Franklin De Costa

German DJ gets paranoid at Keva. This European big hitter brings his own brand of dance, and some old-school favourites, to Keva this weekend.

DJ feature

What is the German dance scene like and how has it influenced you?
It was a big influence on me. A lot of great artists have built their career there while also influencing the German scene. People like Sven Väth and Ricardo Villalobos, and labels like Playhouse and Perlon have influenced me and a lot people around the world. I live near Frankfurt, which means I can go to great clubs and hear those great artists.

It sometimes seems like the global dance scene is particularly focused on European DJs and producers…
The focus on European DJs is only a problem because it’s generated that way by the media. You don’t need expensive equipment to produce techno tracks any more – all you need is a laptop, so good music is coming from all over the world now. And the internet lets you distribute dance music everywhere in the world, so that gives more opportunities to a lot of new artists.

What can we expect from your set when you play Paranoia?
You will hear some funky music, from house to minimal techno. It will take a modern approach to traditional Chicago house, with a mixture of old and new elements.

What’s the secret to making a good set?
Well I think it’s just having the experience or talent to build up the tension in the crowd, no matter what genre you play.

You also produce tracks. How would you describe your tunes?
A mixture, from deep, soulful house to techno with a futuristic edge. A good dance track should have a good beat – there are a lot great dance tracks with only percussive elements.

What was the first album you ever bought?
Maybe it was a [German post-punk/new wave] vinyl compilation. That wasn’t really important, though, because I listened to a lot of my dad’s music. He had a big collection of soul, rock and jazz.

How did they influence you?
When I was younger, I preferred music that told a story without a lot of words. I think techno and house still have something in common with jazz in that a DJ’s set is like a spontaneous music session. And I had some anger in me when I was young, so I liked metal too – but metal with a more abstract approach.

How and why did you get into dance music?
I was a teenager in Germany in the 90s and at that time techno and house were getting bigger and bigger. I got my first mix tapes at school from friends. I loved instrumental music, and the experience of techno also brought a physical aspect as I was going to this club called Omen with friends.

Of all the cities you’ve played, which has the best clubbing scene and why?
That’s not easy to answer. I guess Berlin has one of the biggest active scenes, but only because a lot people come to party and artists come to live there. I’ve had some great nights all over the world and they have all had their special moments.

How do you feel about playing Dubai?
It will be the first time for me to play in Dubai so I am pretty excited. Daso, a friend of mine had a lot fun with the Paranoia crowd in Dubai, so I guess it is going to be a good night.

Franklin De Costa plays Keva on August 7.

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