we can find ways to do more than write “jingles.”

What are you listening to these days?

Tonight I’m spinning a lot of 50’s and 60’s rock and some soul, since we decided to play 45s exclusively. As far as music that came out recently, I dig a bunch of stuff like the Local Natives record, but I’m really trying to reacquaint myself with older music that has passed me by. Sam Cooke will always be my favorite singer and I like a lot of old soul. I’ve been getting back into hip-hop a little bit too, so I’m listening to stuff I haven’t heard in a long time. I love everything that Rza produced in the mid-90’s, [he used] the dirtiest drum sounds I’ve ever heard. Nobody tries to do that anymore. I’ve also been listening to a lot of instrumental hip-hop too, like DJ Shadow and a lot of records that were put out on Ninja Tune.

The Other Side highlights the talented folks behind the scenes of the music we listen to. The Other Side features producers, engineers, booking agents, photographers, radio DJs, management teams, and label representatives.

This week’s The Other Side is brought to you by: Lauren Mercury Roberts

Photo Credit: Josh Band