FKJ Journeys Through The Creative Process With Los Angeles [PHOTOS] REVIEW+PHOTOS: FRENCH KIWI JUICE @ THE NOVO 5/19/17
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Los Angeles, CA- Vincent Fenton, better known at French Kiwi Juice (and even better known as FKJ) is a 26 year-old Parisian recording artist who is a rising star in the electronic music scene. The self-taught multi-instrumentalist performed at The Novo in Los Angeles 5/19/18, and I had the pleasure of not only attending the show, but also being gifted the opportunity to revel in his musical talents.
I first heard of FKJ a few years ago in college. As an avid Soundcloud listener, I stumbled across his song “Lying Together” remixed by Jackson Breit. The irony here, as I delved further into FKJ’s music page, was that I discovered the many remixes that he himself had produced. I was immediately hooked. Over the years he has released three EPs (“The Twins”, “Take Off”, “Time For A Change”), each of which I have listened to too many times to count, but this was first opportunity I’ve had to see him play live. He has since released his fourth EP simply titled, “French Kiwi Juice”, and has been live mixing online at Red Bull Sound Studios.
I arrived at The Novo after a long day at work. It was a smaller crowd than I’m used to, but that meant it was going to be an intimate performance; something that I very much prefer. Opening for FKJ was a French Dj with a classic 80s electronic and metallic sound, and a Dj from SOULECTION. Warmed up and ready to go, all that was left on the stage was FKJ’s saxophone, guitar, bass, two electronic pianos, a live mixer and a mic. Clearly a testament to his style and musical creativity- what the French would call, “tres simple”, or “very simple”. With a minimal use of tools, all that’s left is for the creator to create as far as their imagination will allow.
As soon as FKJ took the stage, everyone got swept up by his contemporary loops intertwined with classic acoustic sounds. He swiftly changed from playing his saxophone, to his guitar, to his bass, then piano all while live-mixing and singing. It’s pure talent.
You can sense that he is a man of humility and an artist purist. He carries with him an aura of a reserved person who is simply living to play music- and loving it. He had some fun with us, and invited us to improvise and jam with him. He played and mixed, as we attempted to throw in vocals in unison. Somehow he made it work and it sounded surprisingly lovely.
He then transitioned into playing some of my favorite songs including, “Lying Together” and “Skyline” before surprising us with his guest, June Marieezy. They performed “I’m Really In Love With You”, and got everyone’s hands in the air swaying from side to side. Then June announced that her and FKJ would improvise together- they do this every show, and no two performances are alike. It was a creative moment that reveal artistry in its purest form.
Watching FKJ perform is truly a magnificent spectacle. There is something to be said about watching an artist get lost in a creative process. As melodies swam in all directions, flowing in a beautiful funk, reverb, chill-inspired, electronic waves, it allowed each person in the audience to get lost with FKJ on his musical journey as well.
At the end, FKJ put his hands together as if in prayer, bowed, and thanked us. He left the stage to shouts of “Encore”, and shortly after, he came back to bang out a fun, upbeat funk jam on his mixer, shredding the guitar and breathing life into his sax. The crowd loved it and were bouncing and bopping all over the place. June even came out again, dancing her way across the stage. He played tirelessly until the very end, finishing his evening performance with a quirky piano solo that brought out cinematic elements that stemmed from his roots as a trained audio engineer for the cinema.
FKJ’s music is as unbound as his outreach to his audience. Well-established in France, it is only a matter of time before the rest of the world will be familiar with his musical gifts.
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— Emilie (@EMSVEN13) May 20, 2017
— Emilie (@EMSVEN13) May 20, 2017
— Emilie (@EMSVEN13) May 21, 2017
Emilie Svensson is an LA local who directs movies, and online video content. She attends concerts often and writes about them occasionally.