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Bruno chats to Frenchman Shonky ahead of his appearance at our 4th Birthday next week. Read on to hear about where his name came from, his early days as a mathematician and his exiting plans to launch a new label.

Tell us about the past, being in the Freak n’ Chic fold. What has it meant to you?

Freak n’chic has been my main platform since the beginning: I released my first ever artist album on it, it’s headed up by one of my best friends Dan Ghenacia, and there has always been a family spirit that prevailed above all…this is how Dan wanted to build it and it has worked really well. All the members of the label have been close friends for a long time. We mainly met at Batofar’s after-parties between 1998 and 2000. Dan was the resident there and he was playing deep, psychedelic stuff from San Francisco. In a sentence, it’s the end of one huge adventure and 100% sure, the beginning of another one!

Everybody involved in the label was passionate allowing loads of good work, loads of memories. Therefore I understand that it’s easier to move forward when you remain united whatever happens. Sharing is the answer.

How long have you known Dan and Dyed? Do you spend a lot of time with the people that were involved in Freak n’chic/Lola Ed. Seems like a real tight-nit crew you got going on..

I met Dyed in ‘98 and Dan in ‘99. Dyed was working at the cloak room of one of the best clubs at the time. It was his only night working there and me, my first night in this club. He gave me some free passes and told me you can come here for free if u have an extravagant style. I met Dan at Batofar. I’m living in Berlin so it’s hard to meet the crew all the time. We meet mostly when we have a showcase for the agency or the label. In the end those parties are the best cause we are so happy to play and hang out together.

By the way one of my best memories is a Freak n’chic vs. Highgrade night at Panorama Bar in Berlin that we did in 2009. A lot of people came and all of our artists had a chance to spin that night, making it the longest party we have done altogether – 27 hours! It was amazing having everybody in the same place. That night I played both Berghain and Panorama Bar meaning as a DJ, and as a clubber too, it was my best time so far.

What’s the name « Shonky » all about?

I was a bit weird at school, my head was always in music or the computer. I was studying mathematics, not very sociable. After five years of mathematics study, I’ve changed my behaviour but kept my nickname. I just have the most obvious french name “Jacques Dupont”, no I’m joking but it’s almost the same “Olivier Ducreux”.

Dyed has told us you fancy yourself as a bit of a ladies man.. Is that true?


Whats new for the fall of 2011.. Any new projects your looking forward to? Is it true you are working on a label of your own?

The big new project is to launch a label with Dan and Dyed. Dyed and I have always wanted to start our own label and the end of Freak n’chic allows us to do it with Dan also. Obviously, we’ve got common roots, the same tastes and the same musical vision. It’s inevitable that we would do something al ltogether sooner or later. We mainly aim to release our music and of course some more from the producers we all enjoy.

Name some artists/labels that properly buzzed you up when you were starting out?

Gemini, Kerri Chandler, mainly all the people from the west Coast: Dj Garth, Rasoul. I was really into the psychedelic deep house from San Francisco. At this time the French touch was big but I was into something totally different.

What music do you listen to outside of house and techno, say to relax to… What record would you put on if you were dining a beautiful woman and wanna make her feel all sexy?

I listen to a lot of different stuff – punk, soul, rock, dub etc…When it’s good, it’s good right? Whatever style you are listening to. It’s hard to find a subtle record to make a girl feel sexy. I’d love to play Sade but I think she will instantly realise what I have in my mind!

At the moment, where would you’re favourite place in the world be to party and get loose?

I think the best place is the Berlin nightlife, even though Paris is really cool. The good thing about Berlin is that you always have good parties with good DJ’s and an amazing sound system. The crowd is nice and really pay attention to the music and you can meet a lot of producers you like everywhere and anywhere.  But the best thing is that you really feel free and secure at the same time, and I think that this feeling helps the people to enjoy it more cause they feel better.

My favourite club to play is Panorama Bar but I also love the scene in London with Fabric, or Paris, which is getting really good at the moment with clubs like Rex Club or Showcase.

What makes a good track?

If you feel something when you hear it.

« I listen to a lot of different stuff – punk, soul, rock, dub etc…When it’s good, it’s good right? Whatever style you are listening to.. »

Where does inspiration from your tracks come from? Has this changed over time?

I’m inspired by a lot of things, from the roots of my musical background like funk, soul, punk, to what I listen to everyday. But most importantly I have been inspired by my gigs all around Europe and abroad. After-hours too… it changes everyday cause you are surrounded by different people and stuff all the time.

Do you remember when you made the transition from DJ’s being a hobby to it becoming more of an income… Was it a quick transition, or did you have to be patient?

When I released my EP’s on Freak n´chic, Substatic and Reposal in 2006, everything changed really fast. In fact, I released 4 EP’s in 3 or 4 months and from this point on I had an agent and fees and was travelling almost every weekend. At this time I realised it was not a hobby anymore.

Who were the most valuable/influential people for you along your journey as a producer/DJ.. Who were your inspirations from a young age?

From a young age, I was big fan of Prince, Michael Jackson, Sade, Inxs and many more. I have used samples of some of those artists in my tracks.

What are your next goals? Where do you wanna take your career/life next? Whats the next step for Shonky?

I’m working on new tracks right now but I try to concentrate as much as I can on the label.

You’re playing at Louche’s 4th Birthday in November with Omar S & Nicholas. What do you know about Louche? and do you know what you were doing on your 4th birthday?

People that have been there have told me it’s probably one of the best clubs at the moment – the sound system, the club, the people are sick! I have been waiting to play there. I’m glad to join those two cats who are Omar S and Nicholas, I love their music. As it’s the birthday it should be a dope night.

See u there ladies!