Aretha Franklin

Belgian Alt Pop Act Felix Pallas Reveal New Single 'Similarities' & Talk Buzz Blog Label Disco Naivete & What's Next: Exclusive Premiere

Daniil Lavrovski
Felix Pallas

Meet Felix Pallas. The Belgian four piece, comprised of two main songwriters (and brothers) Simon and Pieter-Jan Nuytten, is based in Antwerp and first debuted last year with the self-released early cuts "Curse" and "Rakata." 

After inking a deal with buzz blog-turned-boutique label Disco Naivete (DN001), and global distribution via ADA (Christine and the Queens, Stormzy), the fast-rising outfit return today with their latest earworm "Similarities," premiering exclusively via Billboard.

Produced by Chris Zane (Passion Pit, St. Lucia), the track is a left field pop gem anchored on lush, stadium-ready synths, opulent guitar, and a striking vocal melody that recalls the likes of both Prince and Tame Impala's Kevin Parker.

The buzzy duo's label Disco Naivete began as a Belgium-based music blog, founded in 2009 by Jarri Van der Haegen, who has since expanded his one-stop-shop to include music consultancy, management, and now an indie imprint.

Billboard caught up with the group as they prepped the single launch to discuss their new label deal, working with Lil' Yachty's cover art designer, and what's next.

Take us back to the beginning. How did you first form and decide to make music together? 

We’re two brothers. We are singing together in our house from the moment we could barely walk. Now we’ve been making music together for ages – but Felix Pallas as a new concept began about 2 years ago.

What are the benefits and challenges to working with a sibling? 

It’s tough, yet so inspiring. It’s a constant fight, yet one with unconditional forgiveness and creativity.

Love the artwork by Mihailo Andic. How did you decide on the artist and aesthetic?

He actually contacted us after the release of our first single. It was only after a couple of months we discovered he was gaining a lot of interest with the Lil Yachty artwork. We emailed him some demos and he quickly came up with concepts for them which really fitted well musically.

"Similarities" is released via Disco Naivete with worldwide distribution from ADA. How does it feel to be getting such support at the very beginning? 

Disco Naïveté has already such a legacy, it’s amazing to work with someone who’s also deep into music. We couldn’t be more satisfied – because DN is so hands on. Also they have two lovely cats. Who doesn’t want a label where there are cats running around in the office?

You released two tracks last year – "Curse" and "Rakata" – how has your sound evolved in your opinion? Was there pressure after getting such great reception from your first tunes? 

There was no pressure at all actually. That’s also why we just took our time to shape new tunes. "Similarities" worked instantly well live, so we decided to have a go with that. Once in the studio, it changed into something really big, and we immediately felt that. The production got it to a even higher level.


What is the studio process like with producer Chris Zane? Why did you decide to work with him and why/how did you first connect? 

We loved his work on Passion Pit – very edgy and a lot of soaring synths - and in particular the EP he did with WILLS. We sent him some demos and he was quickly convinced our collaboration could work out well. We really dig what he did to Similarities. It’s in your face, yet smooth. However, when we got our first produced mix, the rhythm was so f--ked up. Later we found out we bounced our stems incorrectly. Chris just thought it was a ‘very progressive’ sound and it was supposed to sound like that (laughs).

Your sound treads both alternative and pop spheres – what are some of your favorite artists out now and who were your favorites growing up?
 
Now – Kendrick Lamar, Beach House, M83, Sampha, Tame Impala, Kanye West, Bon Iver. Back then – Keane, Prince, Queen, Michael Jackson - cheesy, but extremely nice.


What's on your career bucket list? 

Billboard is pretty amazing, that’s a life goal right here! And having drinks with Kendrick Lamar would be awesome as well.

For more Felix Pallas, head here.