In Conversation: Young Franco

It’s a busy time for Joey Da Rin (otherwise known as Young Franco), having just dropped latest single ‘Don’t U Want Me’ ft. Blair de Milo, he’s hit the road for a series of shows – his first ever headline shows, to be exact.

While he was in Melbourne for the first show of the tour, Rochelle caught up with the producer and resident ‘future-funk’ expert.

2014 saw you playing Splendour In The Grass – warming up the Red Bull Music Academy stage all weekend, then 2015 saw you playing one of the main stages at capacity. How did experiencing Splendour in such a different way feel?

Really good. Last year, that 2014 year, I got really sick and I had these early starts. Every morning I was just shattered. It was a really good experience, but it was just such a nice thing to see progression. Those midday sets (if not earlier) were cool and a lot of fun, but it was nice to see it all become a bit more tangible the next year. So yeah, Splendour has definitely already been a highlight of this year. It was really cool.


‘Don’t U Want Me’ dropped a few weeks ago. You worked with Blair de Milo on that one – what was the production process like? How did it come together?

I had that song since maybe January/February, and I had all this other stuff as well. I’d released the Franco and Friends EP, and I had that song – but I kind of put it on the back burner for a little bit. In between then, I released another track, toured with KLP, went and toured the UK then got back and had Splendour, then started up uni – but I went back to the song, and I still really liked it.

So, I finished it production wise then sent it through to Blair, and was like ‘hey what do you think of this?’ he sent me something back and I liked it, so we worked on it for a week or two, recorded it, mixed it, mastered it and then made it rain. (Laughs). Hahaha no, it’s doing okay. I’m really proud of it. It’s kind of been more tangible, this one. It’s exciting.


It seems like a bit more of a progression, I don’t know. You read on the press releases and shit that ‘it sounds more mature’ – but it does? It sounds like a step into a different direction – you’re trying new things, but also keeping that older element to it.

I actually think so. I’ve been working hard on being like ‘well, what is Franco to me?’ and what have I been into? Where do I want to take it? I’m glad you noticed that, because it’s important to me that you can see progress. You can’t be the same overtime – you don’t want to be.


You’ve had a really impressive run of support slots recently – touring with Alison Wonderland last year, with Miami Horror earlier this year. But this is your first run of ticketed headline shows. How does it feel to be playing shows that are yours?

It’s like, so many emotions. Nervous, excited, tired, not tired. It’s awesome. It’s just crazy. This morning I was just like ‘I am so keen’ and then this afternoon I was like ‘what happens if no one comes?’ But I’ve seen the ticket sales, and it’s been weirdly good. And, you could be at a club, you could have two people that care, but at your own ticket show, you could have X amount of people who care, and I feel like that’s infinitely better. You’re not playing at a random Melbourne bounce club!


You mentioned before that you’ve just gone back to uni, while at the same time you’re juggling your musical career as Young Franco as well as other things. How do you keep everything going?

I don’t know. It’s just like with anyone who does a full time job, and then does uni. It’s hard but it’s like anyone. I don’t think that I’m exceptionally busy, it’s just the stuff that I do is maybe a little bit different to someone else who is working full time. I probably work similar hours to another full time person – it’s just slightly unique.


A few months ago you played a series of shows in the UK. What was that experience like? Surely it would of been very different to playing shows here?

Different, but a really good different. It’s very refreshing going to a place like the UK and realising that there’s actually a bigger world than tiny old Brisbane/Australia/Whatever, you know? It’s pretty exciting to go to a festival, and have people at a show. It’s weird, it’s so good. You never expect anything from it, then once you go there…

When I was there I went to this festival that was all house. Techno, disco, and it’s just in their blood. It’s ingrained into their culture – they’ve had it for 20/30 years. It’s exciting to see stuff like that. Obviously you want to be hitting the UK market and the American market – where there is a market? It’s cool, it’s exciting.


You’ve dropped some pretty massive collaborations over the past year. People like JOY., UV Boi, KLP and Feki just to name a few. How important do you think collaboration is to electronic music?

I think it’s important for your own growth. Sitting in a room with someone who has a totally different outlook and a totally different way of doing things is just refreshing, You sit in a room and you might do the same thing over and over, but when someone else brings something new to the table – you kind of go, ‘oh, that’s how you do it, I don’t know why I didn’t think of that before.’

It’s cool to take a different perspective, I think. Mould two different styles, or two different genres.


What’s next for Young Franco?

I’ve got LA which is in November, and I can’t really talk to much out that one. But, I’m excited. Then I’ve got a run of shows around December which are like festivals and new years things. I’m going to try and keep busy, but also I’ve got another single I’m working on now and I’ve almost finished it, it’s pretty close. Then I’ve got another one I’m trying to finish which could turn into 10 tracks and then I’ll have an album? Laughs. Nah, I don’t know. I’ve just got a few things all over the place.


Lastly, was it weird seeing your face in a shop window?

Yeah. Yeah, it was weird. But it was cool-weird. I never saw the actual windows, I just got friends taking photos and stupid Snapchats. It was really great, I was excited to be part of that campaign.


Young Franco hits up Sydney, Perth and Brisbane next on the Don’t U Want Me tour.

 SAT 15 OCT Northcote Social Club.
 FRI 30 OCT Newtown Social Club.
 SAT 31 OCT Jack Rabbit Slims
SAT 07 NOV Black Bear Lodge


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