Franky Rizardo – DJ, producer, label boss. The young artist continues to prove himself as one of Holland’s finest exports in dance music, demonstrating a solid production career with releases spanning a collection of top labels, including a long term relationship with Defected Records, whilst continuing to push himself as a DJ with a distinctive style that works across the big stages as well as packed out clubs. Establishing a brand is no easy feat, yet Franky’s FLOW concept continues to develop into a recognisable icon in the house music landscape. From humble beginnings as a weekly radio show on Holland’s national SLAM!FM, to international club nights and the hosting and curation of stages at the Netherlands’ hottest festivals, his work ethic knows no bounds.
You’ve been a key member of Defected’s artist roster for quite a few years now, and are considered a crucial part of Defected’s ‘new breed’ of DJs and producers. With such a close affiliation, what do you have to do as an artist to do in order to not be defined by one specific label?
It’s not necessarily a bad thing to be defined by one specific label but I make varying styles of house music, and some of it just wouldn’t fit musically on Defected. For these tracks I’m able to self release on my own label or send them to DJ friends such as Solardo for my ‘Feel Alright’ EP (released on their Sola imprint) or to Yousef, who signed my latest release ‘Take Off’ to Circus Recordings.
As a brand Defected is known for unifying people through house music, we recently spoke to Simon Dunmore and he said that socially/politically he thinks we’re pushing each other apart when we should be coming together. Is it rewarding as a DJ to get the opportunity to bring people together people on a dancefloor so that they can forget about the outside world for a few hours?
Yes, I think it’s great that people from all walks of life can join together and connect at a club or festival with just love for music in common.
Your latest remix for Rationale ‘Loving Life’ has been getting some great support including Joris Voorn at Hi Ibiza. Do you select your remix work carefully or do you sometimes like to embrace the challenge?
We’ve been very selective with remixes this year. I like to work on cool projects, music that I would listen to. So I may hear something in a particular track and think yes I want to work on my own version of this. It was the same with my remix of Marian Hill’s ‘Down’ and San Holo’s ‘The Future’. Both amazing original tracks and I had to put my own style to them. I do say no to a lot of high profile remixes though – for me it just has to make sense.
On the subject of that, your own Flow Freedom Festival took place in April, how was it to curate an event of that size in your home country?
We have done club shows and festival stages in the past so having the chance to curate an open-air festival was truly amazing, especially because of the message behind it.
Flow itself is doing really well at the moment. What was the inspiration behind creating it and what do you hope to achieve with it?
Flow started as a weekly radio show in Holland and progressed naturally to club nights. We put a few events on in The Netherlands and quickly progressed to taking the party international, having curated shows in the UK, Belgium, and Croatia, as well as running stages at festivals. The idea behind the concept is the flow of music, something that is a bit of a journey. We launched a label too, Listen To Flow Records, which is in the middle of a rebrand so look out for new music coming soon.
The Netherlands is known for producing a lot of EDM and Trance DJs. How did you find inspiration to dive into house and deep house?
There is also a solid house and deep house community in Holland, and its growing a lot. These events and their following offered me a platform to pursue this sound.
Who are some of the producers and DJs you look up to today?
I’m a big fan of Luciano, I actually played with him a few weeks ago, which was a special night for me, he was really cool. Also Guy Gerber – he’s a DJ that has been consistently producing quality music and his sets take me on a journey.
You played at Gorilla recently and are back there for Take soon. Would you say your music is influenced by the city’s musical heritage in any way?
I’m not sure my music is necessarily influenced by Manchester itself, but I definitely have a lot of respect for the music that has come out of the city. It’s a great place to play and I am super excited for the Warehouse Project later this month.
If you could describe your objective as a DJ with your sound, what would it be? What do you strive to achieve every time you play in front of a crowd?
I aim to take the crowd on a bit of a journey. My sets can go from deeper more melodic tracks to pumping tech house. I also try to get to peoples emotions working during my sets.