Rising UK artist, FØNX, is one name you can’t forget. Aside from its genius catchiness, FØNX is a rising artist who has been making magic by letting jazz, funk, R&B, soul, and psychedelia gracefully come together in a giant euphorgy. His latest single “Can’t Get Enough,” which he produced with Grammy award-winner Tommaso Colliva (Muse), has already garnered massive streams and set the bar high for what we can’t expect from him (no pressure, FØNX!). If you haven’t already, check it out:
Corey Fox is the mastermind behind FØNX, who started learning guitar since he was seven and began honing his songsculpting skills after being introduced to rap and hip-hop. He studied music at the Brit School and started playing live around London in numerous festivals (Barn On The Farm, Cornbury Festival Isle of Wight) as well as intimate gigs (Sofar Sounds). We got to know FØNX better, including his dog Cookie:
Why did you choose FØNX as your moniker and how did you come up with it?
I had been writing new songs for a couple of years and hadn’t released anything and the sound had changed quite a bit so I decided it was right to have a fresh start with a new name etc.
Name wise my last name is Fox and the music has some funky elements in, so put them together and you have FØNX. It just stuck and felt right and I liked the look of it visually too.
Back when you debuted “Can’t Get Enough,” you explained that the idea came to you when you were homeless. How did you end up in a homeless position?
I found myself without a roof for a couple of months so I had to ask my friends some favours and slept on quite a few couches. It was a fun time but also odd not knowing where I’d be staying the next night. Was cool being out of routine though and I think this helped with thinking outside the box in terms of my writing. This was when I wrote ‘Can’t Get Enough’.
You tend to write music in a pretty nomadic fashion – working at home, trains, buses, coffee shops, etc. Where’s your favorite place to write music?
I think home is my favourite place to write as I can shut the world off totally for a bit and really think about what I’m trying to say. For producing though because I’m always on the move this happens wherever I am at the time. Coffee shops, trains, buses, before a show etc. So the writing is a mix of getting the idea flowing at home usually then producing the demo and writing the rest of the song when I’m on the move.
We heard you were home-schooled. Did this affect your music in any way?
Being homeschooled gave me a lot of time to create and find the things I love to do in life. Music was one of those things so I used to play a lot of guitar and write songs and my parents really encouraged it. I believe a lot of kids don’t have a clue what they really want to do in life or what they love as they’ve just been put through this regimented system of ‘school’ so I was really fortunate to be given some time to find my passion in my teens.
How did you end up working with the Grammy award-winner Tommaso Colliva?
We had been looking for the right producer to work with on the new material I was writing and I think my manager met Tommaso at a music networking night and got talking. I met up with Tommaso myself not long after and just spoke for ages about music, visuals and where I see the whole FØNX project going. From that first meeting I knew we were on the same page and had a lot of similar interests musically and artistically.
He’s a really cool guy and a real artist too so it was an awesome experience and real learning curve for me to work together in his studio in London on these songs and demos I’d first created in my bedroom.
You’ve played in various venues as well as in intimate gatherings (from Sofar Sounds). What makes you more nervous? Playing at big venues or small intimate shows?
I was actually speaking about this to a friend the other day. I usually don’t get nervous anymore about performing I just get this adrenaline rush before and during the performance because I love it so much whether it be a really intimate gig or a festival slot but what does make me nervous is when the pressures on because of tech reasons ie. we haven’t had a proper soundcheck or the in ear monitors don’t sound great…that’s when I start to think are we going to make it through this gig! At that moment you just have to take a breather, bite the bullet and give it your all.
Can you explain us the story behind the following Instagram posts?
Wow these are some old photos you’ve dug out! The first one I thought looked funny because of the shadow of my legs looking like I had super long legs.
The 2nd photo was taken during a photo shoot in Southampton and we came across this cool art deco looking bus shelter. So I thought it would be fun to jump up and do a bit of break dancing as you do…obviously no break dancing was occurring during this photo.
The last photo is of my dog Cookie enjoying a Havana Cigar on her day off…It’s a dog treat.
Pursuing a creative field is never easy, especially in this industry. What do you do to keep pushing yourself forward? Do you have any rituals/self-talk that you do to overcome any negative moments?
No unfortunately I don’t have have any rituals. Music’s a real journey and it can be very up and down. At the moment I’m more positive about the whole journey than I ever have been and it’s amazing how your attitude towards a situation can really change your situation quickly if that makes sense. If I ever get negative it’s when I’ve been carrying my gear all around London and on the tubes all day and I get back completely knackered.
My music is my passion and I don’t want to be doing anything else so I know I’ll keep going till I’ve achieved what I dreamt of achieving because I love it.
At one point, you’ll start touring abroad. What is the No.1 city that you would love to perform?
You are given the choice between performing naked for 10 minutes or without any water for 1 hour. Which one would you choose?
I think I’ll go for the no water for an hour but thanks for the choice though.
The world ends tomorrow and, like any rad artist, you decide to throw a FØNX’ Apocalyptic Party. Who’s gonna DJ, play the show, and sing the closing song before everyone dies in flames?
The original Artful Dodger would be the DJ of choice of course! Then we’d have some Anderson .Paak, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, D’Angelo. Michael Jackson will then throw a curveball and appear out of the darkness with Prince and we’ll keep that rolling with some George Benson and Earth Wind and Fire. I reckon the closing song would have to be something real romantic so everyone can have their final moment of bliss before blitz…so probably ‘After The Love Is Gone’ by Earth Wind & Fire.
If you like genre-funking music or need someone to come up with a cool name for your offspring, FØNX is the man.