Kitsuné is back with a guest mixtape created by Los Angeles-based artist Allen French. Read our interview to find out more about this mysterious melody maker!
Allen French got more than a decade of experience as a DJ, which is a source of inspiration in finding his own voice when it comes to creating music. He fuses the finest sounding electronica with tribal beats, Latin grooves and deep bass and his signature sound also shines through the mixtape he created on Pacemaker from the Kitsuné Hot Stream Mix #2 playlist. His own track is also nicely hidden in there, make sure you check it out and in the meantime read our interview to find out more about this mysterious melody maker.
You’re from San Francisco but you’ve got French roots – as your artist name suggests too. In your music you’re blending various cultures and vibes from all over the world. What would you say your most defining musical influence was in your early years?
I think living and growing up in San Francisco in general had the biggest influential impact by introducing me to so many different cultures and music communities. There’s been a strong local music presence in SF going back to the 60’s and 70’s which has always been interesting and inspiring to me. I was fortunate to grow up on local hip hops acts like Souls of Mischief and house legends like Miguel Migs and Mark Farina amongst many other genres and scenes.
You’re living in LA. How do you manage to navigate the broad music scene over there? How would you compare it to the SF scene?
I usually just try and support the local scene as much as I can and I love checking out my favorite artists when they’re in town. SF still has a good scene and there are so many talented local DJs and musicians but there isn’t nearly the amount of shows and parties happening on a weekly basis compared to LA.
How easy do you think it is to make it these days in the music industry? What does it really take to stand out and make yourself heard?
I don’t think it’s an easy road at all these days to make it. There’s so much talent out there and with all this new technology at our finger tips you really need to stay ahead of the curve. I think as an artist / producer it’s really important to set yourself apart by creating a sound and brand that’s unique to you. It’s easy to get caught up in certain music trends that may be hot at the moment but I think ultimately if you just do you, the rest will follow.
Who or what would you name as your biggest inspiration when it comes to creating or playing music nowadays?
My uncle who I actually never got the chance to meet is a big inspiration for me at the moment. He was an engineer during the rock revolution that took place in San Francisco and recorded acts like Fleetwood Mac and Grateful Dead. My family has been digging deeper into his life recently and it’s been really inspiring finding out more about his story.
If you would have to describe your music for someone who’s never heard it, how would you describe it in 5 words?
Warm, exotic, modern, dreamy, sensual
You’ve recently released your single ‘Nova Vida’ on Kitsuné Hot Stream. How did you get in touch with them?
Kitsuné had discovered one of my previous singles ‘Fiendin’ that I released last summer and when the time came to release Nova Vida, i knew I had to share it with them.
What are your plans for this year? More studio work and gigs?
I’ll be spending a lot of time in the studio this year for sure and I’m also looking forward to playing more DJ sets come spring / summer.
Tell us a bit about the selection in your mixtape, how did you pick these tracks?
It was tough narrowing down so many great tracks! At the end of the day I had to go with the songs that struck a chord with me the most. I think the tracks I chose all coincide with each other in some way which was also important.
It was the first time you’ve created a mixtape in Pacemaker. How do you like the app? What would you improve?
It was fun and really easy to use! If there could be a way to automate EFX during a transition or set loops that could be cool…