“It’s not easy to describe my sound. This is because I play a large spectrum of the house genre, as long as it fits into one set. I do have a big focus on drums and percussion throughout my sets and productions. So if I had to try to put it into a genre, it’s groovy Latin house with lots of vibe!” – Franky Rizardo Few could have predicted the way in which Dutch house blew up in recent years. It’s now undeniably one of the biggest currencies in global dance music, with everyone from hip-hop megastars to the reggaeton community embracing its chunky, syncopated style in some way, shape or form. You’ve heard about your Jacks and your Lukes; now it’s time for one Franky Rizardo to step into the spotlight.
Serendipitously born during the second summer of love – acid house’s take-off year, 1988 – Franky gorged himself on Holland’s burgeoning dance music scene from an early age. Daft Punk’s groundbreaking Homework was the first album he ever bought, and by the age of 14 he was DJing and creating music of his own. His newfound obsession soon blossomed into something bigger than just a bedroom hobby, with a residency at renowned Dutch club Manhattan soon following and marking the start of his professional career.
Pouring all his efforts into DJing and producing and honing his percussive, high-impact take of house music, he soon found himself playing across France, Switzerland, Germany and Spain. His production career soon began to find wings, with the young talent developing his style through techy and minimal moments while never looking focus of the key musical themes that he continues to represent today. He’s been in cahoots with most of his home country’s biggest stars for years now – collaborating with Hardwell on one of his earliest releases in 2006, remixing ascending hotshots Baggi Begovic and Sidney Samson in 2008, and since providing reworkings for Erick E, Sander Van Doorn, Fedde Le Grand and working alongside Bart B More.
While not yet as famed as these big names, he’s been a key proponent of the Dutch house sound and an integral part of the scene since it became big news – and well before that point too. His sound focuses on tribal rhythms, big Latin percussion, nagging little riffs and proper house music vocals; a resolutely peak-time, big-room proposition that’s bursting with flavour, colour and energy. Music for wallflowers, this is not – but by the same token, it’s not as ‘banging’ or mindless as some of the not-too-distant sounds his fellow countrymen are churning out.
A perfect balance of soul and thump, if you will. Rizardo’s not looking for mainstream success for the sake of it, however, as some essential be-all-and-end-all. He’s aiming for the club – not the charts. If crossover success comes his way, he’ll take it in his stride – but it’s not a concern for him. That’s not to say he’s not elated, proud and in admiration of what his colleagues in the scene have achieved, though.