Fantasy Camp Talks Misery Club, Being An Artist/Producer, Working With Lil House Phone + More!
I got the chance to connect with artist and producer Fantasy Camp from Misery Club. His unique "cloud" type beats and lyrics has lead him to working with artists like yunggoth, Wicca Phase, Nedarb Nagrom, and more. Fantasy Camp has a lot of new music coming your way very soon so be on the lookout for that too!
You're from Hamburg, PA, right? What was your upbringing like?
I was born in Hamburg and lived there until I went to college in 2014. Hamburg is a really small town near Reading, PA and has nothing much going on for creatives. No music scene at least. It's very old fashioned and rural. People drove tractors to school sometimes. It has endearing qualities too, but it just wasn't the place for me. Since I wasn't into sports or hunting, my upbringing was pretty boring and isolated. I spent a lot of time on the computer which is what lead me to produce. I wanted to make music but had no one to make it with, so I figured out a way to do it alone.
How did you first get into making music?
I was always obsessed with music since before I can remember. There are home videos of me banging on pots and pans and singing songs from the radio that I loved. I learned to play drums and guitar around 9 or 10 and would film myself playing covers and uploading them to YouTube. I tried to make start bands with local people but it never really worked out. I liked a wide variety of music from the jump thanks to my older siblings. Mostly nu-metal, rap, and punk though.
You're a producer as well as an artist. How did you first get into producing? Any big influences on your sound?
The person who made me wanna start producing was Kanye West. The first song I ever performed in front of an audience was "Family Business" from Kanye's "The College Dropout" album, at an open mic night when I was 8. He was always my favorite, but what drew me was to it so much was the production. So, years later I decided to try it myself. At first, I just copied his early formula. Pitched up samples over boom bap drums or sampled loops. I wanted to hear what it would sound like if someone rapped on it so I would download acapellas from other songs and match them to my beats. This went on for like a year before I scrapped the copycat Kanye stuff. Then I found out that someone from one of my favorite bands was beginning to make electronic music, so I sent him a bunch of beats, and that's how I ended up producing the first Wicca Phase tape. The benefits of being an artist and a producer are pretty much what you would assume - if you have an idea for a song that you hear in your head, you can make the whole thing from scratch. You don't need help from anyone, and it leads to more natural songs being created as opposed to someone making a beat and sending it to you.
What made you want to start recording over your beats rather than just being a producer?
I always had ideas for melodies and lyrics over my beats but didn't have the courage (or equipment) to try it. One day, I kept listening to this beat I made for Wicca in the car over and over again. I had these melodies and lyrics that I thought were great, so I decided to try to record it and that became "With or Without U".
So you're a part of the Misery Club. For the people who don't know can you explain what Misery Club is, who's in it? What can we expect from Misery Club in the future?
Misery Club is a boy band that consists of singers Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, Zubin, Jon Simmons, myself, and producers Nedarb and Foxwedding. We essentially just wanted to make some songs together as a group and it ended up being fun so we kept it going. None of us feel any pressure to make more material immediately, so it'll happen when the timing is right, but as of now, we don't have plans. My relationship with the guys is that I love them all. We all talk in the group chat pretty regularly.
Let's talk about "It's Alright" a song you collaborated on with scum featured on "How to Fix Everything" released in 2018. How did you connect with scum? Can you run us through making the beat? What was the process of making this song?
"It's Alright" started with a chord progression from one of my favorite songs, "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt. I always play those chords when I pick up a guitar, so I transposed it up a few keys and put some drums on it. It happened pretty naturally. When the beat started coming together, the melody came to me and I started writing the lyrics. At that time, I was constantly on the go and never had time to just sit down and relax. So that's what the song is about. Scum and I were friends online and had talked about doing a track so I sent him the open and he had it back to me in a day. One of the most effortless collabs I've had. It was all through emails and DMs, which most of my collabs are.
Zubin, Nedarb, and I were in London for some recording sessions and House Phone hit Ned up and said he wanted us on the track. I had met House Phone once or twice in LA before, and am a fan so of course, I was down. We recorded our verses and emailed them back in a day and the song came out shortly after that.
Are you focusing more on being a producer or an artist at this point in your career? Or are you focused equally on doing both?
At this point, I enjoy songwriting more than producing so I'm focusing on that.
What's the best way to get your foot in the door as a producer or an artist? Tips, or advice?
Be cool and don't be annoying. Form natural relationships with people instead of trying to force your music onto them. Try to work with artists at a similar career point as you instead of trying to land placements with bigger artists.
What can we expect from Fantasy Camp in 2019 and 2020? Any projects your working on that we should be aware of?
My new EP with Zubin drops this month. My EP with Nedarb and my UNSATISFIED EP drop early next year. More after that.