In a seemingly endless wave of young Australian DJ’s and producers flooding our airwaves, Brisbane product Young Franco stands out as one to watch. This Civil Engineering student is producing some of the more mature sounding piano house tracks this side of the equator has heard, and following a mammoth tour with Alison Wonderland and Wave Racer, and a few hectic Splendour in the Grass days, Franco has been announced on the Stereosonic lineup, and following the release of two-track EP Close 2 U he’s been jetting off around the country spreading the Franco love. Cam Warner had a chat with him and found out a few things, like what it’s like to party with Alison Wonderland, and how his name has nothing to do with looking a whole lot like a young James Franco.
So you’ve been on your own tour since August, before that you did Splendour and before that a tour with Alison Wonderland, are you freakin’ exhausted?
Yeah, you know what I had a nap today. It depends, sometimes it’s fly in fly out stuff and that’s okay. When you’re on the road it can be pretty full on though. I’m studying at the moment too so it can be tricky to fit everything in.
How has the tour been?
It’s been really good man, a really good response and it seems like people are really starting to get up on Franco. I’ve gotten quite a few people who know the songs, really good turnouts, and it seems like people are actually there to see Franco rather than just get drunk. I mean hopefully, you never really know why someone’s there.
Tell me about the Alison Wonderland tour were the warehouse parties pretty wild?
They were really wild, they were just huge. Everything just tied in together really well. Wavey killed it, Alison killed it, and the crowds were really responsive. It kind of fit well because I was playing housey disco stuff then Wavey came in and played his kind of glittery future shit and then Alison came on and smashed it with more heavy stuff. It was just a really good fit of artists I think. So the whole night built from my more chilled out piano based house into Alison’s heavy stuff.
Did you, Wave Racer, and Alison Wonderland run amok? Any shenanigans you can tell us about?
The first few shows were pretty intense, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane were over three days and the flights were at 7 a.m so it was pretty full on. But that last Sydney show was pretty loose, we had a week to prepare for it and it was at the end of the week so yeah, things got loose.
Tell me about Splendour, how did it compare to last year and did people take a bit more notice of you this year?
It was pretty good, it was stretched over those few days. People came in and I was able to build it from midday and just play songs that I like, because they were long sets. So you’ve got to prepare yourself for that. When people were into it, it made it easier. As a spectator the natural amphitheater was great. You didn’t have to be behind a thousand people you could actually see really clearly, especially for things like Outkast. DJ’s and Producers have a dynamic between themselves that no other genre really has.
When one guy comes out with something good a whole lot of other people will remix it and put their own spin on it. Is it thrilling to get your stuff remixed by Benson and Luke Million etc?
Yeah it’s really cool, you listen to a song in a particular way for so long, so then somebody else’s interpretation of it is awesome. It’s someone else’s style on your song. The songs came out really nice too.
Have you ever heard a remix of one of your songs and thought, shit, that’s better than my track?
Like, every single time. I think when you’ve heard a song so many time you can be like oh man not this again. When someone puts their spin on it it’s just exciting and new. But I think you still like your own song better because of all the work that went into it. There’s all these little things that people put to the forefront that you forgot about that and they make you think oh cool, I forgot about that.
Do you think EDM in Australia is in a pretty good place right now?
Mate, it’s been great. There are just so many cool people coming out with really original stuff. It’s really exciting to hear people you know putting out really cool stuff, it’s refreshing. It’s very exciting times.
Who are you into at the moment?
I have been listening to a lot of albums lately. Vic Mensa, I love Childish Gambino, I listen to a lot of rappers. I’ve been slowly getting into Drake and there’s some really cool shit. I just like albums and respect when people create a body of work that can last for years and years.
Is that one of your goals to create a bigger body of work, an album?
Not necessarily, I think it’s a different thing for someone like me. It’s probably more applicable for me to just release EP’s and Single’s. Like Flight Facilities, they’re releasing an album now but before that they just put out a bunch of awesome singles and then sort of worked them into EP’s.
So you look quite a lot like a young James Franco, is that where the name comes from?
No my middle name is actually Francis, so that’s where it comes from.
If you’re still in this game at age 45 will you simply be known as Franco?
Maybe middle aged Franco, go get a real job Franco, something like that.
The Close 2 U tour officially kicked off in August but you can still catch Young Franco at any of these dates.Sat 13 Sep // Smirnoff Snowdome – THREDBO Sat 20 Sep // The Factory – SUNSHINE COAST Sun 21 Sep // Stranded – STRADBROKE ISLAND Wed 24 Sep // The Wall – SYDNEY Thur 25 Sep // Baker St – GOSFORD Fri 26 Sep // The Small Ballroom – NEWCASTLE Sat 27 Sep // Carmens – MIRANDA Sat 4 Oct // Anyway – MELBOURNE Sat 11 Oct // Zhivago – ADELAIDE