Posted On 02 May 2019
Partners in life and music, pop duo Jacob and Fanny explore vulnerability in their recently-released ballad “Hold On To Me” which marks the sophomore single from the couple’s forthcoming inaugural self-titled EP due out on June 7 via KOBALT/AWAL.
Now, they’ve released a stunning music video which includes a cameo of a 120-pound wolf. Directed by Jillian Martin (Janelle Monae, Pepsi, and Urban Outfitters), the video entwines a surrealistic collage of blue and red imagery.
The music video’s art direction, which also features a giant polyester cloud, was handled and envisioned by Fanny herself. Fanny studied visual art and filmmaking, and also edits all the duo’s videos. “I love getting my hands dirty,” says Fanny. “When we record a song, I always get ideas of how the song can be expressed visually.”
One way the poignant lyrics are expressed is through the intercut cameo of the above-mentioned wolf. “A wolf is this beautiful, powerful creature that can be scary, but only because we don’t understand it, or because the wolf itself is scared,” says Jacob. “In a relationship, we bring all our fears into the mix and it takes a lot of trust on both sides to have deep, fulfilling love.” Jacob and Fanny have partnered with Wolf Mountain Sanctuary—a 501c3, all-volunteer educational organization dedicated to the preservation, protection and proper management of wolves in the wild and in captivity—and will be donating proceeds from the song to the organization.
Fanny elaborates: “The song is about being there for someone even when they’re at their worst. And it’s also about letting the person you love see your bad side and trust that they’ll be there for you no matter what.” Fanny confesses in her verse: “Built these walls that fenced me in / scared to feel the hurt again.”
Connect With Jacob & Fanny Here:
Learn more about Jacob and Fanny in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! What is on tap for the rest of your day for you both?
F: Thank you! We’re actually recording vocals for our French album! I’m from Montreal and French is my first language. I didn’t plan on doing music in French, but we started working with this amazing producer from Montreal named RealMind, and it just happened and I’m so excited about it!
J: I don’t really speak French haha. I understand it pretty well and Fanny’s coaching me. Fanny often talks to me in French and I respond in English. I know when she’s really pissed cause she starts cursing in French.
Now that we are well into the 5th month of the year, how would you say that 2019 is treating the band so far? What are some goals that you have for this year? How are those New Years Resolutions going?
J: We’ve been pretty busy. Writing and recording a bunch of new music, filming 3 music videos. New Years resolution was just to finally put music out there and it’s happening, so we’re excited. It’s been a journey… from meeting each other, starting the band, the whole major label thing. Now we’re at a place where we really know who we are and the way we wanna do things.
F: It’s been a very productive 4 months! Plus, being independent we have to wear a lot of hats. I have an art background, so I handle a lot of the visual side of the band, like music video treatments, editing, photoshop, arranging photo shoots. It’s a ton of work, but I love it cause I have all these different outlets to be creative.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this band together? Has anything surprised you about this musical journey so far?
J: We know exactly when we decided to do the band. Our friend asked us to fill in a slot at Hotel Cafe in Hollywood. We had written a bunch of songs, but we never performed together or even considered it.
F: We thought it would be too much—writing together, living together, being in a committed relationship ANDbeing a band. So when people would suggest it, we’d always brush off the idea.
J: But then we played this show and everyone loved it, and we loved it. And we realized we’d been resisting the most natural thing. All the songs we write tell our story, so it only makes sense that we’d be the ones to sing them.
How do you think your hometown has influenced the sound and how you both carry yourselves in this band?
F: Like I said, I’m from Montreal, Jacob’s from Miami. On one hand, they are completely different cities—the weather being the most obvious difference: I grew up in the snow, Jacob grew up on the beach. Sigh. But what’s similar is they’re both very multi-cultural cities.
J: It’s true. That’s something I love about both places. A lot of cultures come together to create the vibe and that has an effect on you. Not just in the music you make, but in the way you see the world.
F: I was always exposed to different music, food, people. It makes it impossible to stay in one lane artistically because all those influences are a part of me.
Let’s talk about your upcoming EP set for release on June 7th. What was it like putting this collection together? Did anything surprise you about the overall process? How does this collection of music show the growth that you two have gone through since your debut EP was put out?
J: It started right after we left Epic Records. We had all these songs that we couldn’t use due to our contract, so we had to start from scratch. We met John Cunningham, who did a lot of work with XXXTentacion, and we really clicked with him. He ended up co-writing and producing the EP. He was honestly the first person who managed to capture the vibe we wanted.
