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Romain FX: “I think (and hope) that the sounds have evolved for the better”

Romain FX’s rootless background pushes him to dream of a borderless cosmos where everyone dances in harmony to the rhythm of any melody. A key innovator in the Asian music scene for the past 12 years, Romain has spearheaded numerous fresh concepts, such as Roofest (first rooftop festival), Fauve Radio (first full-time award-winning radio station), The Pharmacy (first dance music-oriented record store), while also having a hand in the Shi Fu Miz Festival & organizing ROAM parties by bringing & sharing the decks with international artists such as Kink, Jayda G, Ben UFO, Move D, Habibi Funk, Demuja and many more. After moving to Europe half-time, he launched his production career with releases on his own imprint Fauve Records, Kalahari Oyster Cult, Polari, 禁 JIN, Freeride Millennium, MINITEL, LAGASTA, Eskimo Recordings, More Rice, Fantastic Voyage, Mamie’s Records, Boots & Legs, Hard First and countless others.

EG caught up with Romain FX to talk about the drop of his new single ‘Agree To Disagree’, how his nomadic lifestyle impacted on his music, his own Fauve Records, and more.

EG: Hi Romain! Welcome to EG. It’s a treat to have you here with us. Where are you based right now? How have you been?

Romain FX: Hey! It’s a treat to be here. For now, I am based in Nantes, France, but when things open up again I will live between Asia and Europe. I’ve been great, things are moving very fast but all for the better, it’s good to be back on the road again after these strange two years.

EG: First of all, congratulations on the recent release of ‘Agree To Disagree’! What was the reception like?

Romain FX: Thanks! Reception has been great, even though it’s a bit outside of what I’m used to producing, people have been surprisingly responsive to the track. But obviously, nobody likes their own voice, haha! So for me, it was hard to not be biased.

EG: What can you tell us about this particular cut? What was the experience of working with Ombra International on its new ‘Dilation & Truth’ VA compilation?

Romain FX: This one is one of the first tracks where I wrote the lyrics and sang the whole way through. Usually, I just add some vocals here and there, but never like this with the lyrics being the centerpiece of the track. So it was a fun yet scary process, haha.

The experience with Ombra has been top-notch, of course, with Curses being so enthusiastic about the track and even more the fact that Ombra has been a label I have been following for a long time. I personally come from a rock/punk background and this label, for me, has been one of the rare labels to merge the two worlds of rock and electronic music, so it’s an honor to partake in the adventure.

EG: How would you describe your music by now? How has it evolved since you first started out? Do you tell stories through your tracks?

Romain FX: I think (and hope) that the sounds have evolved for the better & are more mature now after all these years of producing. In general, I really don’t want to be put in a musical box, hence why I love working on projects that take me out of my comfort zone. Life’s too short to get stuck in one genre your whole life. I definitely tell stories through my tracks, some more subtle than others. For example, this one was written a month or two before the beginning of the terrible invasion of the Russian army in Ukraine. And, interesting fact, Curses played this one in Kyiv at ∄ Club before the madness started and he told me the vibe was unreal & grasping because the lyrics probably reflected what the Ukrainians might have been feeling at the moment. When he told me this, I had goosebumps and was moved, because for me music is indeed here to portray a story and/or an emotion. So, to think that this track in some ways is part of (a sad) history & had a strong impact on some, tells me I’m on the right career path. Even if sometimes as artists we feel like our work is pointless, we always need to remember that music is as old, if not even older than war.

“Music is indeed here to portray a story and/or an emotion. To think that this track in some ways is part of (a sad) history & had a strong impact on some, tells me I’m on the right career path”

EG: What other tracks in Ombra International’s ‘Dilation & Truth’ compilation have caught your attention?

Romain FX: All the tracks on this V.A. have their own touch and emotions, I really enjoyed the whole compilation, to be honest, hard to pick one. But I would have to say that ‘Monomachine’ from Ducati Flux hits the spot for me emotionally speaking because it’s a nice blend of emotional new wave and cosmic Italo almost.

EG: Summer is here! What are your plans for the season? What are you looking forwards to, apart from the music?

Romain FX: Indeed it is! The thing I’m looking forward to the most is seeing my parents after 2 years apart (them living in Hong Kong), I’m really close with my parents and to be able to hold them again in my arms is going to be a very emotional moment.

EG: Let’s take this back to your origins. How did you get caught up in electronic dance music? Was there a record or show that pushed you down the rabbit hole?

Romain FX: My origins are pretty much non-existent, in the way that I have traveled all my life growing, changing countries and schools a lot. So compared to a lot of the people that grew up with a fixed surroundings musically speaking, I was always creating my own influences by digging music as it was always my “home” and anchor point growing up. I could always go back to music to help center myself growing up as a third-culture kid.

EG: The pandemic gave us all a chance to slow down and reassess. In the electronic music scene, it even gave us time for some much-needed discussions. What would you like to see more and less of?

Romain FX: Couldn’t agree (pun intended) more. Let’s just hope that these discussions actually made us grow for the better and that we don’t go back to our bad habits. I would definitely like to see more diversity and for scenes and big institutions to give more importance to emerging artists.
I personally have struggled big time in the scene due to the fact that musical circles can be very closed-off sometimes, this goes for as much for the underground scene as the commercial scene. I know for a fact that Ombra, as much as I do with Fauve Records, we push the unknown & emerging artists as much as we can because they have every right and sometimes even more than some established artists to be put forward. Even venues & festivals should be digging out talents and not just working with any artists or agencies that they are used to working with.

“I was always creating my own influences by digging music as it was always my “home” and anchor point growing up. I could always go back to music to help center myself growing up as a third-culture kid.”

EG: What’s next for Romain FX? What particular milestones are you looking forwards to now?

Romain FX: I’m currently working on a 4 months Asia/Australia/India Winter tour with KLS Bookings, a lot of upcoming releases on great labels, and currently working really hard on a live performance for a world tour next summer. Another key point is to develop the Fauve Radio & Fauve Records brands by growing the teams and working on a lot of events throughout the world, we currently have teams in France, Japan & Romania, but hoping to grow this some more with Portugal & Taiwan and whoever is willing to carry the flag.

EG: Thank you so much for your time, Romain! We wish you all the best for the future.

Romain FX: Thank you for this interview & to all the dreamers out there, never wake up!

Romain FX’s ‘Agree To Disagree’ is out now via Ombra International. Purchase your copy here.

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