While maintaining a successful career in music for TV and Film, Nick Fowler needed an outlet that was solely focused on him. In 2013 FWLR was born. Born free to pursue art. Free to take risks and free from concerns of judgement.The goal was to be authentic and earn respect as a true artist rather than as a product; a slow genuine burn as opposed to a flash-in-the-pan short-lived success. Stylistically he is fluid. Flowing from one genre to the next he connects the dots with his signature production and sound. Drawing influence from artists such as The Aphex Twin, Noisia, and BT, his music could be described as sexy, complex, dark and intelligent. An education in Electronics Engineering gave him the understanding to create his own unique brand of electronica and while continuing to grow and learn, FWLR is leaving his mark on modern music.
Do you have a process to songwriting or when creating music?
My process usually begins with me experimenting with sounds. I am a massive synth and sound design nerd at heart so a lot of my time is spent messing around trying to discover new sonic possibilities. I tend to separate sound design from writing, but usually when I stumble across a noise that catches my ear it inspires me to write. I like to write small sketches and stock pile them for opportunities like songwriters camps or Television spots. This has really come in handy over the years as both songwriters camps and TV are extremely time-sensitive situations. Having these sketches started really fast-tracks the creative process.
Do you ever compose for film/tv/video games? What’s it like?
I have made my living writing for TV shows since 2012 when I stepped away from my full-time job to focus solely on music. I never intended on getting into the world of sync and licensing but playing in a band and securing our first couple sync deals back in 2010 really opened my eyes. As I focused more on the television side of the music industry I started to gain a huge respect for all the work that went into those productions. I have since written the theme songs for The Social on CTV, Daily Planet on Discovery, and all the shows on BNN as well as hundreds of library tracks for shows such as etalk, Canada AM, CTV News, Marilyn Denis and many more. I’ve had sync placements with shows such as Letterkenny, Degrassi, Rookie Blue, The Next Step, and Lost and Found. I’ve also dabbled in ads (McDonald’s, ViewSonic, Maybelline) and have had some of my songs used in games such as Rocket League, Xenon Racer and more. Hearing your music being used to reinforce a visual narrative is a really incredible feeling as the result is greater than the sum of the music or the visual on their own.
Do you have any advice for upcoming songwriters and creators who are looking to break further into the creative scene?
Be yourself and don’t take shortcuts. Everyone is able to see it when someone isn’t being genuine. Art is supposed to be a creative expression of who you are and what you believe in. When people try to create art with ulterior motives (such as to become successful or make money) the audience picks up on that. It takes time to grow an organic fan-base of people who truly connect with you. Don’t rush that. Create good art and the success will come.