With the warmer months not too far away, I’ve been pretty keen to find some summer beats to put on at house parties and be my soundtrack to beach days. Generally to create a sense of euphoria that will make me forget about my sunburn ready white skin until March. Thankfully, 21-year-old Brisbane DJ Joey Da Rin, better known by his alter ego Young Franco, more than brought summer vibes and a real party atmosphere to the Northcote Social Club. I first heard of Young Franco through Alison Wonderland’s first series of warehouse parties in 2014, and I did enjoy the tunes on the night – granted it was a bit of a blur, warehouse party and all that. But in his own headline show, touring his new single ‘Don’t You Want Me’ (ft. Blair de Milo); Young Franco definitely gave the punters and myself a set to remember.
What really kept me entertained throughout the set was Franco’s willingness to mix genres and do it in the most non-jarring way possible. Remixing everything from Drake, Missy Elliot, Wu-Tang Clan, and the Fresh Prince theme song, it really was a musical journey through his influences of house, disco, hip-hop and funk. Getting the crowd well and truly warmed up, Franco laid down more of his own tracks, with gems from his 2015 EP Franco & Friends standing out. ‘Talkin’ Bout It’ and ‘Don’t Stop’ were impossible not to dance to, while huge track Brooklyn was just about the banger of the night.
The calypso vibes were in full effect with Franco’s killer remix of SAFIA’s Paranoia, Ghosts & Other Sounds, creating a peak sense of true euphoria that was evident by the whole crowd refusing to stop dancing the full set. Moving through some deep house influences, Franco put his own spin on Disclosure bangers Voices, When A Fire Starts To Burn and recent hit Holding On, showing off other sides to his sound to keep the audience on their toes.
Finishing up with heavy hitters like Close 2 U (ft. JOY) and the tune everyone was waiting for, Don’t U Want Me, Franco really delivered an energetic and truly fun set. Constantly talking to the audience, Snapchatting, even wearing a fan’s sunnies for a song or two; the Brisbane up-and-comer really has the charismatic stage presence to back up his skills on the decks, creating an impressive live act.
Quite often when a DJ mixes genres, it always seems forced and too deliberate, but Young Franco just simply goes about creating a party atmosphere through good danceable music, whilst maintaining his own unique sound. Young by moniker, hardly young by talent and musical knowledge, here’s to more of the same over this summer and beyond.