Over the last few years, Franky Rizardo has taken a hugely refreshing approach to house music which has been paying dividends in a big way. Having established himself as one of the biggest draws in Holland’s house music circuit, he’s now rapidly expanding his horizons across the world. Releases on OFF, Defected and Spinnin’ demonstrate an increasingly strong production career, while his Flow radio show and events are fast becoming a major part of the house music landscape across the world.
First of all, When did you first realise you wanted to pursue a career in music?
I’ve always had the urge to do something with music, especially around age 12 when I first started out producing. I had so much fun that I’ve been addicted to it ever since. When I had my first gig in a club (age 15) I knew that this was what I wanted to do. At first it’s something you work on unconsciously, and then you start to realise that this is what you love to do.
Over the years that you’ve been producing, your talents have obviously progressed. When you look back at some of your early records, are you still pleased with how they sound?
As an artist you are constantly progressing and improving. Looking back on it, I did have releases that I now think are not good enough to be released, but it’s part of the process. I think that when you listen to my earlier productions you hear that I was searching for my own identity, as my productions are very different from each other. This did however give me a way to look at all genres and decide which way to go. In the end I don’t have any regrets of earlier tracks, I feel like I always followed my heart when I produced them.
Who were the DJ’s you grew up idolising, the ones that really impressed you?
There are a lot of DJ’s that impressed me and I grew up idolising, varying from the DJ in the local bar to the big names around the world. But the duo that really got me hooked to dance music was Daft Punk. The first album I ever bought was Homework, which I played in my room non-stop.
Some of your productions have been compared to DJ Gregory’s previous works. Do you think that’s a fair comparison?
DJ Gregory is one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met, and to be compared to him is a very big compliment. I understand the comparison in sound because we have a big focus on drums. But Gregory has been in this game much longer than me, and has a far more amazing discography than I do. So no, I don’t think it’s a fair comparison. I hope that it will be some day though.
You’ve said previously that there’s a danger when DJs to take on too many gigs that the scene gets saturated and people get bored…how do you make sure this happens but at the same time build your profile, as you’re doing now?
The main thing is keep working on your DJ set. Impress people, but not with the same tracks as the previous DJ. Try to be an individual and bring your own sound. Also, making your own edits that people only hear in your sets keeps things interesting, and makes it worth coming to see a DJ play.
As you’ve said, to a point DJing is about being able to play records that not every other DJ is also playing. Now that it’s so easy to find music online, how do you make sure your sets are unique?
I edit almost every track I buy in Logic or Ableton. This way I make sure a track is unique and does maximal damage on the dancefloor. Adding live accapellas and playing your own productions also adds to a unique set. Another thing that most DJs forget is that you don’t need to play new records only. An old record or classic can be just as surprising as a new promo, and can really set a great mood. It all comes down to good preparation and knowing the effect of the tracks on the dancefloor.
Tell us about you mix…what were you trying to achieve with it?
With my mix I tried to recreate the way I play. I always try to take people on a journey through different beats, grooves and vibes, but it still has to fit. My CD starts out with an accapella by Mike Dunn which fits with the old-skool vibes of the first tracks, Chez Damier’s ‘Can You Feel It’ and Tuccillo’s ‘Sexophonista’. These tracks are slowly followed by tougher grooves and big breaks while ending on a sensitive note, leaving you completely refreshed and ready to hit the clubs!
With so many podcast and mixes freely available these days, what can you do to make a commercial mix like this an attractive proposition for people to go out and spend money on?
This can be achieved in multiple ways. It may sound obvious, but it starts with a good quality track selection, making sure the CD has long listening value. Also it’s important to have exclusive tracks and special versions that can only be found on the CD. For example, I re-arranged and added more focus on the drum groove to ‘Munster’ by Leroy Styles. This version can only be found on this CD.
With so many podcasts and mixes it’s hard to find quality mixes that you really like between all the thousands of DJs spamming the internet with their sounds. This makes it worth spending money on something you know is quality.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about…?
If you want to check out my new tracks, please visit my Soundcloud page