Fri. Nov. 22, 2019

30 Years of House Music – Frankie Feliciano

Frankie FelicianoI guess I have to admit the fact that Frankie Feliciano has always been somewhat of an enigma to me. With chances probably being great I’m not the only one in this case. Nothing negative from my side though, as everyone’s moved by his own temper, although the man seemed to me so miles away from the supposed idea of an entertainer one can have speaking of an artist.

Let’s say that, as a character, he always gave me the feeling he was the kind of person to sort of be in the necessity to be tickled by surprise in order to have an idea as to how he feels. Meanwhile behind the decks or the consoles, he would be able to get you into the deepest emotion. The result of a natural reserve, shiness? This would get to have him living in the shadow of his art. As if he’d found in there the necessary comfort zone to express himself…

A Brooklyn, NY native, Frankie Feliciano saw the older kids in his neighborhood into what was to become Hip-Hip at the age of 10. Eventually attending to his first block party from the window of his parents’s flat. His curiosity killed, the young cat touched the turntables for the very first time at his older cousin. Then he managed to get his first set of record players by the age of 14. From then, he would start mimicking what he got to hear on Underground Hip-Hop radio shows. Scratching and cutting his vinyls.

He got into House Music by the time everybody was breakdancin’ and freestylin’. This when coming to a club where a certain Louie Vega happened to be spinning. “Music had changed and so had I. I got myself into more soulful things. There are more girls in the House!”
Frankie Feliciano would then secure a residency at the Tilt. A little spot somehow reminding of London’s Queer Nation, prior leavin’ his seat to Roger Sanchez. 1992 seeing him leaving his day job at McDonald’s to make himself a 100% living from music. He would soon after get his first booking at London’s Ministry Of Sound…

He secured his first record deal with Nervous Records. Then he joined Strictly Rhythm soon after Gladys Pizarro got appointed as A&R of the label. He there became friend with Erick Morillo. And even more with Louie Vega who sort of chaperoned him. “He was like my elder brother!”, he said with admiration in his eyes. One of his best souvenirs being when Louie brought him on Mother’s Day to remix Barbara Tucker‘s ‘Stay Together’ at the Bass Hit studio where they would work until the morning lights. This leading to an exclusive deal with Strictly Rhythm for whom he remixed Black Magic‘s ‘Freedom’. Then Moné‘s ‘Movin’ among others. That same period seeing him jumping into production resulting in the memorable ‘Victim Of Loving You’ for Colonel Abrams.

Enough to have Frankie Feliciano becoming one of the most sought after remixers from then. “I had to make a break at some point though. As doin’ remixes after another brought me into the feeling I was always doin’ the same thing.”

Curiously, he never managed to put out any album. “I wish I had a Stevie Wonder’s kind of voice, but I don’t.” Besides, he admitted hardly collaborating with others. This most probably explaining that. Even though he managed to launch his own label – Ricanstruction – with a distribution deal with Nervous. Dropping gems such as Innervisions feat. Melonie Daniels‘s ‘Don’t You Ever Give Up’. Or Mr. V featuring Miss Patty And Alix Alvarez‘s ‘Deep (House Music)’ among others. With his remixes of ‘Father’ and ‘We Are One’ respectively for Kenny Bobien and Ernest Saint-Laurent standing as some of his best ever. Not to mention his rework of MAW featuring Lynae‘s ‘Life Is But A Dream’. Or Matthew Bandy feat. Josh Milan‘s ‘Wish’ back in 2011 on Foliage Records.

His own view as to how to be makin’ a record is also pretty much illustrative as to what Frankie Feliciano is about… “I’m a moody person. So I guess I make moody music.
I would hardly see myself doin’ like a ‘stomp your feet and shout’ type of record!”
In other words, at the opposite to what we’re offered at the top of the mainstream charts… “The less talented and creative people in the industry are pushing House Music and music in general to get to a more computerized area. Simply because they would be nothing without technology, which most likely explains the stagnant state of the scene. Too many productions out there just copy the reputedly hot style of the moment. And this is how copycats have ended up killing the industry. That said, creativity remains the key. And time will end up telling one day or another…”

Chosen few
House Legends (King Street Sounds) – Frankie Feliciano
Club Nervous Vol. 2 (Nervous Records) – Frankie Feliciano
Mix The Vibe (King Street Ricanstructed) (King Street Sounds) – Frankie Feliciano

Interview: Frankie Feliciano

You might also like…
30 Years of House Music (Pt. 6) – Kerri Chandler

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