Influential gaming world artist TheFatRat is back with a huge track to further stake his claim as one of the music scene’s most exciting prospects.
‘Rise Up’ is emblematic of his powerful, emotive sound, and features vocals from Swedish singer-songwriter Moa Petterson Hammar. We caught up with TheFatRat to discuss this track, his thoughts on 2019 and the documentary that RedBull is shooting on him.
T.H.E – Hey Christian! Welcome to the T.H.E – Music Essentials. How have you been?
TheFatRat – I‘ve been fantastic. Thanks for having me.
T.H.E – Tell us a bit about how you got into electronic music, given your very strong interest in gaming. How did the name “TheFatRat” come about?
TheFatRat – I grew up with both, gaming and electronic music. In the 90s, electronic dance music was already huge in Germany. I went to events like the Love Parade in Berlin where the size of the audience was over a million people. That‘s five times Tomorrowland. So it came only natural that when I started producing myself it was electronic music. The other big influence for me was gaming. I started when the first Game Boy came out, had an NES, Master System, Mega Drive, SNES, and even a NEO-GEO. Together with classical orchestra music, they have been my main influence. Mario Paint on the SNES was the first time I made music on a computer.
My artist’s name comes from my nickname in school. For a long time, I was the smallest in class because I grew really late. People just called me the rat. At some point, I decided to pick that name up and wear it with pride. It first became my gamer tag for online games like Unreal Tournament. When I started putting out music as an artist, it was only natural to keep that name.
T.H.E – Would we be right in saying that you are trying to build a bridge between electronic music and the gaming world?
TheFatRat – I‘d say the audience built that bridge for me. I’ve just made music that I personally like. And because I have been a gamer for so long my music automatically had a video game vibe to it which lead to the gaming community picking it up. But it was more a natural thing, rather than me aiming for a specific market.
T.H.E – Your latest track – Rise Up, has been chosen as the title track for the ESL One Hamburg and IEM Beijing Esports tournaments. That must be pretty surreal?
TheFatRat – Yeah, it‘s also surreal to play in front of an arena and realising how many of the people in there know my songs. And also to know that millions of people are watching at home.
T.H.E – How did the track come about? What was it inspired by?
TheFatRat – It was inspired by the first years of my career. They were basically „no career at all“. I worked with a lot of people throughout that time, but they all gave up at some point. Some after a few days, some after a year or two. For me it was never an option. After lots and lots of setbacks and almost going bankrupt, there was something deep inside me that kept me going. That experience is what the song is about.
T.H.E – We also hear that Red Bull is shooting a small documentary on you. What can you tell us about that?
TheFatRat – To be honest I was really stoked when they reached out. I haven‘t seen the final cut yet, but the team was great so I‘m sure they‘ll do a good job and I‘m super excited to see the final result.
T.H.E – 2019 is ending on a pretty big note for you. How was the year overall for you?
TheFatRat – In my adult life, every single year has been better than the year before. And 2019 was no exception. I went fully independent again and have a completely new team around me which allows doing everything on a bigger scale.
T.H.E – What can you tell us about your plans for 2020?
TheFatRat – There‘s a lot of new stuff coming in 2020. I‘m working on my first studio album. In early 2020 my first music video will come out. It‘s almost finished and it looks amazing. Also, I‘m working on a mobile game, which has always been a dream for me. The idea has been in my mind for years and now I‘m finally teaming up with the right people to execute it.