French Fries | Interview
This February past, I had the chance to catch up with Valentino Cazani, the bass-music chameleon, French Fries, at Montreal’s internationally renowned Igloofest. In an effortlessly cool accent, he discusses what would come to be his triumphant Yo Vogue EP, his passionate relationship with “Ghetto” music, and his big sister’s super cool petit ami.
With out further ado, I welcome French Fries -
LL: What were you looking forward to in playing Montreal this evening?
FF: Euuh, well, I knew it was crazy (laughs) ‘cuz I heard about the festival. I just knew it was crazy and it was really cold.
FF: Ya, I was really looking forward to ‘dis gig.
LL: What are you working on now; what are you hoping to produce in 2012?
FF: I have a next EP forthcoming on Dirtybird with a remix from Claude Von Stroke and a Leroy Peppers. And then we’re producing my sister’s album with Bambounou. Its kind of like R&B-Rap. So we have an EP coming, ‘den a mixtape, ‘den an album.
LL: Keepin’ busy.
FF: Yeah yeah.
LL: Where do you find yourself drawing influences from to make these records?
FF: Which one?
LL: All of them.
FF: Euuh, Ghetto music really (laughs).
FF: Yeah, Ghetto music from the UK, from Paris and America.
LL: Can you name names?
FF: Names? Sure: Pearson Sound, all the Dirtybird crew, that new Detroit – Chicago house scene, the UK scene obviously, and this big French move in Paris right now, like Sound Pelligrino, Young Gunz, Clek Clek Boom, which is my label, Brodinski as well.
LL: You mention the French movement going on right now; How do you think it defines itself in comparison to the American and UK movements. What makes the French movement unique?
FF: Everyone has his culture, right? I think the UK is bass-music, Garage, and that kind of stuff. America is really Ghetto, like Baltimore, Jersey, ‘dis kind of stuff. And Paris, I think is more a House scene. And we just try to mix everything with the house culture we have. So we try to mix the UK scene with our thing, and the Ghetto scene as well.
LL: I’d like to know about how you started in this industry; what first piece of hardware you bought? What were you listening to back then?
FF: Well basically, my father is sound engineer so I just grew up in a studio. I’ve just been playing when I was a kid, making rap-beats when I was like 10.
FF: Yeah, it was shit though (laughs). But you know, I’ve just been playing. And I just started DJ-ing when I was fourteen.
LL: And you’re how old now?
FF: I am twenty. So I’ve been six years. And cuz ‘dese guy, euh, Ministre X; Tchiky Al Dente, use to date my sister six years ago, and he’s a dj. And I was like: “Eugh, DJ. That looks so cool!” I was like “Can you teach me scratch and stuff?” And I just went to his club, Favela Chique, and, uh, he teach me how to play. I stay there for basically two years – had a residency. And, uh, I just began to make House music.
LL: And you were listening to the House music of, well, 2004, I guess, when you had this residency.
FF: Actually, I was listening to, uh, Ghetto music (laughs harder). Again, I was listening to Chicago house, Baltimore club music, and uh, Baile funk, the Ghetto music of Brazil – from Rio. He’s from Brazil, Ministre X, and I’m from South America, Uruguay.
LL: Thank you for your time, Valentino.
FF: Thank you, Low-Life.
“I wanna see you vogue, bitch.”
French Fries’ Yo Vogue EP -
And here’s a riveting mix that features Doc Daneeka and the man himself, put out only yesterday.