Nick Murphy as himself

Australian singer- songwriter Nick Murphy is dropping his old moniker Chet Faker.
Australian singer- songwriter Nick Murphy is dropping his old moniker Chet Faker.PHOTO: PHILISTINE DSGN

Two years ago, the artist formerly known as Chet Faker played at Laneway Festival in Singapore on one of the smaller stages.

This year, the Australian singer- songwriter returns to the popular music festival to perform on the main stage and with a new name for himself: Nick Murphy.

In fact, that is his real name. Chet Faker, a name inspired by late American jazz artist Chet Baker is, well, the fake one.

Early in his career, when he was making music in many different genres, including folk and electronic, he released them under various stage names. Chet Faker was the one that caught on.

Described by music publication Pitchfork as the "Australian poster boy for the nebulous intersection of R&B and soul-influenced electronic music", the musician had several successful releases under the Chet Faker name, including the 2014 Built On Glass album that went to No. 1 on the Australian charts.

But in September last year, the 28-year-old announced to fans that he would be going back to using his birth name. The reason is that he has become more comfortable with himself and his new lifestyle.

He says in a telephone interview from New York, where he has a music studio: "There's so much magic around the industry, there are also a lot of pitfalls to watch out for.

"After those five years, I know who I am and I have a clearer idea of what I want out of my life and what I'm doing. I think that just came to fruition."

He used to work in a bookstore in Melbourne and was a part-time musician, but after his career took off, he became a jetsetter.

"I went from just living at home, working at my job and always being at the same place to all of a sudden just being in a new city more or less every single day for about five years. It's not really natural."

After he resolved his identity crisis, he decided to go back to using his real name as he "started to develop the tools to be comfortable with that new lifestyle".

His newest singles, Fear Less and Stop Me (Stop You), released late last year, as well as an upcoming album, will be released under the Nick Murphy moniker.

The new tunes reflect his new creative direction. Fear Less, he says, is about "not thinking too much and letting go" while Stop Me (Stop You) is about "self empowerment".

"I was trying to make myself feel better and to stay confident, which can be so hard sometimes. I'm sure everyone understands that."

Of his last gig at Laneway, he says: "That show was crazy, it was a lot of fun. It was packed, there was not enough room, people were climbing up trees, fences and stuff. I thought it was kind of cool."

He is looking forward to playing at Laneway in Singapore again, this time at one of two main stages.

"I'm experimenting a lot with the live shows, with some new stuff," he says of the upcoming set.

"It will probably be a pretty healthy mix of old stuff and the new stuff."

FROM D1 BOOK IT / ST JEROME'S LANEWAY FESTIVAL SINGAPORE 2017

WHERE: The Meadow, Gardens by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Drive

WHEN: Jan 21, from 10am

ADMISSION: $185 for standard tickets, $166.50 a ticket for purchases of five or more, via Sistic (go to www.sistic.com.sg or call 6348-5555); $200 at the door

INFO: singapore.laneway festival.com

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 06, 2017, with the headline 'Nick Murphy as himself'. Print Edition | Subscribe