Five Questions With… Jacob and Fanny
Now living in LA, the Montreal pop duo and a real-life couple have experienced the ups and downs of the music biz, but their bond has helped them survive. They explain how in this interview.
By Jason Schneider
For Montreal/LA pop duo Jacob and Fanny, there’s never been much separation between their music and their perfectly imperfect love story. Since being introduced by the voice coach they both were seeing, the couple found an instant rapport and began developing an electro/acoustic sound that’s been described as Lumineers meet Chainsmokers.
It can be heard on Jacob and Fanny’s new single “Miss You,” a preview of their upcoming debut EP produced by John Cunningham. It’s the culmination of a whirlwind couple of years that began not long after the pair’s first live performance at LA’s Hotel Café. The buzz surrounding them grew quickly when demos recorded in their living room found their way into the hands of LA Reid who immediately signed them to Epic Records. Over the next year they found themselves collaborating with industry heavyweights such as Dave Cobb and Diane Warren, but, without much warning, everything shifted.
The focus of the label changed, the project was shelved, and the pair asked to be released from their deal. By this time, however, Jacob and Fanny’s vision could not be derailed, and their new indie philosophy became a byproduct of their commitment to each other. Two years after their first meeting at a Melrose Avenue café, Jacob proposed to Fanny at the same table, serenading her while onlookers filmed on their phones.
Call it a classic L.A. love story, but expect Jacob and Fanny to win a lot of hearts in Canada soon as well. For more info go to jacobandfanny.com.
You have already experienced a lot of highs and lows in the business. How have you managed to stay on track?
Jacob: It's a roller coaster but luckily we have each other, so when one of us is feeling down the other person can be the cheerleader. Being with someone who knows what you’re going through, and how important the job is to you, helps a lot.
Fanny: We try always to surround ourselves with good, positive people. It can be hard, and you have to be remarkably resilient in the music business, but the feeling of writing a song or performing on stage gives me the best high every time. It makes it all worth it.
You recently released your debut single. What's the response been like, and what are your next moves?
Fanny: The reaction to “Miss You” has been amazing! People love the song and comment how much they relate to it. Our relationship inspired us but I think it’s something everyone has gone through.
Jacob: It’s cool to be able to tell our story through our music. We’re crazy about each other, but it’s not always easy. We try to talk about the full spectrum of our relationship. We can’t wait to release the EP so people can get a glimpse into our love and world. Also, playing these songs live is super fun and emotional, so we can’t wait to go on tour.
What are some of the common interests the two of you share musically?
Jacob: We love so many different types of music. As long as it feels honest and has great melodies, we don’t discriminate.
Fanny: There’s a saying “there are only two types of music: good and bad.” We listen to every genre and era. But Jacob and I have a soft spot for 70’s artists like Fleetwood Mac and Cat Stevens. We also love ‘90s stuff from Red Hot Chili Peppers to even Ace Of Base! Also, living in LA, we’re in our car A LOT. We listen to the top 40 pop stations, but some of the time we prefer classical or even ambient music because the traffic is so annoying we just want to chill out and feel zen.
What song in your catalogue means the most to you and why?
Fanny: Our songs are like our babies. We love each one for different reasons, and I like to think that we don’t write the same song over and over. They all have their unique vibe, both lyrically and musically.
Jacob: “Miss You” is unique because it’s the first song we wrote after going independent and it’s the first time we achieved the sound we had in our heads since we started the project together. But I agree with Fanny; we’re not the type of writers that go at it like a 9 to 5. If we finish an idea, then it’s something we’re passionate about.
What song by another artist do you wish you had written?
Jacob: There are so many! If I ever write a song as good as “Landslide” by Stevie Nicks, I could die happy. “Suzanne” by Leonard Cohen gives me chills every single time.
Fanny: Oh yeah, I’m from Montreal, so Leonard Cohen is a national treasure. “Hallelujah” is one of the greatest songs ever written. And I have to say that “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran and “No One” by Alicia Keys are pretty awesome.