At 20 years old with over 70 releases and 6M+ streams, Nigel Quah a.k.a. Foxela is a steady force to be reckoned with in Asia’s electronic scene. Having recently landed on globally acclaimed label Monstercat, he’s back with his second single Oasis under Monstercat Instinct. His take on deep piano house already carries a timeless feel, a testament to the young producer’s musicianship and prowess behind the DAW. We had the chance to sit down with Foxela and learn more about his background and come-up in the industry.
With Singapore being as small as it is and relatively new with electronic music, what was it like coming up in the local scene – doing the kind of music you do? And was there any pressure to conform to more commercial tastes?
The local scene in Singapore has always been great to me, I’ve constantly been shown a lot of support from my peers and other musicians! It just shows how much music brings people together and that’s something I really love about what I do.
I also don’t feel the pressure to conform to a specific sound, even to this day. I’ve always been making the music that I truly love and I’m thankful for that!
Any DJ background or has it been more production-first for you?
I’ve been a producer all my life and that’s how I started. DJing was only a thing for me recently! Been picking it up and I’ve been having loads of fun.
You have quite the discography already, and your versatility & dedication to sound quality are very apparent; tell us a bit about your music background and what led you to pursue music production! You’re known for doing your own vocals too.
I never had any traditional music background prior to music production! I got into it purely by my love for electronic music and my inquisition about how music could be made without any organic instruments. That, in the long run, has developed me into a producer that pays a lot of attention to detail, with a huge focus on sound and sample selection.
Any defining moment that made you realize music was something you could and wanted to pursue as a career? To be just 20 and already garnering incredible traction as an electronic artist, how are you feeling about where things are headed?
I’m feeling great about the current trajectory! I don’t think that there was a definitive moment, but the feeling came about gradually as I saw more people catching on to my work.
What are some genres and artists that have influenced you over the years?
I started off everything with Dubstep! Songs like Ephixa’s ‘Dubstep Killed Rock ‘n’ Roll’ and Going Quantum’s ‘Hello’ really stuck with me. And of course, Skrillex! That then progressed more into Trap and Future Bass, with acts like MYRNE and Louis the Child. But I quickly fell for House and that’s where my heart’s been at for the past few years! I’m currently loving the tunes by D.O.D and Bleu Clair.
How about any visual styles, subcultures, or aesthetics that you draw from?
As far as visual styles and aesthetics go, I’m a big fan of minimalism. I’d like to think that it shows in my music, as I love to adopt a ‘less is more’ mindset.
Congrats on making your Monstercat debut with your previous release! And now you’re on your second release with the label, ‘Oasis’ – what’s to be expected?
Thank you! It’s been a dream come true for me. ‘Oasis’ is the first step in a new direction for Foxela. With more creative and thoughtful basslines (with classic M1 pianos of course), I’ve never felt more like myself in a song.
MR: We can’t wait to hear what you have in store for the rest of the year and going into 2023, super stoked for your growth. Looking forward to an EP or perhaps an even longer body of work… no pressure of course!
I can’t wait either! Not gonna spoil any plans but I’m super excited to put it out there for everyone soon.
“Oasis” is OUT NOW and available on all streaming platforms HERE.