In conversation with DJ Folamour

French house producer, DJ and performer caught our interest with his new album 'The Journey'. In this exclusive interview, Folamour chats with Transparent about his recording and production process, how he got into music and shares his most played songs on his Transparent Speaker in a playlist for us.

The album is a brilliant showcase of Folamour's depth of expertise and sensitive manner, with a futuristic flare that retains the essential characteristics of classic disco imprints.
Folamour began playing the drums in his grandparents' backyard in Southern France at the age of six. They thought that he had too much energy and that music would help him channel it. A few years later, he began experimenting with the guitar, and as a teenager, he began playing and singing in a few bands.

Once he moved to Lyon, he had to stop playing due to noise complaints from his neighbours. However, one day, a friend found his vinyls and suggested him to share his record collection with others by playing them, and that's how he recalls becoming a DJ. Due to his skepticism of computers as musical instruments, it took him a while to get into music production. But when he fell sick and was forced to spend two months in bed, he purchased Ableton and started his Folamour project. This was back in 2014. He later on formed his own record label, FHUO.

When asked what his first music-related memory is, he recalls listening to Oasis, experiencing something he had never felt before. It was his first passion in music, with nonstop songs revolving in his mind for weeks; everything stemmed from this. He believes that his affinity for pop music and heavy melodies stems from listening to Oasis, The Cure, Radiohead, and Lenny Kravitz throughout his adolescence.

You mostly play soul, funk and jazz... What inspires your mixtapes and sets?
- I think the music I play always relates to unity, love and hope in a way or another. It's about self love, harmony between people, having trust in the future and fighting for what we believe is right. African music probably is what inspires me the most in my sets but also south American music, funk, soul. It comes in many different forms.

You created a playlist for us, is this the type of music we'll be hearing?
- I built the playlist around an idea of travelling through the songs. It's a journey from the beginning to the end, like my sets!

What is your process for finding music?
- Just spending countless hours listening to entire discographies from artists and labels on Youtube and Spotify. You can't miss on anything if you listen to everything! (ha ha)

What's your best gig up to date?
- It's funny cause I would have answered differently last week but a few days ago I played at Olympia, France's most legendary concert venue in Paris, for the first show of my Power To The PPL A/V Show Tour and it was unforgettable and truly perfect in every way. It's hard to explain but this one was something else, I felt exactly where I should be, in the right place in this world. A true achievement of everything I've done music-wise.

You recently released your new album The Journey. Tell us about it.
- The process of creating the album started in 2019 after the release of Ordinary Drugs, I felt like I wanted to go further into recording live instruments, vocals, writing lyrics, strings, horns etc... I was also in the busiest period of my life, doing 14 shows every month of the year, touring all the time, I was living in London, away from my loved ones, I decided to talk about journeys, psychological / personal but also geographical, I could feel they were both linked in me. I started writing the songs and everything came naturally. It was a really hard album to write but because it was intimate and deeply personal. Even tho I wanted to isolate myself on the production of this album with no use of samples, just me locked in a studio with all my instruments, I wanted to collaborate with artists I loved and knew personally and I reached out to Tertia, SG and Zeke who said yes instantly and as the rest, we wrote the song like it was meant to be like this. I'm proud to have them on the record, it's been beautiful to work together.
Is there any track that you included in The Journey that you are particularly fond of? I personally love the Lost in space with SG Lewis…
- Rue de Paradis and St Moskov probably are my two favorite songs on the album. They have such a deep meaning and it was a struggle to use the right instruments to represent everything I wanted to express in these two songs, they'll always have a special room in my heart. Rue de Paradis is all about these hot summer days, where everything is burning outside, when you're bored lay down in a garden somewhere thinking about life but it's also about the pleasures of these moments of calm, of void. About the small pleasures of life that give it meaning. St Moskov is its opposite. It's about the coldness of big cities, how humans are living with no harmony with each other, and about loneliness too. The most meaningful song of the album surely is "Just Want Happiness". I wrote it to resume everything else said on the album in one song. It tells the story of life with its ups and downs, hopes and despair, summers and winters, all at once with its various phases. And the Music Video probably is one of the craziest ever recorded so it has to be this one ! (ha ha)

Listen to Folamours' playlist here

Folamour's choice

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