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Colorfuel conversations: An intimate chat with Fabian Krooss

Renowned for his passion and deep-rooted feeling for sound, Fabian Krooss is an artist whose music serves as his anchor and form of expression.

Photo Credit: Fabian Krooss – Instagram

He thrives on the unexpected, crafting tracks that blend lush and mischievous melodies with springy rhythms. His work pays homage to both organic and minimal house styles, resulting in an intricate, unified sound that surprises and captivates listeners.

Recently, EG had the chance to delve into an enlightening conversation with Fabian about his latest album, ‘Colorfuel,’ a project that embodies his commitment to experimentation and personal expression. This in-depth discussion also covers his inspirations, collaborations, and the exciting future projects he’s working on.

EG: Hi, Fabian! Welcome to EG. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. How have you been? What have you been up to?

Fabian Krooss: Hey there, it’s a pleasure to be here! I’m doing well, had a pretty fun start to the new year in Kenya and welcomed it with a set in the jungle of Kilifi at the Beneath the Baobabs Festival. Continued touring for about two more months with lots of fun gigs all around the world, and I’ve been happy to be back in Berlin for about 4 weeks now. Since then, I’ve been busy promoting the album and working on lots of exciting new projects, but first things first…

EG: First of all, congratulations on the release of your new studio LP, ‘Colorfuel’! You must be very excited to share your latest record with everyone. What has the initial reception been like so far? What are some of your initial feelings?

Fabian Krooss: I am indeed very excited! A lot of work and passion has gone into this project, and I can’t wait to get it out. We’re releasing the whole thing on vinyl too – quite special to hold my work in my own hands in these digital times. The initial reception of the 7 tracks that have been released prior to the album has been great. I’ve been getting lots of heartfelt feedback for these tunes and support from many fellow DJ colleagues. It all started with my live set that I played at last year’s Fusion Festival and last but not least, manifests in this album.

EG: So, how did ‘Colorfuel’ come to be? What drove you to create this 12-track record now?

Fabian Krooss: I’ve always wanted to release an album and showcase the variety in my music. I had asked Oliver Koletzki once or twice before if he wanted to release one of mine. Then the morning at Fusion happened. He was there to witness my first live set at 10 am at Panne Eichel. One week later, he asked me for promos, and I sent him about 10 tracks. His swift response was, “I think it’s the absolute right moment for you to release an album, and I’d like to do it.” Shortly after, I started working on it, finalized some tracks of my live set, added a couple more, and spent weeks mixing this thing, working on every little detail.

EG: And what’s the story behind ‘Colorfuel’? Is there a concept or thread connecting these works?

Fabian Krooss: What makes this album so special to me is that it was not created in just a couple of weeks and not necessarily with a certain concept in mind. The concept rather developed after I’ve set the tracklist and got a sense for what I want my message to be. For weeks, I was brainstorming to find a name that gives all these tunes a frame, a unique yet beautifully fitting title that stands for itself, makes sense, and gives a glimpse of what to expect. When the name ‘Colorfuel’ popped up in my head I immediately knew ‘this is it’! A neologism that transports two things for me: Color(ful) – a palette of different playful sounds, all rather positive and yet also unique on their own. And ‘fuel’ – as in ‘energy’ and the cheekier, groovier, and bouncier side of things. Fusing these two words together made absolute sense to me. A simple way of saying you’re in for a colorful, fun, and energetic ride. That’s what it’s all about for me.

“The music that comes out of me is always a result of how I feel”

EG: What was the process of recording the LP like? For how long was ‘Colorfuel’ in the works?

Fabian Krooss: I’ve created the album roughly in one year, a year in which lots has happened. The music that comes out of me is always a result of how I feel. I get inspired by my friends, by my travels, by the good and bad happening in life. Producing is my way to deal with it. Especially the creating process has a very meditative effect on me. The finalizing stage on the other hand can sometimes be rather stressful though as I easily get lost in details and don’t know when to stop. Anyway, long story short, every track was made in a certain time of the year, some on tour, as the ones with Atish and Samaha, some during winter, some during summer with different mindsets and different ways of approaching the creation.

EG: ‘Colorfuel’ also features a series of collaborations, including tracks with Samaha, Frida Darko, Atish, and Harry Charles. What was the experience of collaborating with these artists like?

