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I TALK TO Fazer

Fazer, best known for being one third of UK urban music act N-Dubz, may not be the first name you think of when someone mentions classical music, but with a new two-part documentary for BBC Three called Fazer's Urban Takeover, this might be about to change.

Last year Fazer performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and caught the classical music bug and in Fazer's Urban Takeover he puts together a group of young musicians who each think of classical music as 'boring'.


Unaware as to what exactly they were signing up for, the group of seven young musicians - later named the 7 Chapters, were to be followed for BBC Three as they write their own song together and prepare for a performance of a lifetime inside the prestigious Royal Albert Hall. Backed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the group will perform alongside Fazer at the first ever Urban Classic Prom.


On Saturday 10th August, I went along to the Urban Classic Prom, to see how Fazer and the 7 Chapters would match up to the other artists on the bill, including Wretch 32, Maverick Sabre and Laura Mvula.


After the show I went backstage to catch up with Fazer about the performance and what people can come to expect from Fazer's Urban Takeover.


Congratulations on your performance, how was that for you?


What can I say? It's the first time ever the Urban Classic has been done at the Royal Albert Hall and we made history tonight. What an amazing amazing atmosphere out there, a great experience and I'm just proud to be a part of it and really bring what I do musically to the stage with an orchestra.


Your group of youngsters, 7 Chapters, were amazing tonight. How proud are you?


Well like I said to each and every one of them, it was a pleasure working with them all, individually and collectively because I learnt a load from them guys and being a mentor to them they learnt a load from me too. They're a great bunch of guys, they're highly talented and I couldn't have asked for a better group to work with if I'm honest with you.


What's been the highlight working with them?


I think the highlight of working with them is the banter. All of them have got big personalities, they're all different in their way. We have a right old laugh but when it comes to being professional and getting the job done, we do the damned thing.


What can we expect from Fazer's Urban Takeover?


Well you're going to see the whole journey leading up to today's Urban Classic Prom.

From actually auditioned the 7 Chapters from the very get go, to working in workshops, to putting the record together and writing the track with them. Then working with the orchestra and bringing it to the Royal Albert Hall.


So you're going to see the whole journey from beginning to end. There's a lot of banter. There's a lot of emotion - there's ups and downs. It's a whirlwind of cultural clashes. It's great!


How important is classical music to you?


Classical music is important because I listen to all types of genres of music and it inspires my music. I have inspiration from old-school 80s music like Sting to Freddie Mercury to you name it.


And then I listen to classical stuff and pop music, hip-hop - I listen to everything to keep my ears and eyes open to what's going on and what's to come right now.


What's been the most difficult thing about this process?


The most difficult thing about this process is the time - time consumption. Because obviously, I have a job  outside of doing rehearsals and doing the BBC Three programme for the 7 Chapters. Juggling everything has just left me with no time whatsoever. 


I've just had a newborn as well, so as well as working I've got to go home and be a dad, change nappies, do daddy duties and that - it's crazy! But you know what? I wouldn't change it for the world. 


If it wasn't like this I'd be worried. I'd rather be busy, I'd rather myself have to time to do anything and perspire to have a great future.


If viewers could take away one thing from watching Fazer's Urban Takeover what would you want it to be?


That this guy is a muso - he just loves music full stop. He eats, sleeps and poos music! Haha! (Laughs) ...and I hope it smells good!


I couldn't go away from here without asking, are N-Dubz getting back together?


Yeah. I saw Dappy and Tulisa a couple of weeks ago and we talked about it. Everyone just wants me to push forward and make a success of my album and really perspire to do massive things.


I think it's going to take someone like me to come through now musically because it's a fresh clean slate - you never see me in the tabloids for X, Y and Z - all I'm known for is doing music and keeping my head down and I think that's what it needs for there to be any sort of impact for an N-Dubz reunion.


Fazer's Urban Takeover starts Monday 16th September at 9pm on BBC Three

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