UK duo Eli & Fur, aka Eliza Noble and Jennifer Skillman, have been on an upward path since breaking onto the scene back in 2012 with their brand of infectious melodic house. 2015 has been their best year yet - tipped as 2015 Artists to Watch by Beatport, storming festival sets over the summer, a mega Ibiza season, being called on to mix this year's Space Ibiza compilation alongside Carl Cox, touring the States, the release of their new EP California Love, and being nominated for two Best of British Awards by DJ Mag. We caught up with the girls to chat about their return to Anjunadeep, their time in America, and those big award nods.
Hey, how’s everything going? Ready for the holidays?
Eli: Hi! Yes looking forward to the holidays, although I tend to get a bit restless, I don't really feel like I want a holiday. I think I'll be in my room most of the time trying to come up with new track ideas. It's quite a good time to not get distracted.
Fur: I can't wait for Christmas, I love all the food. I'll definitely be putting on some winter weight.
Tell us how you first got into music and started working as a duo.
Eli: I've always been into music and Fur's the same. I started playing the guitar at 8 and was hooked from then. I knew I always wanted to be in music, I loved to write songs but was always terrified of performing live. I went on to do Music Tech for A level and that gave me the confidence to perform more and play gigs around London. Fur and I were at school together at the time and became best friends. When we left school we ended up being flat mates so we were always going to the same parties, listening to the same music. We started Djing for fun and then ended up working at the same music company song writing. It progressed naturally from there.
Fur: It was very organic the way it happened and it's great that the idea we had quickly became more and more of a possibility the harder we worked at it. We wouldn't change it for the world and it's great to be doing what we love.
What’s the dynamic like when you play? Do you approach sets as b2bs or have little battles with each other?
Fur: It changes, usually we go back to back. But when we DJ it's pretty hands on as we love to introduce loops live and accapellas as part of the set so there's always something one of us can be doing. Sometimes I will play for a bit then Eli will take over and vice versa. It's a relaxed approach, we usually just turn up and see what happens.
You’re up for two awards at DJ Mag’s Best of British awards - Best DJ Mag Live Stream and Best Breakthrough DJ – are you gonna win?
Eli: I've always wanted to win an award. I've actually always wanted to win an Oscar but I don't act so a DJ Mag award would be a great alternative. I have no idea really, but we're going anyway so we will make sure we prepare a speech as well as practising our good loser faces :)
Your California Love EP has just dropped on Anjunadeep, tell us about the creative process behind the record.
Eli: We don't have a real formula when it comes to being creative, it's mostly trying as many different options and writing as many songs as possible. We are constantly writing new ideas and if one grabs us we will work on that. Some tracks start off with just a vocal, others we start by making an instrumental track and then add the vocal ideas
Fur: The lead track 'California Love' was very organic, we were just jamming on the guitar and came up with the chords and melody then worked on the track from there. The other two we added vocals after.
You spent time as pop songwriters and you both sing, how does that impact and influence the way you produce?
Eli: Coming from writing pop, where structure wise it's very different from a club track, it can sometimes make things slightly confusing but at the same time we always look for that strong vocal hook to define the song, which helps. It's great being able to add vocals and experiment with vocal sounds when in the studio but it's also interesting to start off with a vocal and see what that inspires instrumentally.
Do you have plans to produce a full-length album?
Fur: Eventually yes, we're not quite there yet. I think we will continue to work with EPs until we are at a stage to dedicate more time to writing an album. To make that many tracks while touring at the same time is always a challenge. An album is something we look forward to doing in the future.
Your time over in the States, which you feature in the vid for ‘California Love’, looked sick. Was it everything you expected?
Eli: Thanks! Yeah it was amazing. The crowds were great, it was a lot of fun packing in so many dates. We got to see less of certain cities than we thought and became slightly nocturnal but we loved every minute. We are so excited to head back to the States in January.
How does the scene over there compare to the UK?
Fur: We were lucky in the sense we were playing specific nights so everyone was really into their music. There was no massive difference to the UK, the crowds were great and everyone was very energetic. It felt really exciting for us being our first time playing in all these new venues so it was really refreshing. There was more shuffling than the UK.
You’re playing Warehouse Project on Boxing Day and We Are WHSE on NYE, what do you love about warehouse parties?
Eli: Warehouse parties are usually a one off so that always pushes people to get more into it. It's also always amazing to play in a big space.
Best moment of 2015?
Fur: it's been an amazing year, it would be hard to pick out one thing. Our time in Ibiza was really special and filled with a lot of great moments.
Shittest moment of 2015?
Eli: When a girl jumped off the Mad Decent Boat party cruise and they never found her. Shocking and sad, pretty awful start to a four day party.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Eli: Getting to the venue in time to have a few drinks and check out the surroundings.
Who or what are you most in love with right now?
Eli: Couldn't tell you, they would find out.
Fur: I'm kind of in love with my dog, even though she embarrasses me in the park.
What/where is your favourite place in London?
Eli: The Battersea Barge, I had my 21st birthday there. It's awesome.
Fur: I haven't decided yet.
Other than music, what do you know most about?
Eli: I read a lot of books about relationships, psychology, monogamy and how all these things have changed throughout history. I'm not an expert as I've never studied it professionally but it's whats I like to read about most. I find it fascinating.
How do you define success?
Eli: Doing something you love and are passionate about that has a long shelf life, makes you happy, generates a substantial income and inspires other people around you.
Fur: Gaining your goal without losing your sole.
Do you think aliens exist?
If you could fill a swimming pool with anything in the world, what would it be?
What is your life motto?
Fur: Deeds not words.
Eli: If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason. The possibility of life is destroyed.
Follow Eli & Fur on Twitter. Their California Love EP is out now on Anjunadeep, and the girls play the DJ Mag Best Of British Awards party at Heaven on 16th December