By Aicha Fall, Contributing Writer
Multi-instrumentalist FKJ (French Kiwi Juice) headlined a sold out show at the Brooklyn Steel this Sunday night, one of his first few stops on the second North American leg of the ‘(End Of) Album Tour.’ He has previously made his way around the world to sold out shows in Asia, Australia, and making a stop at Red Rocks as a supporting act for Odesza.
FKJ emerged as an electronic and house music DJ and artist from France about five years ago, releasing alternative self-produced EP’s “The Twins,” “Take Off,” and “Time for a Change” via Soundcloud, garnering an international audience through millions of plays. He is a native of Tours, but based in Paris. As a singer, producer, and self-taught musician, he quickly became a huge figure of the French House genre. Offering original music as well as heavily rotated remixes of hits by artists such as The Temptations, Lianne La Havas, ZHU, and Alina Baraz, he took the indie blogs by storm. He has performed at Coachella and videos of his live sets have gone viral on every platform. Today he begins the end of his world tour.
His set was opened up by (((O))), formerly well known as alternative artist June Marieezy, a label mate of FKJ on Roche Musique Group. The emerging singer and songwriter based in the Phillipines captivated the audience with a unique dance introduction. Her entire set featured self-produced unreleased music which she will release via Bandcamp, her main platform “on the next full moon.” She won the audience with her unique R&B, soul, jazz, and experimental sounds. Her set ended with her “first ever successful stage dive”. Many had previously seen and heard (((O))) in viral video jam session of her and FKJ titled “Amsterjam” which now has over 6 million views. Her song with FKJ, “Vibin Out” is featured on his debut album.
FKJ was welcomed by a full house, performing both old and new tracks, mainly from his critically acclaimed first album, “French Kiwi Juice.” His set also featured his “favorite part of every show,” an eight-minute improvised song which included recordings of the audience. Constantly interchanging between his saxophone, guitar, bass guitar, piano, synthesizer, and more, his incomparable talent left the audience dancing, singing along, and silenced by awe. The packed and colorful crowd included french visitors, New York natives, as well as jazz and house music fans of all ages.
FKJ has collaborated with artists like Tom Misch, and most recently Masego. ‘Trap House Jazz’ artist Masego improvised and recorded the song “Tadow” with FKJ at Red Bull Studios in Paris back in May, for what would become his most viral video yet, at 15 million views. He later spoke of this hit on Instagram, saying “I can spend weeks working on a single song. Sometimes it loses its original feeling by having too much of a thought process on it… We completely improvised “Tadow.” we never had played or even thought of this song before we played it in this video. It was made in 8 minutes, I started playing the chords and Masego said ‘stop! Press record now.’” Masego will be joining him later on tour for his final U.S. stop in, Pomona, California. Next stop is Puerto Rico for this 26 year-old international sensation.