Interview: Five Minutes with Fonkynson

House music producer Fonkynson has released his latest offering, song titled ‘You Got It (ft Vaness)’. This song comes directly off of his upcoming album Falling(22 May 2020) via Lisbon Lux Records. The master engineering of the song was done by Mathieu Bameulle, who has worked with Bob Sinclar, Kavinsky, Sebastien Tellier and  Philip Glass. Fonkyonson has opened for acclaimed acts such as Fakear, Etienne de Crecy, Zimmer, French 79 and Darius. He has also performed as a DJ alongside esteemed acts The Magician and Birdy Nam Nam.

We find out what makes Fonkynson tick in this exclusive interview. 

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

Both, sometimes I wake up with a song in my head, and the challenge of the day will be the transcript into the DAW, sometimes I tweak a synth, a new toy, to see how it works. Suddenly, there’s a sound that immediately calls for a chord progression, or an arp, or a melody, and then I try to build a song around it.

Does your material feature any collaborations?

Yes, the new single “You Got It” features Vaness, a Toronto female singer.

What’s on your current playlist?

The new Childish Gambino is pretty dope, some DAO, Burrito Brown, Oddiseee, The Geek x Vrv, Pomrad…

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

I try to connect with the audience, even if it’s only a DJ set, small things like clapping your hands, looking at them, rising your glass to cheers. It’s a small interaction but it changes it all compared with just looking at your CDJ’s.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

I often try to have the purest and controlled sound, I’m a sound geek, and I’m pretty maniac. So I play with the plugins a lot, experiment with lfos, distortion, sidechain, clean ways to make a sound dirtier if that makes any sense.

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

Well, it all starts with a good espresso, then I get to the studio, take a few minutes to see what’s new in the world, in the music, then I launch my DAW. If I have a precise idea, I try to make it concrete and alive. Otherwise, I play with some instruments, synths, samplers, until something interesting grabs my ear. Then I go make another espresso, pet my cat, back in the studio, if that doesn’t work I go out, take a walk, go eat somewhere cool. It’s not guaranteed to have a productive day in the studio. But I found a trick that can be useful to others if I’m not on a creative day, I let go, and instead, I organize things like my soundbanks or do custom drum kits that sound good, more technical work.. So I don’t lose my day trying to go against the current.

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

Probably the first time I went to clubs and raves, was when I witnessed the energy of electronic music and the crowd. I instantly wanted to DJ and a musician, to compose electronic music of my own. The first time I had the chance to play in a packed club room, I knew I made the right choice, man it feels good.

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

Some water, and a drink!

Any emerging artists on your radar?

Sebjin from France really impresses me production-wise, he’s an alien. And the singer Desiire, from Toronto, who made a feature with me on ‘Mind Games’. I  can’t believe this guy is not famous already. Incredibly talented.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Doing something else than studio time, a walk in a park, meditation, it all comes to my mind naturally when I’m doing something else.

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

I have a 808/909 hardware clone for my drums, a Maschine Studio, some nice guitars, the synth I use most on every track is probably Tal-Uno LX, a clone of Juno 60.

Any side projects you’re working on?

I do some music for advertising and business videos too. I had the chance to explore a lot more than electronic music, but rock, orchestral too.

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

Yes a lot, as I said I’m a sound geek, I won’t stop until it’s perfect. So I’ve been reading a lot about music production, watched thousands of tutorials, I couldn’t stand having so many plugins and not knowing what they’re supposed to do. Now I’d say I’m satisfied with it, but every day there’s a new thing to learn, a new or old trick you never tested. That’s also what is exciting about music production.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

Well, I have an album with a lot of features coming up later this spring!

Famous last words?

“It ain’t over till it’s over”. I think it comes from Rocky. Great philosopher.

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