Frans Zimmer, has reached heights others can only dream of, evolving under his alias Alle Farben over the past eight years. He is now in a key position in the German and increasingly international music scene, playing every weekend in clubs around Europe and surfing on the SoundCloud-Wave like few others. Combining styles and musical components that might not fit at first glance, Alle Farben has developed a unique sound that brings even the shyest dancers to move their hips and wiggle their toes. Although his schedule is busy as ever – playing somewhere different every weekend — Berlin and especially Kreuzberg will always stay Frans’ home – a place from where he started out on this long journey with its current milestone being his debut album.
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Sean Ritchie: To kick it off, talk about coming from Berlin. Describe the atmosphere of the city a little bit. Where would you suggest a first-time visitor to go?
Alle Farben: Yes, I was born and grew up in Berlin. I know some quiet and nice places [that I still go] from when I was a kid. For me, discovering the city when I got older was [a big] adventure. Nowadays, it’s fantastic for me to work here, because it is a cheap place to work. I know so many artists and other musicians that live in Berlin too. It’s nice to have this network in Berlin.
If you come to Berlin to visit, and you want to have a nice day you [shouldn’t] go to the normal places. I would suggest a nice walk on the [Spree] canal. It’s very nice in the summer. There are small café’s and it’s not too full. It’s quite the walk, so you can decide how far you want to go. If you want to eat something I would suggest to go to [any of] the small shops. They’re all fantastic. For dinner, later on in the day there are too many places, [you won’t go wrong].
For nighttime clubbing, it depends what you listen to, but for electronic music, because I know it best, I would say Magdalena. It’s a new club, but they have a very nice sound system — very new. It’s quite the experience. If you like more techno, try and go to Berghain. There’s no chance to say you can go in, but if you get lucky [at the door] you’ll go in.
SR: That sounds wonderful. I’ve never been to Berghain, but I’ve heard so many great things from people who have gone. It’s definitely on my list. I want to bring it back a little bit, what was your first, initial interest into music? How did you know this is what you wanted to do?
AF: It began as a hobby as a kid. I began to collect music. I was buying music just for my collection. It was guitar and hardcore [to start]. Then I started to discover hip-hop music. Later on, I discovered vinyls of house and techno music by accident. Someone left two vinyls. They soon became my favorite vinyls. Then I started to find out where I can get this music. So, I started roaming around to find the right shops.
SR: That’s cool to see how you had different tastes at first, and that love for music spun into dance kind of by happenstance, exploding from there. It kind of evolved overtime. Now, on a broader level, I love to ask musicians how they feel music and travel really fit together.
AF: Yeah, I’m still [evolving]. For me, I need the traveling for all the inspirations on the road, but it’s also important on the other hand to have free time for the studio. If there’s no gigs, there’s no travel. I like to take some weeks off to regroup in the studio.
SR: I can completely understand that. So, I’ve been listening to your track “Please Tell Rosie” (feat. YOUNOTUS). I’ve been loving it. Talk about what you were thinking when you created the piece. How did it come about?
AF: “Please Tell Rosie”, for me, was the most intense song. It describes part of my life. I came back in September and it describes my festival summer, and how hard it is to have a normal life with someone at home. I’m on the road all the time. On the other hand, the music takes all my life and it gives me so much pleasure. It’s also my job and my free time enjoyment. The song was very private.
SR: That’s cool to hear. I kind of had that feeling from listening to the song, but it’s cool to hear it from your mouth. You can tell when there’s real passion behind a piece. People usually have a list of places that they haven’t been to, but still want to hit. What are two places that you still have to get to?
AF: I’ve hit many of my bucket list destinations so far, but I want to go to Burning Man one day. I would also love to play on a skyscraper, maybe [this] year. I would love to do Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
AF: Yes, it’s crazy good. I’ve never had an experience to play on a building so high. That’s a nice view, I guess!
SR: Absolutely! So, lastly to wrap this up. What do the next couple of months look like for you show or personal wise?
AF: At the end of January into February I go to Thailand. I got a studio there. I will record my next album there. I will be there for about three weeks on Ko Phan Ngan. We’ll be working on my new music.