Mad About… FelixThe1st

Hiba Hassan

By Hiba Hassan

Hiba Hassan

7 Sep 2022

Felix The 1st is only 21 years old with so much wisdom in the music industry after a successful career as a dancer. Touring and working with notable artists like Years and Years, Nicki Minaj, and the X-Factor, Felix The 1st set out what was intended as a dancer. Giving up his dancing shoes now, he is making it as a musician making music that feels right at the moment, a trial and error process as he finds his feet in what works for him. His distinctive creative process, style, and approach to life having already built the young musician a steady following and growing by the day.

After the release of his fiery debut single PSL (Please Say Less) in early 2021, Felix has been releasing singles every month, building a strong catalogue as he prepares to release an EP later next year. We sat down with Felix The 1st ahead of his performance at this year’s Cloud X Festival in London…

We’re here at Cloud X, where you are performing. How are you feeling and how many times have you done it so far?

So excited, I’ve performed like three times, not too many performances but I want to wait until I have more stuff released. Every month we are releasing a video now to get the music out.

This year you made a trip to L.A, what were you doing out there?

Just making music. Meeting producers and stuff, it was amazing because I feel like a lot of my sound has a lot of American influence in terms of the instrumentals. So, I definitely had to get into L. A to develop that sound. I was out there for about 5-6 weeks and I feel like I did that.

Image by Oliver Buckle

Was that your first time out there?

Nah, I’ve been before when I was dancing, but this time it was just for the music.

Did you find there was a strong difference between being out there for dance in comparison to music?

Definitely, it’s exciting because with dance there was actually more to do because there were scheduled classes. With music, I make my own schedule, which I think I preferred as I could work when I wanted to work and chill when I wanted to chill. So, I was just working on my own beats, my own time, and my own schedule and I got to connect with the people that I admire.

We ended up getting like 16 demos and five songs that I want to do something with.

You’re 21, so allowed to go out in America, was that as lit as they say it is?

It’s crazy. I can’t lie, I went to a Lancey [Foux] show out there, and bro… it’s like they fill the whole cup with a spirit and mixer on the side. It was good until the fourth one and they stopped serving me, which is when all four drinks hit me. I didn’t even get to see the end of the concert because I was gone.

From PSL to now, coming back from L.A. and performing at Cloud X, how have you found the journey from transitioning as a dancer to a musician?

It’s been exciting for me because I love being shit at something and having to get better. Being a beginner in the music stuff, it gave me that inspiration to do what I want to do, like going from rock to indie, etc, practicing singing and experimenting with what I do. I am so happy with where I am at right now, but I feel like what is so exciting and interesting musically, is that what I’m making is very different from what is out.

How would you describe the difference between what is out right now to what you’re currently making?

Depends. It is a different vibe. I’m experimenting more with hip-hop, and indie and then there is also a lot of melodic experimental stuff. I’m not trying to be put into one box and just try what I can.

I was speaking to your manager earlier-

That’s my older brother you know

No way, how’s it working with family?

It’s lit. Especially working with someone that understands who you are, and isn’t too pushy.

Image by Oliver Buckle

You know what they say though, you shouldn’t mix family and business.

I think it just depends on what your goal is. If your goal is to get rich then it might be a bit different, but if you’re trying to create a legacy then you’ll be on the same page. He’s been managing me for a year and a bit, just after I released my first single.

Being from West London an area so rich with different music, what influenced you to get into dance and the industry in general?

At home with my family, my mum is Guyanese, and my dad is Jamaican, so I am always surrounded by my culture. Going to family parties or BBQs just gives you this new aspect of having fun with music. In every area of my life music was there, so I danced because I couldn’t make music, and as soon as I could make music it made me want to do it full time. Growing up I always had music playing, my whole life I’ve always had some sort of a soundtrack.

How did you get into dance?

Literally just because I was good at it. I was so distracted, didn’t have a hobby, spoke too much in school and I went to a stage school because I wanted to be a presenter. So, I would go there and just talk sh*t all the time. Then I remember they started to do dance lessons and started to get really into it, I was about 15 years old. I went to a dance university after but dropped out in the first year to go on tour with Years and Years.

After that, I did the usual dance stuff, like X-Factor and stuff like that. With that, I was really excited, with that you see someone do something you really want to do and you want to be making music even more.

They both have different durability levels; can you compare the two?

I can’t really compare them because they’re both as hard as each other. Dance is a lot more physical, with things like TikTok; it has made dancing look really easy but it’s hard. Music is just as hard with the creative process and also just performing but you have to be built for it.

Would you want to get back into dance?

Nah. I love what I did with dance but I’m just grateful and happy with my career and what I’ve done. And I like the vibe when I go back to classes and just being appreciated for what I did, that’s enough for me.

What is the process behind the creation of your music videos? Are you behind any of that?

For a lot of them, 2WARDROBES was my idea. The whole point of that video was like a sitcom of living two lives, going from this career of who I am on stage, and when I come off I’m more irritated – it’s a reflection of my life. that was me letting go.

What is the inspiration behind the face paint?

I don’t know. I just like doing it – when I was younger, I used to love wrestling and this wrestler called Jeff Hardy used to that face paint and a lot of rock bands have it, so it was something I wanted to do. It was even before I started making music, every show has a different look every time. My make-up artist and I decide what to do on the day.

Block and Delete, your next single, what’s the inspiration behind that?

As it says, blocking and deleting jarring people on your phone.

How would you describe yourself?

I’m impulsive, I couldn’t tell you what I’m going to do or say next. I think that’s what’s exciting.

A goal of yours is to reach a position where you are undeniable, what does that mean?

Where people can hate you but can’t fault your talent. I’m nowhere near that right now but in dance I was. But I know I have the potential to be.

What’s the plan music-wise?

Right now I’m just releasing my singles to put a healthy catalogue out there and hopefully drop an EP.