With a ‘hard funk’ style shipping in from Newcastle, UK, we present Francophilippe. His is new EP titled ‘Fonkophile’ releasing in the next couple weeks, we sat down to ask this rising DJ/producer a few questions and exclusively bring you two of his tracks to feature on Fonkophile. ‘Continue reading’ to catch our full interview and to preview Fonkophile.
Who is the real Francophilippe and where do you come from?
Just another producer who ended up on the ever-expanding French electro scene. I’m from Newcastle (the cold north-east of England) although i’m currently working in Paris for a stint with another producer I met in the trade – I’m hoping that can be a back and forth thing throughout the new year.
How did you start producing and what have been your influences?
I got into producing as a fan and wannabe-DJ. It was something of a hobby but I’ve been producing for almost two years now so i’m taking it more seriously. I’ve been told my music is in the same vein as the early Edbanger stuff but although SebastiAn and Justice are some of my favorite artists, it’s really not intentional. I grew up in the 90s listening to Hip-hop, Rock and French disco-house so my influences pretty much come from the same place as the Ed Banger folks.
We have heard your style described as ‘hard funk.’ At PB&J, we don’t like categorizing styles, but how would you describe your sound?
I guess that’s a pretty fitting description. My groove tends to be a bit busier than most Nu-disco stuff at the moment and I prefer slower tempos between 110 and 120 bpm. I like the tracks to be heavy and choppy, with the energy coming from the instruments on top of a big ‘four to the floor’ beat, but of course it can vary depending on where I feel the track is taking me.
How long have you been with Champagne Records and what has been your experience with the label?
I’ve been working with the guys for 3 or 4 months putting together Fonkophile and so far it’s been great. They’ve been patient and cooperative with me, which I appreciate as it’s taken longer than expected. I really like the philosophy of the label because they are dedicated to the promotion of underground artists and the love of music. I’ve worked with labels who sell your records – that’s great too, but in the modern music-industry expecting people to buy your music when you’re still a nobody is very utopic. I’d rather 5,000 people downloaded my track for free than it only going out to 100 or so people buying it.
What would your live set sound like? Name a few songs you enjoy playing live.
For a Franco set I like to go a bit dirtier than I would when I just do my regular DJ slots. My setlist changes frequently but there are some big tracks which I regularly feature such as Newjack (Justice), Love Hits The Fan (Phonat), Oh Yeah (Daft Punk) and RossRossRoss (SebastiAn).
What sampling and labor went into producing “Le Fonk” (feature track)? What mixing equipment did you use (if you don’t mind me asking)?
My setup is pretty basic: I use Ableton on a Macbook pro with a MIDI controller and some decent headphones. Simple but effective for my needs.The samples on the track are very small manipulated chops which create a unique melody from the track I lifted them from. I’d be curious to see if people could work out the origin. I produced the track over two days just before I arrived in France; it flowed so easily that, even though I was busy as f**k, I could’t resist finishing it.
Any last thoughts or descriptions of your (promo) EP?
Well, I really enjoyed making every track so I hope people enjoy listening to it as much. I tried to make a challenging record without it being too ‘flashy,’ experimenting with some production techniques and unique structures. I avoided using templates so the mood varies frequently, from chilled to melodic, bouncy to heavy and in places it’s just bizarre. So I think it would be hard to accuse any two tracks of sounding the same – something I feel is a good thing.