Lavvy Levan (Friday Fox Recordings) Q&A

Hi Lavvy and welcome to Magazine Sixty. You founded Friday Fox Recordings in 2013 along with Christian B. How would you describe the highs and lows of running a record label since then?

Hey Greg, thanks for having me…. well we all know that the music business is not what it once was, so first and foremost you have to 100% love what you’re doing, cause if it’s just about the money then I don’t think that’s really sustainable. But we knew what we wanted to achieve with Friday Fox, and we also knew it might take a while, but we’ve stuck with it and I hope people feel the love and dedication that we put in. For me personally all the hard work is worthwhile when you get sent a video of one of your releases being dropped all over the world and you see people dancing and smiling. Nothing better than the feeling that you’ve helped people forget their worries and have a good time.

Your current release is by London Fields: Find Our Love. What attracted you to the track, and what do you look for when deciding to sign something?

We really loved the fact that the artist behind the London Fields project is a well established producer, most known for slightly more pop-driven dance, but he wanted the chance to stretch out and experiment somewhat.. and the result is very strong, this adventurous side is perfect for Friday Fox; the whole EP is really varied. I am naturally drawn to the unusual and quirky, for me that’s how we innovate – and this EP really fits the bill, especially the title track ‘Find Our Love’ which is warm and beachy, but has enough quirky features to appeal to those who are seeking something a little more avant-garde; a great balance.

buy: https://www.traxsource.com/title/850874/find-our-love

The label’s releases are often defined by their musicality. How important are traditional musical aspects to you? And do you think anything has been lost through technology and the ready availability of the Internet?

Most of the team at Friday Fox are ‘of a certain age’, so we cling to traditional music and production values where possible – I think it makes a stronger track. Certainly, on productions from Christian and myself we always try to use homegrown elements including drums, percussion and mouth-effects, that way it feels unique from the start. I think there is an element of production being too easy to do these days, but you’ve still got to find your own unique groove and that takes talent. We are always trying to push musicality whether it’s the live trumpets of Michael Oberling, the jazz-funk keys of Rapson or my vocals, and we have plenty of projects in the pipeline that will continue in that vein.

Which records and artists have inspired you most (Dance or otherwise)?

Personally, I grew up in a House filled with Funk and Disco, and I pretty much have my parents to thank for my taste in general. I did find my own way in my teen years getting caught up in the Hardcore/Jungle sound with artists like 4 Hero and Goldie really shaping me. Looking into the samples used in the 90s led me back to Disco, Jazz and Funk and then I finally came full circle back to House. I do find that I am drawn to those who just do their own thing, the non-conformists – artists like Roisin Murphy.

How did you get into DJ’ing? How would you describe the music you like to play?

My first experience was in 93, DJing as a youngster on a local pirate station with Christian, this was mainly back in the Jungle days. I caught the bug, and with my friend Matt Rozeik, we explored DJing with vinyl and played around with different techniques – even to the point where we would have the same record on both decks and offset them by a half-beat to create a syncopation, then bring it back in time to get some natural phasing. I still try and DJ with vinyl where possible, but it’s an expensive game these days, so I do incorporate digital alongside. I play what I like – simple as that really. Mainly disco infused housey grooves. I try not to by defined by genre and like slipping in the odd surprise. I try and play as much fresh underground music as possible – as I think that’s a key job of a DJ; to bring fresh music to people.

Can you describe your studio set-up and where the inspiration comes from when creating music?

We have two studios’ that we use… I have a simple home set up to work on Solo material, and then for bigger joint productions we use the main Friday Fox Studio that Christian B runs. We really only write and produce music when we have something to say, or an itch that needs to be scratched. It always comes from the soul and heart. Inspiration comes from all over… lyrically I just try and write how I feel about things; for instance, ‘Got My Love’ was written shortly after my mother passed away, and ‘No Trouble’ was inspired by rioting in London. Musically we get inspiration from everywhere… we usually start most productions with a sample or a groove we like – that inspires the rest of the production even if the finished product is completely different.

How do you see the future of Dance music in terms of both releasing tracks and the function of Clubs?

Well, the scene needs to return to those who completely and utterly love the music, not those out to make a quick buck. It feels like the soul-less era of EDM has passed, and I think people are seeking something deeper with more soul and real-feel. We need to get back to incorporating more organic material in the productions, supporting talented live players. Also, I think NuDisco needs to move away from straight up lifting entire Disco tracks with no credit to the original artists, sampling can be a great thing, but it’s all gone too far and we need more original fresh music. Clubs needs to get back to basics, show some down to earth originality and let the clientele speak for them.

And finally. Can you tell us about your forthcoming plans?

Lots in the pipeline, fresh music from South Africa with Rudi Botha & Miggza, a new Christian B & Lavvy Levan EP and we’ve also just started a major project with Marc Rapson – so plenty to look forward to – including lots of Friday Fox parties! Christian and I also have several remix projects coming including remix work for 2 Bad Mice, Deepkeen, Joe Fin and Yoversion Records. I also have some fresh solo work coming on a brand new label from Tommy D Funk.

http://www.fridayfoxrecordings.com

https://fridayfoxrecordings.bandcamp.com/music

https://www.facebook.com/fridayfoxrecordings

https://twitter.com/FridayFoxRecs

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