‘India Was One of the Highlights of Last Year’: Catching Up With FKJ Ahead of His Asia Tour 2016
[FKJ (French Kiwi Juice) kicks off his Asia Tour with his performance in Delhi tonight. Click here to RSVP and scroll down for event details in Bangalore, Pune and Mumbai.]
Think syncopated beats, smooth licks and sweet hip hop rhythms that stay with you. If you managed to catch FKJ (aka Vincent Fenton) live when he came to Indian shores last year, you’d agree he was one of the most memorable acts of 2015, bringing his hybrid sound to four cities across the country.
We’d spoken at length about the story behind his moniker, sounds and influences back then, and now — a jaw-dropping 90 gigs across 68 cities / 27 countries later — we catch up with him for some stories just as he’s back for seconds.
“It’s been quite a year,” Vincent catches us up on what he’s been upto since. “It started with the Asia tour, and it’s all been quite a blur since then. I also toured Europe, and the US for the first time, and got with a new agency in Europe. They’ve really pushed the project further.”
He’d mentioned his passion for travelling to us last year, and he reflects that touring and immersing himself in different cultures across the world is something he’s really enjoyed. “Some of the highlights have been playing in countries including Philippines, Bangladesh, South Korea and India. I discovered so many different kinds of audiences and I think South Korea was one of my favourite places to play; the crowd there is really crazy like nowhere. It’s very full of love.
“While I knew I had people who listened to my music in certain parts of the world, India was a real surprise. I didn’t know that India had such a strong independent music scene, and several people asked me about my performances there ahead of them, wondering about the size of the following or audience. It was definitely one of the best surprises of last year’s Asia tour.”
Although he accedes he didn’t get to see too much of Bombay or Pune when he was here, he spent a good two days in Delhi, enjoying the food and the city. “Goa was really nice as well,” Vincent adds. “I loved the fact that I was travelling with Sohail, it made it that much more interesting being with someone who was from the country. I generally work with Western promoters when I tour — with French promoters in South Korea and Hong Kong, English people in Singapore… Travelling with someone local meant that I was able to immerse myself in the culture of the country and that was a really great experience.”
FKJ’s live set-up in India is going to be different from last time, which was pretty basic, and he’s going to have more instruments in the show this time, he shares. “There are of course going to be new songs, and I’m going to have a bass guitar (which I’ve been experimenting with for a year now) and a second keyboard.
“I’m also going to be singing, something new that I’ve been trying in the shows, even though I’ve been singing since I was young. I never really showed it to anybody before, it was something for my own pleasure. My managers pushed me to bring it to the people and I guess I just became more confident, and began singing on more and more tracks. I took a few lessons in the past few months, and I’m singing most of the time now. I love singing, it’s fun.”
As for the tunes he’s been listening to the past year, “I’ve been listening to so much new music. My top 3 albums of 2015 would be Hiatus Kaiyote’s ‘Choose Your Weapon’, Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ and Snoop Dogg’s ‘Bush’, his latest album that no one really talked about. I really love it though, it’s just so funky. I also love Tennyson, this really young and talented Canadian duo, and Anderson Paak.”
On the upcoming Asia tour that’ll have him touring a whopping 15 cities in three weeks, “I’m really curious to see how different it will be from last time. I’m interested to find out about how word of mouth works, if people heard about it last time and want to come see the act live. I’m also excited to play all these different venues across Asia.”
Vincent plans on releasing his new album that he’s been working on in September. “I’m planning on taking it easy in 2016 and trying to be more selective about the gigs I play. I also want to dedicate more time in the studio after my tours in Asia, Europe and the US, in March.”
Check out the details on the event pages by click on the images below.