FRQ NCY Press Photo

FRQ NCY Discusses His Favorite Tracks, Meaning Behind His SummerEyes Performance [Mix+Q&A]

Chaz Hayley—better known as FRQ NCY—has been moving deeper into the EDM spotlight these past three months. With both his EP, Broken Patterns, and album, The Vault dropping within one month of each other, his hard work has been gaining him positive feedback and attention from everyone in the community.

With reference to his Summer Eyes stream, his mixing style is comparable to that of G Jones and Freddy Todd, two big artists who started their music careers much like Hayley; performing at college parties and small gigs while diligently posting new tracks to his Soundcloud. 

Based out of hip-hop fluent Atlanta, it’s no surprise that Hayley has an ear for sampling popular rap lyrics in his tracks. Influenced by the Black Lives Matter movement, he showed his support through fellow Atlanta-native, Childish Gambino, by sampling “This is America” in his SummerEyes set.

Hayley seems to be going down an alternative route that we don’t see frequently in EDM artists. He is heavily inspired by Porter Robinson’s side project, Virtual Self, which offers beautiful melodies combined with hard-hitting and dark tunes. The combination is unique and difficult to execute, but Hayley has been doing a wonderful job in mixing the two styles together. 

Having taken a hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, like many artists, Hayley is now ready to continue making music and has a few release currently in the works. Earlier this week, he caught up with MP3DU to discuss what’s in store, as well as his BLM-influenced SummerEyes peformance.

Listen to FRQ NCY’s SummerEyes set and find our full Q&A below:

What was your intent with using “This is America” as your set opener? What message, if any, were you trying to get across? 

Support for BLM is the overall intent I was trying to get across when using that acapella. I thought about using the original track by Childish Gambino, but I wanted to translate it into bass music and create an environment for the rest of the set.

Where did you get your biggest inspiration from while creating your SummerEyes set? 

The set involves a lot of different moments and sections that have their own meaning and vibe. Anger, happiness, confusion, and sadness are all involved. I’m not sure if it’s necessarily inspiration, but more of a reflection with how I’ve been feeling recently.

Do you have a favorite section of this mix? Favorite song?

My favorite section is probably when COPYCATT’s remix of Rushing Back by Flume comes in and transitions into TOKYO by Moore Kismet. For me it creates a dynamic that you usually won’t hear much with this type of scene. A more uplifting but still hard hitting vibe. 

Several sections remind me of G Jones and Freddy Todd. How do these artists inspire you or influence your work?

They inspire me in a lot of different ways, but the main inspiration from both would be the energy they bring with their music. Everything has its place in the track and creates a mood/environment that I really enjoy.

What is your favorite track off of Broken Patterns? What is your favorite track off of The Vault

Rubberband and Astro!

Which project emulates you more as an artist today?

I’m not sure how much they emulate compared to the music I’ve been making recently, but I’ve been very inspired by both Porter Robinson’s side project “Virtual Self,” as well as Moore Kismet’s recent releases. Both have very unique styles that integrate beautiful melodies into something a bit more darker and hard hitting. I’ve been all about that style recently.

We loved your use of ‘Weird Trumpet’ by Yheti! Is that your favorite Yheti track?

I love it too, but my favorite Yheti track will always be Crack the Window. Funny backstory- My first (unpaid) show was at a frat party in 2015, where the people that played before me were all doing live acoustic or rock type music. Fast forward to the last set of the night, and there I am, playing Crack the Window for 10 people on a lawn outside of a frat house. Shout out to the couple that were grinding on each other for my whole set, y’all made it bearable. 

What are your thoughts on livestreams in general? How do you think they’ve impacted the music community?

I believe they’ve helped tons of artists and fans out during these weird and secluded times. In general, I think it’s a good thing because it creates a new playing field that maybe we wouldn’t have thought about before, and could ultimately use in the future even when this pandemic is over.

What else can we expect from you in the near future?

I had a slight hiatus with everything going on, which I know a lot of artists and fans were going through the same thing. But thankfully I’ve been back in the groove full force, working on some new projects that I’m pretty happy about. Hopefully it reaches people’s ears in the upcoming months!