THE BIRDHOUSE 183: Franklyn Watts Interview

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Given the fact that I, myself, would technically be considered a transplant of Los Angeles, I didn’t realize just how many people were also transplants until I moved here. This gives the city a very interesting musical dynamic. Unlike New York, Chicago, or my home of Detroit, L.A. doesn’t have a signature sound (at least in terms of house music). Instead producers who were born here draw from the wide range of influences and morph them into their own unique style, which is something Franklyn Watts has done in stride.

Franklyn hasn’t been putting out music for a long time, but in the time he has he’s caught the attention of people and labels who matter. Our good friend Kyle Watson curated one of Franklyn’s first releases on his “Box Of Cats” imprint. Billy Kenny recognized Frankyln’s skill and versatility as well, giving him a platform on This Ain’t Bristol. Finally after a stellar remix of Walker & Royce’s “Love & Marriage”, Franklyn most recently dropped his latest single, “Gucci Panties” on Dirtybird’s first-ever Miami Compilation. Listen to Franklyn’s guest mix for THE BIRDHOUSE below and don’t forget to check out the LA native’s questionnaire!

THE REAL

How did your music career get started in earnest?

I think it got pretty serious when I decided to drop out of college and go to music production school around 2011. I was previously studying graphic arts and a friend hooked me up with Ableton 8, the rest is history.

Where are you from and does it have an influence on your music?

Born in East LA and raised in a small town called La Puente. It for sure has a lot of influence on my music since I went to raves nearly every weekend with my high school friends, the main reason why I fell in love with electronic music! My family also influenced me a lot since they’d always be listening to everything from Salvadorean Cumbias to Oldies to Classic Rock.

How many times did you want to quit trying to make this your career?

Plenty of times, I feel like that doubt never really leaves so we just have to keep working hard and be consistent with good music. If you’re serious about music, you will never quit.

What was one piece of equipment that helped define your sound early on?

Software wise, I think learning how to use Massive (software synth) for wonky basslines and crazy lead sounds. Using it in depth made me comfortable tweaking parameters on any other hardware/software synth. Can’t wait to mess with more hardware equipment when I can afford it!

When you were getting started, which artists did you try to emulate (both musically and careerwise)?

I started producing right around the time that Complextro was popular so I was definitely feeding off of artists like Wolfgang Gartner, Lucky Date, Lazy Rich, early Zedd and Porter Robinson. I wanted to be the Above & Beyond of wub bangers.

When you have a tough week or a rough tour, how do you get yourself back on track?

Whenever I have a shite week musically, I tend to produce other styles of music for fun or just learn how to use a plugin that I’m not familiar with. Tough weeks in general I like doing some cardio, watching podcasts like Joe Rogan’s & Joey Diaz’s to get the mind off bs, and I guess not overthinking helps too.

Where and when are you at your most content/happiest?

I’m generally a pretty happy person but I enjoy having a good time with the people I love. Family backyard BBQ’s while listening to Brenton Wood or going to a festival with the gf, always good times!

Do you have any secret hobbies or hidden talents?

I used to play guitar in a punk/thrash band as well as a metalcore band. I really need to get back to my guitar shredding haha. My secret hobby would probably be tasting local craft beers anywhere and everywhere that I am traveling, so far pretty successful.

THE REST

Favorite and least favorite colors?

Favorite color is red and honestly can’t think of a color I don’t like lol

Favorite and least favorite words?

Favorite word, Fuck. Least favorite, Clout.

Favorite animal?

Otter!

Favorite board game?

Connect 4, even tho it’s probably not a board game..

Favorite guilty pleasure food?

Chips! Or fries, yeah fries and chips.

Favorite guilty pleasure song?

The Guess Who - These Eyes

German or Detroit techno?

Detroit techno with a German beer.

Festival, club or illegal warehouse?

Festival for sure, way more room for activities.

Biggie or Tupac?

Tupac all day. Love me some east coast hip hop too tho.

Star Wars or Star Trek?

SPACE BALLS.

Exercise or Netflix?

Netflix while on the treadmill?