FiNE are a twin brother duo that were raised in Botswana, but are now based in Melbourne, Australia, who have impressed with their ethnic and tribal productions so far. With an upcoming “Forbidden Fruit” release on the label Recovery Collective, we caught up with them to find out how their year has been, and what inspired the new release….

Hey FiNE, how has your year been so far?

Our year has been fantastic. The summer in Australia was amazing – the clubs were packed, and the festival circuit buzzed. We’ve been working on a lot of new music, and are so excited to share it over the coming year. On the gigging front, we’ve had a good run of shows recently which is so welcome following the last year of lockdown. We also just got back from the States, and are now enjoying being back in icy Melbourne as we prepare for a busy Winter.

Why did you move to Aus and what impact has it had on the music you make, play, listen to?

We moved to Australia in 2012 with our family from Botswana seeking better opportunities in a 1st world country. It’s the best decision we’ve made. From a music perspective, the last 18 months in Melbourne have been the most impactful. Firstly, there are some seriously talented producers here, and we’ve been so lucky to work with a few of them. This has really challenged us, and helped us grow as artists. Secondly, the scene is thriving, and the regular play time to some amazing crowds has really helped shape our sound. The music we’re making now definitely has the classic grungy Melbourne feel, with a thumping, bouncy bass, and our signature darker Afro influence.

How do you evolve your own sound while staying true to your roots and own signature and not jumping on new hype bandwagons?

It’s just about finding a balance! We love the idea of pushing the boundaries, and it’s important to learn from and keep up with changing times. At its core though, tracks need to be true to our style, and we’d never release or play tracks that we don’t genuinely love. As with everything, you’ve got to enjoy what you do, and chasing the hype only gets you so far.

Do you make music that suits certain labels or do you create first and worry about that later?

Honestly, we just let the creative process do the driving, and don’t really like to think too much. If it sounds good it sounds good, and that’s the approach we take. If we do have a certain label in mind, we’ll be conscious of them throughout the process. Either way, all of our music has our signature style, and we’re keen on keeping it this way.

What are some of the key bits of music making gear in your current setup?

This might surprise some people, but we don’t have fancy gear or hardware as we produce almost exclusively in the box. We love this, as we can make music wherever we go, and it gives us so much flexibility in the production process. We intentionally only use a handful of plugins to keep our workflow simple. Our favourite synths are Diva, Serum and Spire. Effects wise, we love the Valhalla and Soundtoys ranges, and also use LFO Tool by Xfer Records and the Kilohearts Transient Shaper on nearly every sound.

Where is your best environment as a dj? A small dark club or a huge outdoor festival stage? Late at night for the weirdos or early so you can play slow and eclectic etc?

Each venue and location is always going to be awesome for different reasons. Big festivals mean big crowds and huge production which is absolutely crazy, but small clubs with the right crowd are super intimate and cool. For us we will always play and give it our best whether we are playing to 10 people or 10,000 people. Some of our best nights have been with a small, but dedicated crowd, where we’re all just vibing together.

How do you work, do you have an idea in your head you work towards or do you just experiment and jam and see what happens?

It really just depends. Sometimes we start off with a reference track or pick out certain elements of a track that we really like and try to recreate them and then see where the creative process takes us. Often we’ll just start with just a kick, bass and some percussion and build from there. It’s just like making a puzzle – you feed off of what you’ve got down, and try to work out how to put the pieces together. Sometimes the juices are flowing and we can move quickly, other times we feel like we’re bashing our heads for hours. It’s all just a part of the creative process.

What is a forbidden fruit for you? What inspired the ep of that name? Where and when was it written for?

We named the EP Forbidden Fruit due to the contrast between the beautiful melodic elements, and the aggressive bass lines and growls. Sweet and juicy on the outside, but dark and dangerous on the inside. Both tracks were made during lockdown after relocating to Melbourne in the peak of the pandemic. Knowing that the scene would eventually open up, our goal was to make something special and unique to play at our post covid shows.

What’s next, what else are you working on?

The obvious answer is more music! We’re excited because we’ve got a few releases lined, including 2 more on Recovery Collective. We’re also making a conscious effort to grow our socials, and love posting regular sets on our YouTube. We also know we need to jump on the Tik Tok trend haha. We’re just enjoying being able to play again, and this really helps with creativity in the studio. We’re just taking each day as it comes.

Grab FiNE’s EP “Forbidden Fruit” released on Recovery Collective here

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