If you haven’t heard his name before, let us do you a favor: Chuk Fent is an emerging presence in Toronto’s music scene whose unique, ethereal sound and guitar wizardry have begun to create a buzz around him. Despite just beginning to put out music, he already has several live shows in Toronto, Montreal, London, New York, and Paris under his belt. His style blends soul, folk, and dream pop to create a moody, nostalgic, and layered sound that has drawn comparisons to King Krule, Moses Sumney, Bon Iver, and Beach House. With his debut single, Chuk Fent pays homage to some of his biggest influences while asserting himself as undefinable within the conventions of a single genre.
On March 3, Chuk Fent released his debut single called “Accessory (You Don’t See My Person Yet)”. The track is beautifully produced and is a hypnotic blend of overlapping dreamy synths, a minimal yet angelic guitar melody, and pulsing drums. However, the best part of the song is the unexpected explosion into an emotional guitar solo towards the track’s conclusion.
Despite the single’s feathery sound, the meaning behind it is heavy: it examines relational harm through the lens of dissociating during sex. Fent says “The lyrics took shape over several years as [he] thought about the ways [he’d] been disappeared and constructed in past relationships”. His words in the release are as poetic and personal as they could be for such an intense topic:
“I was nothing/until you kissed me out of dust./Creation myth,/grit my teeth and call it love.”
For the cover art, Fent teamed up with visual artists Mukat Singh, Tejas Panchal, Katya Godwin, and Sabrina Bilic to create sculptures out of his torso. The five of them worked out of 2185 Collective, a community gallery and workspace co-op in the Junction. The cover was shot by Chisom Okoye with a hand-painted backdrop at her home photo studio. As part of the release, Fent will be partnering with a few local shops that will host the sculptures throughout March and April:
Typist Studios (3 March – 10 March)
LooseFade (10 March – 17 March)
Lucky Tiger (20 March – 2 April)
Broody, pensive, and ethereal, Chuk Fent belongs to in-between spaces more than he does to any given place. A first-generation Nigerian-Canadian, his formative years were spent shapeshifting across various cultural contexts. He picked up the guitar when he was 11 and soon found it to be his most constant companion. His daily retreats into the safety of this companionship gave him the security and freedom to develop a private world where he could merge identities and influences as he wished, fleshing out a space where he would never have to change shape or even assume one.
Chuk Fent was featured in a single by Baby Cale released on February 18 called “Deadbeat” and will be performing on March 24 at Handlebar in Kensington, alongside rising eclectic-alt-R&B artist Santé Rose, longtime collaborator Mason Hyde (known best for his work as a producer for TOBi and Skip Waiters), and Ånanę, another very talented artist who is known for his soulful sound and distinctive voice. Chuk Fent previously played at Ånanę’s self-curated, intimate concert series called “With My Friends”, where we discovered him.