Crookers on EDM, Hip-Hop, Shitty Formulas, and Making "Sex Music"
In the whole world of EDM, there might not be a more fun-loving DJ-producer than Francesco "Phra" Barbaglia, AKA Crookers.
Like, what kind of mind does it take to make a song called "Ghetto Guetta"? Clearly, Phra has the kind of brain that's always racing to test new waters.
Speaking of new waters, he's got all kinds of new tracks, "sex music" as he says, and he's going to be trying them out on Thursday, June 20, at Grand Central. We spoke to him earlier about just how far he's come, where he's going now, and why he's never looking back.
You started DJing when you were about 11. You were doing a lot of hip-hop, and hip-hop beats have seemed to play a part in a lot of the music that you produce. How do you feel about the current merging of dance and hip-hop cultures?
I mean, the Kid Cudi track was kind of like that, take a rap song and transform it into a completely different thing, with a house-y electro. But I always feel like I'm supercontaminated by rap music in genera,l because as you said, yeah, I started when I was 11 with a lot of rap stuff, and right now actually, I'm listening to a lot of rap again. But all the contamination between house and rap, there is something that is really amazing and some other stuff is kind of the same thing, over and over. I feel like there is kind of a formula that isn't really working anymore for me, which is the formula of the "Day 'n' Nite" remix.
Look what you started.
Exactly. That formula, I think, was something really good and exciting like five years ago. There was no hook in that song. The hook was the synthesizer, sirens, and stuff. So I was really, really happy when that happened. I was like, "What? Wow, something is changing." But then I think it got overdone. Like, have the rapper go eight bars, then do a supercrazy drop, which is something formulaic. I like there to still be some music in music, and not just be supernoisy. Eh, today I feel like this. Maybe tomorrow I will feel like completely different. I am kind of ADD about it.