Interview: Franky Rizardo

Franky Rizardo has become one of the key components of the contemporary Defected family.

His house tunes are real crowd pleasers and veer from deep house to driving tech, as bets exemplified by his masterful In the House recently. Including ‘Same Man’, ‘Keep Cool’, his rework of Roger Sanchez’ ‘Morning Prayer’ and a host of brand new tracks and exclusive remixes, it showed his broad style and made for a compelling listen that continues to take the man behind the music to headline shows and festivals all round the world. Never far from the Beatport charts with his underground hits, here we speak to Franky about all this and more.

“Defected is a real family and have an amazing taste in music.”

How are you, how was 2016 now you look back?
I’m doing very well thanks! 2016 was a great year. It was fun. I’m very happy to have had a full agenda with mostly international gigs and releases on labels I love such as Saved and Defected. The best memory from 2016 is the time I spent in Ibiza though, from gigs to partying with friends, it really is unique.

And what are your hopes and goals and dreams for 2017? Do you set targets like that?
I think its good to set goals and think about the direction you’re going. This year I want to continue to build my FLOW brand across the globe with more international events and I’m planning to make some big steps with my label LTF Records.

How did you hook up with Defected and when and why?
After releasing on several labels Defected contacted me through DJ Gregory to ask for a remix for his song ‘Paris Luanda’. They were very excited about the result and asked me to visit them in London to join the family.

How important is that relationship for you? What does it mean?
Defected is a real family and have an amazing taste in music. This means they bring the best out of me as a producer and always make sure the music is as best as can be.

And do they get involved with the music you make, do they give you feedback or do they let you do as you please?
It usually starts with me sending over a track, sometimes the result is immediately approved, but if they hear anything that can improve the track they will tell me to try to change this. For example Same Man went through 14 versions before we ended up with the final one. Their feedback is really important to me and always results in a better song.

Tell us about your FLOW brand – you have a radio show and run parties right – why start this? What inspired it? What will be the vibe?
The FLOW brand came forward from the radio show on Slam radio station in Holland. I felt it was a good time to start my own night, focused on getting people into the ‘FLOW state of mind’. With this I mean the state of mind where you forget about everything and are completely in the music. Once people are locked in, we can go anywhere, from big melodic buildups to energetic tech house.

And how important is radio to you – why start a show? Why do you like that medium? Did you listen to much of it growing up?
I always dreamed of having my own weekly radio show, I think it’s an important medium. In the car I like to be surprised with music and turn on the radio, to hear what’s going on.

You head out on tour around North and South America soon – how will you pack, what music will you take, do different places like different things?
As this will be a very long trip I would have to check in some luggage, in it will be most of my clothing. My laptop, SD card and other electronics stay with me in the form of a trolley and a backpack. Different places are definitely in to different music styles, but I don’t want to adjust too much to the local style. If people come to see me they want to hear my style of music, not what they usually hear on a normal night out. I do keep an eye out for something that would be fun to play in the place I’m visiting though.

And how do you deal with the travelling? Do you read, learn languages, research music or just sleep?
I have found my way of relaxing during traveling. I always wear earplugs, especially in airplanes. It’s calming and better for my ears. I read a lot of books on my iPhone, mostly stuff I’m interested in and could learn from.

What else have you got coming up/are you working on?
I’m really excited about doing the new In The House CD for Defected which will feature 6 new productions and 5 new remixes. Furthermore I have a remix coming on DFTD records for Charles Ramirez and Luca M and a 3 track EP on Circus Recordings coming in April. With FLOW we are hosting a stage at several festivals like Extrema Outdoor Belgium & Holland and also Summerpark, so lets meet up there :)

Franky Rizardo mixes the brand new Defected ‘In the the House’ Compilation. PRE ORDER

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