François X

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Apr 15
 

Parisian techno mainstay François X is coming to the Fragrant Harbour to drop some major beats. Josiah Ng talks to the DJ about producing music and playing in Hong Kong

Parisian DJ François-Xavier Zoumenou (AKA François X) is preparing to hit the decks at Volar, bringing with him some of the best techno and house chops in the world. A mainstay of the Paris club scene at Club Concrete, François started out primarily as a DJ in the early 2000s and has now branched out to production, starting his own record label Dement3d Records in 2011. Through it, he has released two albums, with another set for release in June. We sat down for a chat with the studio mastermind about his career, the soul of his music, and playing in the “sexy” city of Hong Kong.

How did you get started in DJing?

It was during my teenage years, the first time I went to a club. That first time, if I remember correctly, was at The Queen, a famous club on the Champs Elysées. The first thing I remember is the loud sound system – it was like being struck by lightning. It was like a super heavy hammer hitting my head. I was definitely impressed by that kind of environment and that kind of movement. I fell in love with the music. When I was 17 or 18, around the end of the 90s, I bought a pair of turntables and started going record shopping. I started meeting a lot of DJs and other guys passionate about music. It was like this relationship that you have with a girl or guy, you start to discover and explore and fall in love.

Did you have a favourite artist or record from that time?
I was really into Larry Heard’s music and his different projects like Mr. Fingers. He had and still has that touch which is smooth but also raw and emotional. He was not stuck in one style – it could be anything, like jacking techno or something more emotional. He was really into that diverse style of producing. It really influenced the way I produce today.

What is the next step you want to take as a producer?

As a producer I started very late, only around 5 years ago. It was a natural move. Nowadays, I’m producing house and techno music, and when I’m talking about growing and evolving, I want to be very fluent, to be able to translate what I have in my mind into music, and to merge all of my influences into one type of sound. It could be house, it could be techno, it could be X, it could be Y, it could be new wave, it could be punk, I don’t know. But at one point, I want to have my style. I don’t know what music it will be, but it will be my music. It’s not just about being technically good – I think I’ve learnt enough to do that. Now, I want to put my soul into it. I want the audience to feel what I want to tell them. So it takes a bit of maturity. Technically speaking I don’t really need to improve my skills and production. Now it’s about my soul and my emotions. It is difficult for an artist to translate that emotion into music, but this is the next step. I also want to produce singers and make movie soundtracks as well – I want to really embrace music production in a big way.

What kind of hopes do you have for playing in Hong Kong?

I hope it will be like Paris. I think Hong Kong is a city with a lot of history, it has a lot of different nationalities. I think Hong Kong can be as sexy a city as Paris, and I hope to feel that, the sense of a challenging and exciting country perhaps, with a lot of different cultures. For me this is sexy because you can never know what you will get.

Is there something you want to leave behind in the city?

I’m really looking forward to playing in Hong Kong and also to see the city. I would love to give the audience and fans something to remember. I can’t just be the musician that plays and then goes home and gets paid. As an artist, I’m not giving too much of myself. I’m being paid to play music, but my fans are following me on social media and I want to give them something in return, as a guy who has a lot to say and to share. I want to be generous.

François X
Fri Apr 15, Volar, Central, 2810 1510. Tickets: $250; ticketflap.com.

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