Franky Rizardo interview: The flow of music

As a successful 2017 nears it's final months, we had a chat with one of Defected's main men

Amelia Ward

Last updated: 3rd Nov 2017

Image: Franky Rizardo (source)

One of house music's most established names, Franky Rizardo is a DJ, a producer, a label boss, radio host, dance music brand and festival owner, and he's not even 30 yet. One of Holland's most respected exports of late, 2017 has certainly shaped up to be an important one for the all rounder.

Although he's released music on Nic Fanciulli's Saved and his own LTF Records, he has become one of the front runners for the one and only Defected, taking the institution around the world and becoming a name synonymous with the genre, whilst remaining eclectic and refreshingly diverse.

Not content with releasing and playing music around the world, he created Flow Freedom Festival back in April, the Flow brand fast becoming an iconic name on the house music landscape both across Europe and increasingly internationally. With his label, LTF (aka Listen To Flow) proudly championing the newest up and coming talent, it's clear that Franky's name is one that is going absolutely nowhere.

We caught up with him ahead of his upcoming UK gigs

Hi Franky, where are you now and what are you up to over the next few days?

I’m now on my way home after a few days of touring Europe, having stopped off in the UK for Creamfields and Ibiza for Defected at Eden. 

Yeah, we caught you at Creamfields, it was a great set, but now we're approaching the end of festival season, could you tell us your highlights so far? Surely Defected Croatia has to be up there...

I’ve been lucky to play some really amazing festivals and club shows this summer. Highlights include Extrema Beligum where I hosted my own stage with my Flow brand, Verknipt Festival in Amsterdam, shows in Ibiza at both Eden and Sankeys, and of course Defected Croatia. 

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. 

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.

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.

What else are you working on for the rest of the year?

Well, I’ve just done an Essential Mix for BBC Radio 1, that was at the beginning of September so go check it out! My remix of Camelphat & Elderbrook’s Cola is now out on Defected – the reaction to this one has been crazy over the summer so was really excited to get this one out. Next will be a remix for one of my all-time favourites – John Tejada’s ‘Sweat On The Walls’ and then after that, I’ll be releasing an EP on Joris Voorn’s Rejected label.

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