Direct from the music capital of Victoria, the addictive fresh-faced multi-instrumentalist and producer Foolish Genius arrives with his debut single, ‘Uh!’.
The moniker of Coastal-bred artist Chris Roberts-Thomson, Foolish Genius neatly wraps his emotions and experiences into an undeniably infectious earworm that stirs the sonic melting pot of pop, rock, indie and electronic. The result is a sound that is completely unexpected around every corner; enticing yet goofy, magnetic yet abrasive.
Capturing you from the start, ‘Uh!’ is championed by traditional pop/rock instrumentation fused with modern synthetic textures. A dancefloor anthem at heart, the track is packed with inviting beats, slightly robotic melodies and an array of noises, samples, and effects.
With a stadium-dance aesthetic, Foolish Genius seamlessly worked his electro flair and knack for rich aural textures into an entirely infectious near three-minute track that he describes as a nod to ‘a young Calvin Harris spent too much time listening to The Strokes’.
It’s a pop-rock infused alternative dance trip and we’re living for it.
Recorded, produced and mastered in his home studio, the seriously delicious, kaleidoscopic track has a euphoric vibe that takes a darker turn lyrically as a disgruntled portrayal of social anxiety.
“When I create a track, I’ll 90 per cent of the time create the instrumental first and then figure out the melody and lyrics. This allows me to carve the intention behind the lyrics around the vibe/emotion of the track, and better visualise the picture I’m painting,” he explains.
“As soon as I laid down the drums and bass, I started humming the melody lines “Don’t tell me how to feel” and “And I must have done something wrong” and instantly I knew what the story of the song was. A first-person account of an individual who’s just been sniped by someone else in a social situation, and their stomach has fallen to the floor. After I had that image in my head, the rest of the lyrics were quite easy to write!”
The construction of ‘Uh!’ is masterful, moving from easygoing beats to for-the-ages and chill-inducing synth lines, to hypnotic vocals and swirling guitars. It’s strange, disorienting, and emotionally powerful, with an upbeat summer vibe that doesn’t undercut the deeper meaning in the least.
Subject to a broad range of genres from an early age, Chris became fascinated with musical expression and culture. As Foolish Genuis, Chris’ eclectic production ethos draws upon inspiration from countless sources and is never constricted to a single genre.
His debut alone was formed under a foundation of influences, stretching from Skrillex, Electric Light Orchestra, and J Cole, to Pete Murray, Anderson. Paak and Peach Pit, and actually sees Chris revisit his roots and give new life to an old project that he created while studying Music Production at Collarts.
“’Uh!’ started as a uni project I made in my first year of study. The brief was ‘Make a full-length track that conveys your own personal aesthetic’, and I just went to town making this pop/rock anthem infused with synthetic textures and a phat ass beat.
“Fast forward to 2021, I was going through some old Ableton sessions and rediscovered it. I thought that it would actually be perfect as my debut release, so I re-recorded the vocals, changed a bunch of other components and then mixed + mastered it properly.”
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A multi-talented individual and an entertainer at heart, Chris has amassed a small cult following on Instagram through his entertaining music production videos which are worth a watch. With his debut, however, Foolish Genius sees Chris take his music and creative flair to new heights, setting the tone of what’s to follow.
“There’s nothing I’d rather be doing than creating some sick content for people to watch or listen to. Music is my primary passion in life, but I don’t want to be one of those artists that stays in the shadows and relies solely on their music to express themselves.
“The digital age allows us to create anything we like and show the world instantly, and I think that’s dope! Insane, but dope. I’m constantly driven by my own self-belief that one day, other young budding artists will look up to me the same way I look up to my heroes right now.”
There is honestly nothing like Foolish Genius right now. He’s exciting, beat-driven and unexpected, and you just can’t help but love it.
Listen to ‘Uh!’ below and keep up with the latest from Foolish Genius here.