Fabian Krooss: Being a solo artist can also be a bit lonely at times. Especially during winter times where I sit in my studio days on end and work on new music. It’s always refreshing to get a new perspective, a new set of ears, new inspirations, and ideas to work with. The thing with collaborations is you mostly don’t really know what you’re going to end up with. Every artist has a different way of working and other qualities. The magic lies in finding ways to connect the dots and create something together that both artists can identify with.

Every collaboration has been fun and yet so different from another. I got to spend a couple of days in Seattle together with Samaha in March so we pretty much did the whole thing together from start to finish. With Atish on the other hand, we just managed to have one quick and fun session in New York and then finalized the track together online. Frida Darko and me are close friends and working together on our first collaboration has been lots of fun and felt more like hanging out, also as I already had a rough sketch before we started working on the project. Her strengths lie in her texting as well as her magical voice whereas mine lie in the sound design and production. Quite a complementary collaboration! And last but not least Harry Charles. I saw him play live for the first time at Fusion 2018 together with Thor Rixon and Cesar B. To this day this has been the most magical music experience I’ve ever witnessed. So much came together in this moment. We became friends and created ‘Tied in Knots’ together last year. The idea behind the track is somewhat inspired by this Fusion morning and these special memories and it was a very enjoyable process to work on this idea together. His main contribution obviously was his stunning voice and spectacular guitar-playing skills while I was working around it together with him. If I remember correctly, both the main guitar part in the track as well as the outro were fully improvised takes!

It feels good to not release an album only made by me. Music is made to be shared and loved collectively. It’s even more fun to share the joy of creating!

EG: What would you like for listeners to take away from ‘Colorfuel’? What would you say is the ideal setting to listen to it?

Fabian Krooss: Embrace life with a smile. Keep moving. Dance like no one is watching. For me, partying is about the good vibes. I enjoy various music genres, from playful to organic, melancholic to bouncy, and even badass and minimal. However, I don’t resonate much with dark music. The world we live in today can be a bit gloomy at times, especially in recent years. I think it’s important not to turn a blind eye to it, yet now and then I need music to lift me up and keep my inner spirits in check. Exactly that is what I want to do with my music too. I want to surprise listeners, uplift them at any point during the night or whenever they encounter my music, and take them on an unexpected journey, creating a fun vibe with my sounds and tell a story that people can let themselves fall into.

The best setting to experience my music is definitely in the club or at a festival, face to face.  Regarding the album, I would say it depends on your preferences and mood. So, what’s the ideal setting to listen to it? You tell me!

EG: Let’s take it back to your origins now… How did you first encounter electronic dance music? Was there a particular record or show that led you down the rabbit hole?

Fabian Krooss: Music has always been a central part of my life. Whether playing the trumpet for many years or simply digging and listening to all sorts of music, it has been my closest companion. My love for electronic music, the kind I listen to and create today, ignited when I first discovered Berlin about 9-10 years ago. A weekend of seeing friends turned into 2 weeks of partying and discovering many of the city’s clubs. One year later I made the move, and started playing in some clubs across the city but at that time mainly sat endlessly inspired in my studio trying to master the craft of putting all those little pieces together and making them sound good as a whole. Not so easy!

I fell in love with electronic music already before through acts like Paul Kalkbrenner, Rampue, and Frivolous. I don’t recall a certain record or point that pushed me down the rabbit hole, it rather was a smooth transition of getting pulled more and more into all the magic that lies within this kind of music and the connected scene.

“Music is made to be shared and loved collectively. It’s even more fun to share the joy of creating!”

EG: Finally, could you provide some insights into what’s next for Fabian Krooss? What can we expect from you in the coming months?

Fabian Krooss: I’m already working on lots of new tunes and have about 10 in the pipeline. Two edits, four remixes, one collaboration, and three original tracks. Almost a new album so to say and damn, I am excited about that. Enjoying the creation process a lot lately, incorporating so many learnings and inspirations from the past months.

I’ll be going to Africa Burn next month and also Burning Man later in the year, to name two highlights that are on the horizon. I feel very inspired and I’m getting more and more in the flow of living the artist’s life with all its ups and downs. It’s not always easy but I love to create, to unite through music all around the world, to take people on a journey with my sets and with my productions. Life is what you make out of it (speaking from a very privileged position) and for me, it shall be: ‘Colorfuel’

EG: Thank you so much for your time, Fabian! We wish you all the best for the future. See you on the dance floor!

Fabian Krooss: Thanks for having me! See you on the dance floor.

Fabian Krooss’ ‘Colorfuel’ is now available via A Tribe Called Kotori. Stream and download here.

Follow Fabian Krooss: Spotify | Soundcloud | Instagram

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