Crookers: "If You See Two Babies, My Music Is the One With the Cross Eye"
From the very beginning, Crookers hasn't been like other dance music producers.
His first hit, a remix of Kid Cudi's "Day 'n' Nite," didn't even have a hook, just some blaring sirens and attacking synths, but it was a game-changing chart-topper.
Yes, Crookers is really weird. And that's what makes it work. Maybe because Francesco "Phra" Barbaglia, the Italian mastermind behind the project, embraces his strangeness wholeheartedly.
"I've always been a little bit different from the other guys," Phra says. "I always explain my music, like, if you see two babies, my music is the one with the cross eye."
He's a man with a bubbly personality and a big sense of humor. His bizarre point of view bleeds over into his productions, which are sometime catchy, sometimes completely off the wall, but always danceable.
"Everything comes out of a random process. I don't even know what I'm doing when I do music. So I just make whatever I want to make in that moment I'm doing it, without even thinking if I can play it out after or if I can sell something," he says. "I actually don't care about selling records, I just love that I can play out my music and see people going mad."
Phra's explosive and awesome unpredictability spans genres and influences, from hip-hop to punk rock, classic rave to '60s psychedelic and classical composition. It's a variety of musical flavors that lives at the heart of the Crookers sound and makes the strangeness so relatable for dance fans.
"All these different tracks that I am doing is because I listen to too many different genres and it just gets weird," he snickers. "When I start to make music, it has everything, from noises and drums. And then, little by little, it takes some time to find a weird structure and make something really strange, but it works."