Born and raised in the heart of Europe Franz vu Letzebuerg aka FRZVL grew up with many influences going from 80’s club culture to the New Jersey Deep House and US Garage. His roots are based in the golden area of dance music. From Larry Levan, Tee Scott, Shep Pettibone to Frankie Knuckles or David Morales, his taste always reminds the soulful side of Dance Music.
in 2011, on his own imprint Big Box Recordings, Franz released «Brand New Heights» featuring guest vocalist Mandel Turner. This track features on the Japanese compilation « Melodieux » alongside Dimitri from Paris or Dj Kawasaki. Will follow a number of quality releases «Love Take All of Me» «Chameleon» «Find A Way» that were widely acclaimed, supported by many DJ’s around the globe and remixed by finest remixers such as Aliwud, Terry Hunter or Dj Spinna... This will solidly establish Franz as a producer who always want to bridge the world of House Music with Soul & Funk.
Beat by beat FRZVL will continue to bring his unique sound to the world. A sound made with feeling, vibes and legacy.
We had a chance to talk to him, so enjoy your reading and check out his latest releases from him.
Hi ! Where can we find you right now? How did you start your day?
Hello , I’m currently spending most of my times in the studio, creating music and collaborating with other artists, musicians and vocalists.
I typically start my day checking my mails first then I try to progress on my different projects, it could the writing of a new song, booking with musicians, scheduling releases but also the promotion of the release because I also have my own label called Big Box Recordings which distributes music digitally and physically on vinyl.
Then I switch on producing music and creating some new tracks that I could present to singers and vocalists.
What was your first foray into the world of electronic music?
It began a long time ago in the early 90’s when I was listening to Dimitri from Paris on the french nationwide radiostation NRJ, then I start to collecting vinyl records, I was a big fan of the Masters at Work early production and the Def mix sound from David Morales and Frankie Knuckles, all those records influence me a lot.
I bought my first 12’’ in the early 90’s, one of my first record was Was Not Was “Listen like thieves“ remixed by Danny Tenaglia which has been released in 1991 !! So long time ago. Later I started to produce records later around 2006 but did not really break through until 2011 when I produced a song for Mandel Turner called “Brand New Heights” remixed by Rocco on my label Big Box Recordings.
When did the idea of starting a project start to take shape? Has it always been something you wanted to do?
Starting a new project relies on my different influences. I like when it sounds warm and organic and the idea could come from many different things. For the latest tracks I’ve produced with Erik Rico “Worth Fighting For” (release on the 18th June) I was influenced by the early Chicago house music and by the 80’s R&B and boogie jams.
How would you define the sound ? What is the concept behind?
My sound always reminds on the soulful side of things. I try to keep a vibe on the record, you can listen to it in a club but also at home, I like when a record works for the dancefloor but also has a kind of emotion in, that could be the song or the keys but it has to bring a vibe, a feeling… That’s why I always work with different musicians and vocalists, to upgrade my sound and make it more organic, music is always better when you produce it in collaboration with other people. What artists are you interested in these days?
So many artists I like and I find very interesting to work with … Concerning the vocalists you have Teni Tinks from London, I really appreciate her voice, she has a powerful voice, it reminds me of the great gospel singers. If she reads those lines I’ll be happy to purpose her some tracks.
I’d also like to work with big names vocalist like Byron Stingily that I appreciate for many years.
On the producer and remixer side, I like Domenico Torti, a french producer who is really the king of edits, he’s not that famous but he has done remixes for many including Daft Punk and Dimitri From Paris.
I ‘m currently having discussion with him to remix my next single with Erik Rico “So Unreal”, I forecast to release this one in September.
How do you manage to combine such disparate genres? How do you manage to give them unity and harmony? What do they have in common for you?
I like the idea of blending style, I mean House Music has always been influenced by many different music and not just disco. Even if I like Disco to death I find interesting to incorporate different elements in my music. It could be sounds from the 80s like on my project with Erik Rico. The idea to produce an EP for Erik came to me when I was in Los Angeles in 2019, I was listening to loads of R&B music from the 80’s like SOS band and other R&B jams produced by Jam & Lewis. So I took my old TR808 and starting programming, makin’ it sound like mixing R&B music with early Chicago house stuff. It is a 4 track project with Erik, one track “People get up” is already released, the 2ndone is forecast on the 18th June and it is called “Worth Fighting for”, on this one I have sampled the NYC classic George Kranz called “Din Daa Daa”.
On this project I worked almost exclusively with some vintage sound like the TR808 or Juno 60, 106, so it really helps to achieve this vintage kind of sound but my arrangement and mix remains contemporary, I like to give a modern twist.
But on an another project I can work with a guitar player or bass guitar player, it really depends on the project but I like when It sounds really warm and organic. How would you define your sound?
If I should describe my sound, I would say it’s a combination of different elements, a melting pot ! I have very diverse influences, from Soul, Jazz Funk to Latin Jazz or Disco but my main roots come from the club culture from the 80’s and 90’s, I like Arthur Baker, Shep Pettibone, Frankie Knuckles, Masters at Work, these guys really influenced me and I started to listen to House Music really since the beginning of the 90’s.
My sound today is based around that early period, today in my music I try to retrieve the vibes and emotions I had when listening to those records back then. It is not nostalgic but It inspires me to create new things and to presents this sound in a modern way and style.
Can you tell us something about your current or future projects?
I have a single with Erik Rico coming on the 18th June on every digital platform, it is called “Worth Fighting For” and it is a really good one !
I will have then 2 other singles with Erik Rico “So unreal” and “Let’s fall in Love” which is an R&B jam, they will be released in September.
I will also release one Ragga House track featuring Baskerville Jones and KG on vocals, this is remixed by the legendary DJ Spinna and will be out for this summer.
All these and many others will be released on my label Big Box Recordings.