Meet Fabriq, a New Pop Duo Who Will Have You in Your Feels All Summer
Every summer has that song, and this year's may just come from up-and-coming pop duo Fabriq. Comprised of L.A. natives Daniel Davila and Cooper Bell, they just released Get Behind the Feeling, a soulful pop song reminiscent of Prince with a pop-funk vibe of recent Calvin Harris.
Both recent graduates of USC, Daniel and Cooper met while playing together for various projects and are inspired by crooners like Maroon 5, Jamiroquai, and Bruno Mars. As Fabriq, they've released three singles in their first year as collaborators, premiered their first music video with Billboard, and have racked up over 1.3 million impressions from their music alone.
To celebrate the release of the acoustic version of pop hit Get Behind the Feeling, we sat down with Cooper and Daniel to learn more.
BTI: Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
Cooper: I grew up a huge beach rat just outside of L.A. on the coast in Malibu. If you ever look out over Santa Monica Bay to the north the farthest point you see is Point Dume. That's where I grew up, and my mom actually still lives out there. I still have my place in South Central near USC, too.
Daniel: I was born in a small suburb outside of Chicago, one of those towns where everyone knew each other. I moved to L.A. when I was 7 years old—needless to say, the two places couldn't be more different. Being a musician, you end up commuting everywhere for shows and sessions, so before I get into specific cities and confuse people, I'll just stick to LA.
BTI: Walk us through how Fabriq began.
Daniel: We met while playing together on various projects. Coop's been a keyboard player and co-writer in the L.A. scene since his early teens, and I've worked as a session vocalist on everything from iPhone applications to television shows. It wasn't until we received an opportunity to pitch a song for Tesla, that we collaborated on what became our first single, Electric Flow.
Cooper: The name "Fabriq" came from a spiritual question about dance music. Dan and I were contemplating the relationship between artist, their creations and their listeners.
In all art, but especially in dance music, audiences are part of the art itself. If no one feels the beat, it's not dance music. So the "Fabriq" between the audience and artist is essential to the genre.
BTI: How have your childhood or heritage played a part in your passion for music?
Cooper: My father is an actor and singer, and my mother was a choreographer back in the day for some of the first MTV videos. So I grew up constantly infused with the music they listened to. My dad is into the old rock and folk music from the 60s and 70s (Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Dylan, The Band)m and my mom is into the dance music of that same era. I can't tell you how many times she had me dancing around our house to the likes of Prince, Earth Wind and Fire, Parliament, Michael Jackson, etc. I think a lot of my writing comes from their dueling influences. My father will stop listening to a song right away if it doesn't have a meaningful lyric…and my mom needs the groove to get down. So working on Fabriq with Daniel keeps the whole family happy.
Daniel: Both my parents were born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I grew up listening to a lot of salsa artists like Ruben Blades and Celia Cruz; however, my parents also loved rock concerts growing up. I still wear my dads old "Rolling Stones in Puerto Rico" T-shirts from the 80s. With that being said, a lot of these influences played a huge part in why I had an inclination for music. I started playing guitar at 12 because of my love for Queen and Freddie Mercury. My dad told me if I learned the Bohemian Rhapsody solo, he'd buy a Gibson Les Paul, but when I learned it about 6 months into playing, he miraculously changed his mind. Later on I started getting more into salsa music, and picked up percussion instruments as well. I think Coop and I have found a cool way of integrating these influences all creatively.
BTI: Now, let's talk Get Behind the Feeling. Tell us about that song. Where did the inspiration come from? What's it all about?
Cooper: Get Behind the Feeling is a song critiquing hookup culture. The concept was adapted from ultimatums given to us by our significant others almost simultaneously—with eerily similar contexts. There is this weird power structure in relationships now where people value control or autonomy over trust. The song addresses our generation's fear of vulnerability as well as those who put their emotions on the table while unsure about their significant other's intentions. Both sides of the conversation bring their own sense of problems and pain.
Daniel: We do think the hookup culture is here to stay, however, which is cool in a certain way because it's creating a sense of sexual revolution within our generation. But we also have to consider the negatives and become more aware of ourselves…specifically our addiction to a casual romance.
It's okay to live your love life however you want to, as long as you come to terms with the fact that you're never going to progress emotionally without there being some element of vulnerability - and hey, some people are cool with that.
BTI: How did you come up with the concept for the video?
Cooper: The video is about an imbalanced relationship via the story of a couple negotiating the imbalance instead of ignoring it. It was also important to us that the story go against the normal dramatized masculine lack of "caring" and stigmatized feminine abundance of "caring." This is why we decided to draft the story around Michael trying to bring Becky closer…instead of vice versa.
Daniel: The classic excuse of "being in different places in life" seems to be the biggest "out" in the game. But when you get down to it, some relationships just become one sided. The important thing for us to show was the pain and anxiety that comes from either side of that scale.
When you care about someone, and they're clearly expressing more interest than you, it's a difficult place to be in… and vice versa. The video tells that story…and focuses on having empathy for every perspective in emotional limbo, not only the less vulnerable one.
Every era has its own sexual revolution and emotional confusion. The track is really just an observation about our generation's version of that.
BTI: Why was it important for you to record and release a video for the acoustic version of the song?
Cooper: We thought it was important to record an acoustic version in order to create an appropriate sequel to the original Get Behind the Feeling storyline that was left somewhat open ended. We had a question: "Could you 'Get Behind the Feeling'?" So we needed an answer of some sort. This is why we shot the video on the same set as the original, but stripped the interior to reveal that the couple had in fact moved on. Losing love is one of the hardest experiences any of us have to endure in life, and we wanted to tell that side of the story in a more intimate and vulnerable setting. Intimacy comes naturally when you strip everything down to its basic elements.
BTI: You guys just graduated college, so what's next for you?
Cooper: L.A.'s swarming with aspiring musicians, so we've been doing a lot of production work lately. But it really hit us recently that we really need to step away and focus on our writing. Being in the writing room with Daniel is always such a wild time because the music we write just keeps getting (for lack of a better term) "weirder." Some of that stuff is already recorded so we’re looking forward to getting those tunes out down the line in our release schedule.
Daniel: Fortunately, Cooper and I had the opportunity to go to college in L.A., which has allowed us to work a lot while being in school. We'll be doing the same daily routine, without the blue books and classroom times. Hopefully this allows us to be even more productive and start writing, producing, and playing out even more.