A truly contemporary artist, Franky Wah’s music epitomises the exhilarating power of club culture.
Born and raised in Yorkshire, in the north of England, Franky has an intuitive understanding of emotion, dance floor energy and catchy hooks culminating in a sound that resonates with both the underground and commercial ends of the dance music spectrum. A series of chart-topping releases have catapulted him into the public eye, where he’s picked up a dedicated fanbase, as well as backing from his peers and idols. This includes a glittering endorsement from Pete Tong who tipped Franky as one of his Future Stars for 2020 and regular spins on Radio 1 from Annie Mac, Danny Howard and Mistajam. Signed to Sony, where he’s been given total creative freedom, Franky Wah’s broad pallet employs influences from trance, breakbeat, house, techno and beyond to create a sonic identity that sits at the apex of what modern dance music is all about: diversity, unity and a progressive outlook. On the road he has appeared at clubs and festivals across the world, including shows in Mexico and Dubai plus Glastonbury, Hideout and Creamfields.
Franky also runs his own label, Shen, which provides a liberating space for him to release new music, as well as giving his support to other artists. With future plans including a live show and releases with some of his dream labels, this rising star is ascending rapidly…
Balance Selections 209: Franky Wah
1. Pryda – The Hoax
2. D-Nox & Beckers – Appetizer
3. Dodi Palese – Protection
4. NTO & Monolink – Beyond Control (Kas:St remix)
5. Franky Wah – ID
6. Carbon & Lampe – Driving Mad
7. Franky Wah – ID
8. Artbat – Horizon
9. Heik – Artemisa
10. John Digweed & Nick Muir – Crazy Diamond
11. Lemon and Herb – All of This (Jorja Smith remix)
12. Franky Wah – ID
13. Xtetiqsoul – You Got the Moves
14. Enoo napa – Matu
15. Innellea – Loss of Hope
16. Franky Wah – Cry no more
Balance Selections Q&A
My last 3 releases:
Franky Wah – More Than You’ll Ever Know
Franky Wah – Mandè
Pete Tong x Franky Wah – Out Of The Blue
What music did you listen to as a child?
I listened to everything really. A lot of Motown that my Mum and Dad would constantly play and then I also listened to a lot of hip hop, trance and garage. The first single I ever bought was DJ Jean – The Launch and Baha Men – Who Let The Dogs Out… Haha! The first album I bought was Dr. Dre, ‘2001‘ and Summer Dance Anthems 2002, which I still have.
When was the first time that you realised that you liked electronic music?
I remember hearing Modjo – Lady at a school disco and it just making me feel some kind of way. I’ll never forget it, like that sickly overwhelming feeling of nostalgia you get in the pit of your stomach. I was only 8 at the time, and guess I realised then I connected with music differently to most people.
When was the first time you saw a DJ in a club?
So this was really late for me, I didn’t do the whole party scene when I left school. I was so into my fitness and had multiple businesses to operate that my time was prioritised there. Obviously I’d seen djs in clubs before but only playing the typical high street mash up stuff. I absolutely loved Digweed and Sasha growing up and fell in love with their mixes but never got round to seeing them live. It wasn’t until I was around 25 that I truly connected with a DJ live and that was Steve Lawler in Barcelona. It was incredible and changed how I produced music forever.
Which producers/artists/acts inspire you?
So there’s a few obvious ones being Sasha, John Digweed and Carl Cox but my main one would have to be Alicia Keys, I just think she’s incredible. From her voice to her writing capabilities, to her piano playing, she is the true definition of an artist and I just love her. Also FKJ, his talent is so inspiring and is one of the main reasons I decided to buy a laptop and start producing.
What was the last album that you downloaded/bought?
It was an album by one of the best producers the UK will ever see, Fraser T.Smith as his alias Future Utopia – ‘12 Questions After Dark‘ – it’s an incredible body of work and I was fortunate enough to be able to remix one of the records on there, check it out!
What is your current production and DJ set up like?
So I use a mixture of both hardware and software. Hardware consists of the Moog Sub 37, Prophet 08, Virus. Favourite softwares and plug-ins would without a doubt be anything by U-He everything is just so rich in sound. I’m also loving Izotope and Refx.
What releases do you have on the horizon?
So I’ve never actually been as excited as I am right now in my career, I’ve just launched as a fully independent artist with my very own label/ brand, which will also include my own events and a clothing line too. This really excites me because not only does it give me a lot of creative control and allow me to release as and when I please, but it also allows me to use my business acumen alongside my music. I’m very excited for what the future holds. I have so much unreleased music and really believe the world needs to hear it. I’ve also got a collaboration coming with arguably the biggest legend in the game, so yeah, 2022 is looking good.
Where can we hear you perform?
So I’ve just wrapped up an incredible sold out “All Night Long” tour in some of the best venues I believe the UK has to offer. The vibe and whole tour was unforgettable and a huge landmark in my career. I also have my own event to launch soon as well as some shows that I’m absolutely dying to announce on the magic island but my lips are sealed for now.
Tell us more about the podcast you made for Balance?
I normally like to do my mixes live but I did this mix on Ableton. Normally my mixes are 90% my own music but I wanted to showcase something slightly different this time by using a lot of others people music. Having said that it’s still peppered with a lot of my unreleased ids that I’m enjoying teasing as well as some South African artists I’m massively digging at the moment. This mix has everything from progressive house to melodic, Afro/ tribal and breakbeat. I’ve been playing a lot of techno in my sets recently too but this mix is basically me in a nutshell.
The top track in my DJ wallet currently is:
So this would have to be my edit of EBTG – Missing. I made it for my All Night Long tour and it’s now a staple in my sets. It has a huge hands in the air type euphoric breakdown with a really heavy drop and a running bass line. I absolutely love it and can’t wait to drop it at the festivals all summer. Unfortunately there’s no link available for this but I’m hoping to get it cleared and released.
If I could recommend only one of my tracks for you to listen to it would be:
It might have to be my breakthrough record ‘Get Me High‘ and for that exact reason. It was the record that broke me into the scene, was my first record to be supported on national radio and the first record where I can genuinely say that I was being true to myself as an artist. I’m forever grateful for this record and the doors it opened for me.
If I could recommend only one track for you to listen to it would be:
So many options here but right now I’m going to go with Don Henley – Boys of Summer and there’s a few reasons why. DJ Sammy did a sick remake of this in the early 2000’s which was an anthem for me at school growing up and I remember buying it on cd, and the original reminds me of my parents. Might have to do my own edit of it one day who knows.
The last movie I watched that I really liked:
My favourite TV show:
I really don’t watch that much TV, but it would have to be Afterlife. Ricky Gervais just nails it everytime.