UPDATE 4/08/15: Fancy revealed himself to be our best guess, singer Jake “Fancy” Hagood, during a performance on the Tonight Show and via a post on Instagram. Read on to find out more about his single “Goodbye” and how we cracked the mystery before the reveal.
A friend of mine recently moved out to L.A. to pursue a career in the music industry, so I’ve gotten quite used to his 3 A.M. texts imploring me to listen to the latest track he’s hooked on. Most recently he sent me a track by Who is Fancy? Called “Goodbye,” telling me it would be my new favorite song. And I must admit, I really liked it. So I jumped on the Internet (like thousands of other people have by this point) to learn more about the intriguingly titled musician, only to find out that there is pretty much no information available.
Who is Fancy? is currently an unknown artist co-signed by Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta on Big Machine Label Group. The combination of Braun and Borchetta makes for a powerful duo to be backing the mystery artist. Braun represents artists such as Ariana Grande, Carly Rae Jepsen, The Wanted and, of course, the Biebs. Borchetta is responsible for discovering Taylor Swift and prior to starting Big Machine Records, worked for MCA Nashville Records, DreamWorks Nashville and Universal Music Nashville. Who is Fancy? was presented at the iHeart music summit and was quickly dubbed an artist to watch in 2015. So far, they’re living up to the hype.
Despite only being on the radio for just over a month, “Goodbye” is steadily climbing the charts, working its way towards a coveted spot on the weekly Top 40. Currently, it sits at 43 on the iTunes Top Pop chart. The single’s lyric video and three music videos — yes, three — already have a combined one million views. With a single that’s so instantly catchy and a dynamic pair such as Braun and Borchetta backing them, there are mega amounts of potential for the new artist. But the mystery remains as to just who Fancy is.
The artist behind “Goodbye” is definitely working hard to ensure their identity remains a secret. The three videos they’ve released for the song each feature a different protagonist — one male, one female, and one male dressed as a female. The chance that one of these people is actually Fancy is quite unlikely. Representatives for the artist recently told Buzzfeed, “Who is Fancy? is an artist that wants to celebrate the artistry and songwriting, while not focusing on whom he is at first, allowing the music to truly speak for itself.”
That being said, a video reveal right off the bat would defeat what Fancy is trying to accomplish, because currently, the music is speaking for itself. Instead of engaging in the hype that might surround a new emerging artist, like talk show appearances or radio interviews, Fancy has managed to put more focus on their single, an easily relatable song about heartbreak. The various people he has lip-syncing it work to show that this song could be written by anyone. What he’s doing here is helping to illustrate the fact that music is a universal phenomenon.
Despite trying to make the music the focus, people are still deeply intrigued by the face behind the name. When the song first hit the radio, there was debate as to whether or not this was a new voice or an already famous one looking for a new start. Yet expert Internet combers and gossip seekers alike all seem to be pointing to one individual in particular: Jake Hagood. Not much can be found on Hagood, but there are a few solid clues that link him directly to Fancy. Someone managed to dig up an old video of this Jake Hagood singing a song entitled “Just Like Autumn”. While the voice sounds nearly the same, there’s one major difference. “Just Like Autumn” is a country song, featuring Hagood with a slight country twang. If Fancy is indeed Hagood, he has strayed far from his roots. But, keep in mind that Kesha was originally trying to make it in the world of country before releasing pop anthems such as “Tik Tok” and “Die Young”.
A second clue is much harder to dispute. In 2012, a woman named Natasha Dover posted a video of her brother Jake “Fancy” Hagood to The Ellen DeGeneres Show Facebook page. The video link posted has since stopped working. Very convenient, no? Coincidentally, this is not the only video to go missing. According to The Odyssey Online, Hagood recorded a song co-written with American Idol season 12 runner-up, Kree Harrison. However, the song cannot be located. The Odyssey also goes on to say that Hagood is from Nashville, and this is where things really start to make a bit of sense.
If it’s true that the voice behind Fancy is Jake Hagood from Nashville, a lot can be explained about the Braun and Borchetta collaboration. Borchetta’s roots are in Nashville. If Hagood is a former country singer trying to make it in pop, he would be smart to have someone representing both genres. Borchetta can help to nourish the songwriter from Nashville while Braun nurtures a budding pop sensation. But nothing has been confirmed and everything remains speculation.
While the rumors about Hagood continue to swirl, Fancy remains aloof. His twitter feed is full of retweets pertaining to his true identity and his fans celebrating what it is that makes them fancy. It could appear that this is one giant, crazy stunt for attention, but the artist behind Who is Fancy? seems to be making it clear that what matters to him right now is the music and the people supporting it. What Fancy might be trying to say is that to him, music isn’t about attributing it to a sole identity, it’s about what it can do for people as a whole. For that, I can give him major props and patiently wait until the right time comes for him to reveal himself.