music • 01 Jun, 2017
AAMIXTAPE: New Fame
The genre-blending double act on never getting old
Adrienne Mack-Davis and feleciacruz are soul sisters separated at birth. They met again seven years ago in New York and now, inseparable as New Fame, they’ve rocked mics from Indiana to Indika, backed by Saigon’s own DJ Skulz.
For a quick primer on the hip hop superduo press play on ‘I Go Harder’. Even better, run our mixtape that features three exclusives — that track, new single ‘Eyes Peeled’ co-starring Callous from the Shizzle Crew, and Adrienne’s opener ‘Reply Though’.
So for this interview we took it right back to the start. “First time I spoke to her,” feleciacruz remembers about meeting Adrienne, “I asked ‘Why are you giving your music away?’ ‘Because I can make more,’ she replied.”
Describe each other for us.
Adrienne: Cruz is an in-your-face kind of personality. We both love to light up a room and she does it big, plain and simple. She's a boss-ass bitch.
feleciacruz: Adrienne Mack-Davis is a goddess of song and a righter of wrongs.
If you two became one person, which best bits of each of you would you keep? And what bad parts would you ditch?
feleciacruz: I’d keep Adrienne’s know-how of when to shut up, and her compassion and her ability to talk to others with genuine care. I wouldn't ditch a thing. Well, sometimes she loses shit. But we tour a lot so she gets a pass!
Adrienne: We’re similar, but I think Cruz is better at handling her temper than I am, and channeling it and not just bottling it up. In return, I'd give her a bit of my sensitivity. I feel things very deeply and can cry at the drop of a dime!
You’ve been called ‘genre blenders’. What’s in your musical smoothie?
Adrienne: We'll say the ice in the smoothie is the hip hop, the fruits are the different sounds and musical styles we gravitate to, and then the juice on top that brings it all together would be the special energy added by Cruz and me.
feleciacruz: Yeah, lots of hip hop mixed with trap, reggae, dancehall, pop, soul...and endless impromptu freestyles.
Which guest rappers would you welcome most warmly into the New Fame family?
feleciacruz: Anyone who wants to work with us and can keep up with our commitments.
Adrienne: But if we’re talking dream collaborations then Chance the Rapper, Method Man, and Stromae to name a few.
You played SXSW again in March this year as part of a forty-one-date US tour.
feleciacruz: Yes! It was long, epic, and fruitful. Having Skulz with us, family time, Denver! And by the end we had played all across the West Coast and Midwest of the USA making life-long contacts and memories.
Adrienne: Any moments I'd like to forget? I don’t like goodbyes so all of those were hard with family and friends.
Tell us about the rest of your year like it’s December already.
feleciacruz: Opportunities have flown in quicker than we could keep up with. Another year of touring, releasing new music, giving back while keeping ourselves in check.
What will you call yourselves when you get old?
feleciacruz: ‘New Fame’ is timeless. Doing what we love and working on being better humans each and every moment will never get old!
Adrienne: Ha! But if I have to choose? Then I’ll just go by my name when that time comes. Adrienne Mack-Davis is just fine for me.
So what are your current coordinates?
feleciacruz: Saigon, Vietnam.
Adrienne: Right. Back in Saigon preparing for our project’s release and another US tour in August.
What’s 24hrs in Saigon with New Fame like?
feleciacruz: Juice, workouts, writing sessions, meetings, social media, recording, freestyling, pool time with PrettyOG, taking care of two beautiful dogs, and good home-cooked food. And most likely an evening show of our own or as support. A daily varying combo of any or all!
Adrienne: Right! It differs from day to day as our schedule is constantly changing but on a normal day in Saigon we wake up, work out, meditate, eat a good whole meal with fruits and veg. Then it all depends on the calendar.
Review your best show like you were in the audience.
feleciacruz: High-energy, positive, inspiring. When New Fame finished they left us wanting more. And the worst people would say? New Fame’s set was over too quick!
Adrienne: They electrify any crowd anywhere!
What kind of ride is Vietnam’s rap scene right now?
feleciacruz: A Jeep, top down, coasting on an open freeway, wind blowing, sun out and nothing but beauty ahead.
Adrienne: Hmm, I’d say an early 90s something. I’m not much of a car lady, haha! My dream vehicle is a 1990 Toyota Corolla or an old Volkswagen Beetle. For real!
Who’s your favourite double act outside music?
Adrienne: Magicians Penn and Teller, and also the explorers Lewis and Clark.
feleciacruz: Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.
What’s the last album you played from start to finish?
feleciacruz: A couple of nights ago Adrienne played me the new Lil Yachty mixtape ‘Teenage Emotions’ right through. I listened.
Adrienne: And XXXtentacion's 'Revenge'. It’s dope.
The most unlikely pop concert we’d find you stage-front at?
feleciacruz: We both love pop!
Adrienne: Especially anything to do with K-Pop. You’ll find me somewhere in South Korea jammin’ out.
Talk to us about this Mixtape.
Adrienne: We have an amazing single coming up to start things off that’s with Callous of the Shizzle Crew and produced by Nodey. It’s called 'Eyes Peeled' so look for that one.
feleciacruz: Actually, there are a few new unreleased songs of ours made in collaboration with Piu Piu Records. That one featuring Callous, ‘I Go Harder’ and Adrienne’s ‘Reply Though’, and there’s others from our local musical homies like Kimmese and Hazard Clique. Then there are tunes we currently get hype to, or original beats from Skulz that we freestyle to! And Skulz helped put the mix together for us.
Last, what would be the first few bars in a rap about AnyArena?
Adrienne: Any time any place, if AnyArena is in your face, you know the party's goin' up, they are the makers of taste, capture the city keep the pace…
Track List: (mix made by New Fame and DJ Skulz)
Reply Though - Adrienne Mack-Davis
Another Girl - Aywy Ekali
Stay High - Tove Lo (Hippie Sabotage Remix)
Flash X - ATB
By Chance - Rae Sremmurd
Drum Machine - Skrillex and Big Grams
I Go Harder - New Fame
Proof - New Fame
Post Malone - Fall Apart
Kendrick Lamar - HUMBLE
XO Tour Lif3 - Lil Uzi Vert
Everything Is Lit - YFN Lucci
Syrup - Stwo
Lay Here - Veorra
The Way You Do - RL Grime Remix
May - Aire Atlantica
Slipknot - XXXtentacion
May I Have This Dance - Francis and The Lights
The Time Is Now - WARRIOR
Lean On - Major Lazer and DJ Snake
Let Me Love You - DJ Snake
LOVE (Instrumental) - DJ Skulz
PARRI$ - Nasty
Show Me Love - Hundred Waters
Eyes Peeled feat. Callous - New Fame
Bon Ba Hai Mot - Hazard Clique
Destiny - Kimmese and Touliver
Words by David Kaye
Photos by Tuan Tran
Graphics by Thanh Duong