F: We love pop production and big hooks, but we also want the music to feel raw and super emotional. John is very versatile, so he was able to walk that line. There was some trial and error as there always is, but I’m so proud of the end result. It feels like us.
How would you say that your already released song “Hold On To Me” prepares listeners for more music from you two? What was the inspiration for this song?
F: That song, like all our songs, is literally a page out of Jacob’s and my story. We were going through a hard time, fighting a lot and we started to realize that we both had major walls up. That song was us trying to work through that disconnect and learning to trust each other.
J: All the songs are about our life together. The ups and the downs. We don’t wanna only talk about the good stuff. First of all, that’s just boring. And secondly, we think that telling it like it is is way more inspiring than some fake fairy tale that is no one’s life. I think with social media, so many people are curating their life to be perfect or more interesting. We think the truth is so much more interesting.
How creatively involved were you both with the making of the music video for “Hold On To Me”? What was it like making the video? What was it like having a 120 pound wolf in it?
F: We’re crazy involved! Everything from the concept, to art direction (I made the cloud myself in our living room), styling, and I even edited the video. We’re independent artists, we don’t have a big budget to spend on a video, so we have to get creative. Our best friends are amazing filmmakers, so they all invest their time and work so hard in order to make something special. We’re so grateful for them!
J: Totally, we couldn’t do this without our amazing friends. And Fanny is just incredible, doing so much to bring the vision to life.
F: The wolf was next level. We both love animals so much and we thought that animal symbolized how we felt in the song: vulnerable and misunderstood. She had this majestic presence that gave the video weight. 120lbs to be exact! But she was so sweet and I got to feed her treats. Her name’s Dakota.
Why do you think Kobalt/Awal is the right place for you and your music now?
J: Ever since we got into the business Kobalt has had a reputation of being progressive and artist friendly. We had friends that were using AWAL and recommended it. They seem to be really trying to bring independent artists to the forefront and change the game.
Can you talk about the educational organization, Wolf Mountain Sanctuary that you have partnered with? Why is this particular one important to you both?
J: As Fanny said, we’re big animal lovers. The cause of protecting animals, wildlife, or nature in general, speaks to our hearts. Wolf Mountain is run by a woman who has made the wolves her entire life.
F: Her passion was infectious and when we went there and interacted with the wolves, it was a no-brainer that we’d partner with them and donate the proceeds from the song to their foundation.
Where do you think you are both happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
F: I love writing songs more than anything. I can handle the studio in small doses, but I love everything about putting a live show together—arranging the songs, rehearsing, being on stage, connecting with the audience. It’s such a high for me.
J: I really love all of it. It’s my dream job.
F: Our EP comes out on June 7th and we’re doing a few shows to celebrate. One in Miami on May 28th, Montreal on June 5th, NYC on June 11th. The LA date is still TBD.
How do you think being musicians and in this band gives you all the most joy in life today?
F: We’re doing what we love with the person we love. It doesn’t get much better than that.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period? If you don’t think it is, why is that? Would you say that other musicians are making music that has been influenced by this climate?
J: I think there’s a general sense of apathy among people today because we’re so disillusioned. I don’t blame them, but I really think we have to spread positivity because the world won’t change on it’s own.
F: I love a lot the music out there right now, but it’s true that there’s a darkness, a sadness, that has become fashionable. I want people who listen to our music to feel hopeful, touched and inspired.
Who would you love to work with in the future? Who are some of your favorite artists right now? What do you think would be a dream collaboration for this duo?
F: Like everybody else, I adore Ed Sheeran and would love to write with him one day. We already wrote a song with Amy Wadge who co-wrote “Thinking Out Loud” and she was so talented and so sweet.
J: I’d love to work with Benny Blanco. Khalid has a killer voice and seems like a good person, so him. Pharrell, Kanye… yeah.
If you guys were all going to be stranded on a deserted island, what musical item would you want to take with you and why?
F: As long as I can sing I’m good. I’ll make percussion out of coconuts or something.
J: I’d love a guitar, but I’d need a lifetime supply of strings, too.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs? Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about your music?
F: My hope is that people connect with the songs and it lifts them up. Life is hard enough as it is. I want our music to move people in a positive way.
J: Being with Fanny has been the best time of my life. I want to shout from the rooftops and share that happiness.