FRANCESCO PICO – ABSOLUTELY FLABBERGASTED – MANUAL MUSIC

Described as ‘Forward Thinking House Music’ by Francesco Pico, he releases his third album on the 5th of December 2011 called ‘Absolutely Flabbergasted’ on Manual Music. The label from Paul Hazendonk has literally shaken the world, and this album is no exception. In the following interview we got the low down on what it means to be a naturally talented producer. Proudly Dutch, the release is Francesco Pico’s third full-length album, following 2007’s Imagining Sounds (Extrema Music) and 2009’s Imagining Sounds 2 (Outside The Box Music). Absolutely Flabbergasted takes Pico into previously unexplored territory, and it feels as though he has broadened his list of musical influences considerably.

BnB loves original music and an artist that goes beyond boundaries with his unique style. The album will be available on all other online music retailers from December 5th. You can buy the album physically on and the Manual MusicFacebook page.

What makes you stand out from the usual Dutch Melting Pot of Talent? Your sound is very unique and true to your own style, which is the first thing I noticed about your album.
I don’t know, it’s just that I do what I do. I never “try” to make a certain style. I just sit down in my studio and start to play. Well, what is important to me is that music is more than just one song. I’ve always been fascinated by the longer pieces of music and albums that have a true narrative. Narration is the only thing that’s in my mind before I start; I know the direction and what kind of feelings I want the listener to experience. The rest happens while working.

Can you describe one moment in your music career, where you knew things would never be the same?
I think when I started to create Imagining Sounds 1, in 2007. For me it was the moment I chose to do what I really want. In the years before my environment and my uncertainty let me jump through different styles and this sometimes forced me to do things that weren’t really me. At Imagining Sounds 1, I let go of it and just let my feelings flow. After this my career really took off and ever since I have the chance to work for my favourite labels and I’m noticed and played by the DJ’s I listen myself. I never gave up this feeling and always do what I feel no matter what the world thinks about it.

How would you describe your sound, in your own words?
Forward Thinking House Music all night long with no boundaries as long as it’s made out of passion, and not taken too seriously… I don’t like think in a box as I really like different grooves and think that a night in the club needs more diverse styles to make it interesting. That’s exactly what I try to do in my work, I combine styles, tracks and inspiration from all sounds, maybe that’s my sound.

What is your favourite moment during the new album?
Hard to say, I think I like the finish part most, but it’s a whole piece and every part has his own share to make it complete.

Where do you call home, and work from?
My iPhone….? Just kidding. I live in Vlaardingen. a town near The Hague and Rotterdam and I’m happy to have my studio at home.

Is there any artist that you like to collaborate with, or do you prefer working on your own?
I’m really a pain in the ass if it comes to collaborate because I always think I know best and what’s in my head must come out. But there are many artists I would like to work with, at this point I would say an artist like Maria Mena would be awesome, or maybe some other interesting and challenging project with artists not from the house scene.

Who has shaped your music style, if anybody?
It all started with Boney M when I was 3 years old, I was really fascinated by the intro track of the “Flight night to Venus” album with the rhythms and synths. Through Queen I had a period of Rock in my young ages and after that I started to listen more and more to artists like Mike Oldfield, Camel, Alan Parsons, Eloy and Pink Floyd.

I discovered House Music in 1990. In my hometown The Hague I started to go out more and DJ Remy was the first one that got me on the dance floor; his loops and sets were really intelligent and I think he gave me some basic Taste for what House Music means for me. Later I started to listen to Sasha and the early GU series and at this moment Hernan Cattaneo is always on my iPod. I think my style is shaped by all these experiences and artists. Even when I work on Dance music I still sometimes notice the flow of, for instance, Camel or Oldfield. And my colleagues like Eelke Kleijn, Roell Sapphire and others I worked with also have an influence on my style, we influence each other….

Tell us a bit more about Manual Music?
Great Dutch Label! Run by good friend and great artist Paul Hazendonk. Paul and I know each other for many years already, I used to buy my records at the famous Basic Beat in Rotterdam where he worked and we started some projects back then. At this moment Manual is grown to a steady label and I’m proud to be one of the artists. I think the label and I share the same musical philosophy; quality music with no boundaries but don’t take it to serious J

Finally – when are you coming to South Africa?
Well that’s a good question, I’m really focussing on my studio career right now, but you never know!

Francesco Pico’s Absolutely Flabbergasted is out December 5th on Manual Music.

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