Producer Dan Farber had an exciting and young introduction to the world of music. Born in Israel, the Los Angeles-based producer began touring the world as a writer and producer for some of Israel's biggest hip-hop acts before he was even 18 years old. He recently signed to Atlantic Records/Big Beats Records, under which he will be releasing new music and a three-part video series. Farber just released "Time For Living," which serves as an enticing introduction to his upcoming project.
"Time For Living" showcases a darker side of dance pop, as is demonstrated both sonically and visually through the music video. The single features the poignant voice of Boy Matthews, who gained recognition for co-writing and singing on Duke Dumont's 2015 hit, "Ocean Drive." Matthews' haunting vocals pair seamlessly with the production, creating a build-up of anticipation leading up to the first percussion drop in the chorus. The music video echoes a similar sentiment, focusing on two distressed girls in a convertible car. "Time For Living" is the introduction of a three-part video series directed and produced by Gigi Ben Artzi. The rawness of the song and video demonstrate the honesty from which "Time For Living" was created. "I guess the time is now if there's a time for living," Matthews sings, reminding listeners to be present in the moment and grateful for each moment.
After seeing the world with various hip-hop groups, Farber began to focus on his own musical career in production and engineering. His fan base has only continued to expand rapidly and waits eagerly for the rest of his new project. In anticipation for his upcoming, new music, we wanted to get to know the producer more - everything from his hometown to his solo career and diving professionally into music at such a young age.
OTW: What was the creative process like writing "Time for Living" with Boy Matthews and BC Jean? How did you decide to work on a collaboration together?
DF: The song "Time For Living" was written in NYC last year. I actually owe this one to my label BigBeat that put together an incredible writing camp, they brought me and a couple more producers and writers into a 6 day writing camp and put us in a different room with different artists every day. One of the days I had a session with James (Boy Matthews) and BC Jean. James and I started the session with some life conversations talking about things happening in our life, we instantly clicked and started singing some melodies over a couple progressions and beats I started. BC joined the session and we ended up writing two songs that day–one of them is "Time For Living," grateful to work with such great artists, being able to inspire and get inspired is one of the best feelings.
OTW: What made you decide to begin your official solo career after all the time you've spent touring with other hip-hop artists and remixing dance/electronic/pop hits?
DF: I was always an artist, that never changed. I also love spending time in the studio, I'm actually a “studio rat;” there were times in my life that I literally slept in the studio for weeks. After a long time of writing, I felt compelled to give what I've written to the world and connect with my fans on a deeper level. It's a blessing to be able to share this with fans directly.
OTW: How has your experience been working on creating original music now? Have you faced any artistic challenges trying to hone your sound or style?
DF: Music is not a challenge. I don't stress myself out on "what's my new sound;" I just do what I love and what gets me excited, hoping it will connect with other people.
OTW: What was the process to getting signed to Atlantic/Big Beat Records? How has it felt having that label support compared to before?
DF: Honestly, coming from such a small place like Tel-Aviv, I always remember saying to myself: "One day I'm going to work with one of those big labels in America"–being able to do that was a dream coming true. I'm so grateful, my manager brought my A&R to my place and we sat for 2 hours and I played her EVERYTHING. She connected and got me a ticket to NYC to meet the people, since then it's been an amazing journey. I'm learning all the time and being able to work with such a professional team behind me just gets me more motivated and inspired.
OTW: Director Gigi Ben Artzi is known for some controversial and unconventional work. How did you find out about him and then decide that you wanted him to direct and produce your new video series?
DF: Gigi is a legend, the moment I saw what this guy is making, I knew I had to work with him. He has something so real in his work, it always feels so raw and unique. I love things that make me feel slightly uncomfortable and Gigi's work does exactly that. I am a very visually-stimulated person, I always create artwork and visuals for even beats I make–I knew I wanted someone I can trust. I had some concepts and I sent him the song–he immediately texted me back, “I got this," and called and started describing exactly how it's going to look like. Can't wait to show you guys what's next.
OTW: Home for you was Israel–is most of your family still there, and do you visit often? What role does your home country play in your identity, both personally and as a musician?
DF: Home is Israel, it will never change. My family is still there and I try to visit at least once or twice a year if I can, coming from such a small and such a multi-cultured place like Israel shaped me a lot as a person and as a musician. I feel like because Israel is such a small place, everyone kind of needs to know how to do everything, you can't just know how to sing–you need to know how to write, play an instrument, and engineer your own stuff to stand out.
OTW: What has it been like traveling the world from a young age as part of your music career, and is there anything travel has helped you learn or you think left a big impact?
DF: I'm so grateful that I was able to tour with the first label I signed and go to random places around the world. I didn't wanted to be on stage at the beginning but the owner of the label recognized my potential and insisted I'll jump on stage. It was the best thing that happened to me; I fell in love with this connection, with the adrenaline. and it's a great bonus to able to see more from this beautiful world were casually living on.
OTW: How did you initially build up your skills in engineering and production, and what do you recommend to any young people hoping to grow as producers?
DF: I always say to young producers that ask me that question–the first and most important thing is putting in the hours. It's like everything else in life–the more time you put into your craft, the better you’ll control it and be able to translate what's in your head to reality. Same for any sort of art if you'll think about it. Work hard everyday and you will see results.
OTW: Where do you envision your career heading from here? What's the big picture for you?
DF: I want to keep developing my artist career, tour and give a special experience to my fans; it's a great way to connect.
Another thing is that i see myself opening a production house in a few years.
I'm meeting so many talented people that I would love to guide and invest my time in them so we can grow together in the future. I have a very specific taste and when I find musicians that transmit on the same frequency, I fall in love.
Hopefully building a team of writers and producers that share the same aesthetic so we can all feed off each other and give the world some amazing music together. Kind of like Max Martin; He's def a big inspiration to me as far as a the career he made for himself.
OTW: Share with us a few rising artists you think we should know at Ones to Watch!
DF: Ohhhh yes, okay yes thats fun!
There's this guy called Yellow Days. I've heard he's 19 which blows my mind, such depth to his songs. Do yourself a favor and listen to him.
I love this producer from NYC called Photay. His stuff is crazy, I've been listening a lot to his music in the past year.
I'm a little biased but i had a chance to work w a couple artist that I absolutely adore as artist and humans. Check out Tkay Maidza and Nicole Millar, both about to drop some major hits next. I was also fortunate enough to get inspired in the studio with one of the best writers I've heard since I moved here–Maejor; he's working on his own music after writing for EVERYBODY else and it's sounding amazing.
More artists I listen to lately are: King Krule, Mac Demarco. Smino. Tyler's new album is insane! Wow. I love this french band called Papooz. There are also a lot of cool new up and coming rappers on the rap game right now: JAY IDK, 6-dogs, or Ski Mask The Slump God.
Damn, I fucking love music.