INTERVIEW WITH BROOKLYN ELECTRONICA PRODUCER CHARLES FAUNA
Debut album Yonder out now!
Charles Fauna is a Brooklyn based electronica dance artist, producer, and songwriter. His debut album “‘Yonder” is out now on Sleep Well Records. Yonder follows a sliver of humanity selected to leave a devastated, apocalyptic Earth behind to start a new community on Mars called “Project Yonder.” Essentially an concept record I chatted with Charles before the album dropped, you read the interview below.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Let’s talk about your current single ‘Always’ and the inspiration behind it?
CHARLES FAUNA: Always You happens at a point in the story of Yonder in which the main character is at her lowest. She has taken a leap of faith which has landed her in a far worse position than where she initially was. She’s become stranded on this alien planet with no food or resources. The song is meant to be a letter that she is writing home to her family, telling them that she misses them and has maybe gone to far. It’s a darker, more brooding song than some of the others on the record; one that’s meant to convey the anguish of realizing one’s own mistake.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Your debut full-length album, Yonder is set to be released on April 17th. How was the experience from start to finish making, writing and recording an entire album?
CHARLES FAUNA: Yonder came about over the course of several months, and then took another half year to complete as a piece of music. I knew that I wanted to write a full album. I also knew that I wanted this album to feel cinematic and like a true story. I’ve always been enamored with storytelling as a human tradition, and it was really important to me that this be more than just a collection of my most recent songs. Soon this narrative surrounding outer space, leaving behind the earth due to climate change and overpopulation, and one girl’s journey to make sense of it all and her self came into being. From there it was like riding a water slide, things just fell into place.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Why did you choose to title the album Yonder?
CHARLES FAUNA: I wanted something simple, strong and memorable. It’s a word that everyone knows but rarely uses. And it completely encapsulated the entire spirit of the record without saying too much.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What do you think is a central theme or thread that ties together all of your music?
CHARLES FAUNA: Well I can’t say that a single thread ties together ALL of my music, across records. I try to give each record it’s own themes to stand on its own. In the case of Yonder, the theme is connection; both between human beings and to forces bigger than ourselves. It’s about finding meaning within and without the self.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: In times like these, why do you think we turn to music as a source for healing?
CHARLES FAUNA: I think music will always be a source of healing for the heart, mind and soul. It’s a form of expression nearly as old as our species. Music distills the essential emotions of life into easily consumable moments, allowing us to experience our lives as stories for moments in time. It offers escape from the material and indulgence for the spirit. As long as people feel pain, there will be music that validates them.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Is there a lyric you’ve written that you feel most emotionally connected to in life at the present moment?
CHARLES FAUNA: “Let wonder pour over her from heavenly urns. Let her mind empty and become new. Free of home, and loss and love.” An excerpt from the poem I wrote for the album’s intro. It’s about letting everything you know about yourself go and becoming truly open to the splendor of the universe. The worse things get in life the more I find myself returning to that sentiment in search of hope.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: When you are writing and creating songs where do you typically draw inspiration from?
CHARLES FAUNA: I’m not sure that I can explicitly answer that. Inspiration isn’t something that I really wrestle with often, it’s sort of an event. It’s like a thing that passes through you for a moment in time. I get ideas based off of narratives: films, games, books and records. But more often than not I’m sort of in my own world when it happens. I’m a bit of a space cadet, always daydreaming and writing stories in my head. Once and a while something will occur to my mind that my heart insists on realizing. When it feels good that’s when I know I’m making something worth people’s time.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Switching gears a bit… If you had the chance to write a song based on your favorite book. What book would that be and why?
CHARLES FAUNA: I actually did recently write a song about one of my favorite books! I recently read “The Terror” by Dan Simmons which is a really gripping historical-fiction novel about this group of real-life arctic explorers who vanished without a trace in the 1850’s. It’s a grizzly affair, involving everything from cannibalism to vengeful Inuit spirits, but somehow the silver lining at the stories’ end left me in tears. There is something truly transcendent about those who retain hope in the darkest of times. It inspired me to write this humungous arena-sized pop anthem which will surely be on my next album.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Continuing on that same theme. What fictional character would you most like to meet in real life?
CHARLES FAUNA: Definitely Darth Vader so I could give him a big hug and tell him that he didn’t actually kill his wife.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Are there any artists that have been “On Repeat” for you lately? What music have you been digging?
CHARLES FAUNA: My buddy Kam has a project called The Chain Gang of 1974 and his most recent singles have been on repeat for me since he dropped them. Also, for some reason, Jazz has really been calming me down lately. John Coltrane’s mellower tunes like “Wise One” help get me through the long nights.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: And what’s next for you Charles Fauna?
CHARLES FAUNA: Well hopefully I will get the opportunity to tour on Yonder. I am so proud of this album and really want to show it to as many people around the world that I can. I’m also well into writing my second full length. I think it’s going to be an epic western about a shape-shifting outlaw, but we’re a ways away from that right now.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Anything else you would like to add? Thank you for your time!
CHARLES FAUNA: Thanks so much for your questions! Wishing you health and good times ahead.
Yonder is out now. Stream below.