Hailing from Brisbane and coming fresh off his first headlining tour in Australia, I had the opportunity to meet with producer Young Franco, aka Joey Da Rin during his recent visit to LA. As our conversation covered everything from Pablo J and the Lobsterettes to sharing his future collaborations/releases, it’s evident Joey has an incredible enthusiasm towards his work as well as a remarkable appreciation for all kinds of music.
Not only is he a super nice dude, but his “future funk” house music has already earned him a steady fan base in Australia. Already having released two EPs, collaborating with many Australian artists, and gaining support from acts like Alison Wonderland and Cosmo’s Midnight, Young Franco is definitely one to check out.
Here’s some excerpts from our conversation:
First off, could you introduce yourself for listeners who aren’t familiar with Young Franco?
How would you describe your music? Tell us about yourself!
So my name’s Joseph Francis Da Rin and I’m from Australia. I grew up in Brisbane my whole life I went to school there, and I’m still living there now. In terms of my sound — well for example when I get in an Uber or taxi, and I ask them do you know house music? And they go, “Aw yeah!” I go on to explain my music is kind of house-y, kind of funky, but also hip-hop. It’s basically dance music, it’s just not bad like EDM.
I kind of started Franco probably 2 years ago now. I never properly released music under Joey Da Rin, I just kind of decided to go with Young Franco and release stuff under that name. I got it from my middle name Francis.
I wrote my first EP around 2 years ago as well. It was sort of a procrastination from studying and a bit of a release for me. I released it and it did ok — I did a few remixes, I also did a track with Joy (Close 2 U). I kept going from there I guess, also a track with UV Boi.
It was a progression really, waking up and doing music, making terrible hip hop and then making less terrible hip hop, making dance music and making slightly less terrible dance music — it was a pretty steady increase in wanting to make music and wasn’t like a snap decision. I was always into music, and kind of always doing something musically. I played piano and not for very long, I also used to play trumpet. I’d like to get back into it, play in a jazz band!
Could you elaborate on some of your influences? What kind of music did you grow up listening to?
It was a lot of inspiration of heaps of different artists that made me want to create my music. Well, at the start people like Onra were huge for me, all the French artists were amazing, like Justice. But even before that it was like Tribe Called Quest, Brand Nubian a lot of 90’s dudes.
It wasn’t gangster rap, it was rap more orientated around jazz music. In terms of people right now, I’m in love with the new Disclosure album Caracal.
You’ve been in LA for the past couple days, how are you liking it so far? Have you been to any shows? Are there any artists or producers from here that you met up with?
I hung out with a friend from Hotel Garuda, he’s based here. I didn’t really get do much in LA because I’m doing this project I can’t really talk about haha! I also saw Justin Bieber play, it was mostly an acoustic performance and was really good. I also saw Hermitude when they were here.
How would you describe the Australian music scene right now for those who don’t know? Obviously, there’s a lot of great producers coming out of there!
I never really analyze it from an outside view. There was some amazing acts in like ’07 ’08 like the Pre-Sets were great, and even bands were great too, like the Cat Empire were just amazing! There were heaps of stuff going on, and I guess the combination of technology the way, say, acts like Flume and Chet Faker blew up in a way that was unprecedented.
It made people realize that a guy can sit in their bedroom and make a number one hit or like a top ten which is an incredible concept. Just the combination of good music and good culture — it’s getting better and better. All these artists started popping up, and all these venues started popping up, it got noticed. So it’s all kind a natural progression, you get the good artists through and they get recognized. You end up having just a great variety.
It’s good because the music scene in Australia is also really diverse. There’s amazing house music and trap music. It’s not just one certain genre like UK garage or French house, which I think will give it more longevity. It’s not gonna be like a huge peak of certain type of music and then people will get bored of it. Now Australia is on the map, in terms of music.
What about the Hip Hop scene?
Allday is huge in Australia. There’s also a rapper named Remi as well, he’s unreal!
Could you tell me more about working with other Australian artists? I’m a big fan of the track you did with UV Boi!
Well UV Boi and I are both from Brisbane and it’s pretty easy to just hangout. The people in Australian music — it’s not a huge amount of people, so you can kind of be friends with most artists.
You know say someone like Flume or Chet Faker promotes other Australian music it kind of helps everyone, it trickles down and people start looking at what artists are doing in Australia. I think Australia’s small enough that other artists are aware of each other.
An Australian producer to watch right now would be Oshan, he’s gonna be huge I reckon. Another guy called Tomb Boss he just makes great house with Disclosure-y type synths. Also MXXWLL.
You also just wrapped up your first national headlining tour in Australia, Congrats! How was the experience of a headlining show different from what you’ve done in the past?
It was the best run of shows I’ve ever done, it’s different from going into a club. For example, Brisbane ended up selling out which is unreal! It’s exciting because it was a lot more work, but it was also a lot more rewarding. Everyone actually had to buy a ticket and be there.
You can sometimes have a mixed bag with a club. For the Brisbane show Blair was in town, UV was in town, so they came up hung out. Also some friends did support, and my parents were there as well which was really cool.
Favorite show/concert you’ve been to?
I’m a big fan of Snakehips, and they did Listen Out with Bondax. Seeing them in the same show was amazing! Every Time I see Hayden James it just blows my mind, he’s just phenomenal. Friends inspire me most though, like Kilter’s live set, it’s the best in Australia. My first Splendour was also really great.
Just off the top of my head Good Kid m.A.A.d City, Childish Gambino’s Because the Internet… I’ve listened to it a stupid amount of times. Chance the Rapper, also the first Disclosure album is just a huge highlight and the second.
The Flight Facilities album and the Frank Ocean album. I haven’t listened to the new Goldlink album through and through but I want to. I open my sets with Spectrum.
What does Young Franco do when he’s not producing?
Just go for runs, I try to read… I don’t read that much. This is pretty much a full time job so I just do a lot of writing and touring.
Jordan Rakei he’s a guy from Australia and I’m in love with his voice. A lot of soul acts, and obviously the Disclosure’s and Daft Punk’s of the world!
What are your top five tracks at the moment?