Written & Interviewed by Bernadette // Images
Live music stimulates sight and sound evoking the body to move. To dance is but a wonderful thing, and the NYC-based house-meets-indie duo DJibouti & Feinte are artists advocating for music lovers to cleanse their emotional palette through dance & melody. With their newly released album Run Riot, the five-track compilation is a true testament to the art of self-expression and self-healing.
Run Riot combines DJibouti’s gift in producing playfully whimsical beats while also showcasing Feinte’s artistic expression through personal storytelling; drawing from the trials & tribulations of love. Feinte moved to Berlin, putting a pause on the project with DJibouti. During Feinte’s time overseas, he experienced a chapter of deep heartbreak that ultimately led to the inspiration for the album.
Feinte’s revelation as an artist happened in the Berlin dance scene. He realized that in Berlin, people used dancing like a medicine as well as an emotional outlet. Allowing the body to confess feelings that sometimes are difficult to communicate. Though each song consists of sincere heartfelt lyrics, what makes the collaboration so distinct is the combination between the words & rhythms. Making for deliciously tasteful ingredients: fun, catchy and makes anyone want to get up & dance. As mentioned in TwntyThree’s press release, “Run Riot invites everyone to dance through their pain with accessible but never boring four-on-the-floor beats.” Feinte said, “Every weekend I released all my excess emotions to a soundtrack of Sylvester, Skatebârd and Daphni. The collaborative aspect of the various dance floors gave me the feeling that I had people listening to everything I needed to say… over the Spring and Summer of 2022 [DJibouti] would send me different beats, and I would smoke a little too much and dance over them. After a few demos, we realized we had a unique sound that the dance music world had never heard; The Indie-loverboy over the jazzy house keys and DJibouti Drums.”
Run Riot caters to the dance scene in a pleasurably feel-good way, which ultimately is exactly what every party needs to invigorate the mind, body, and most importantly the heart. In conclusion, I heart it.
***Check out Frank151’s interview with Djibouti and Feinte below:
You met in an Ottoman History class at University. Who broke the ice and approached who?
DJIBOUTI: I made a joke in class and Feinte followed it up with another. This was at a time when everyone was wearing face masks and courses had become awkward and anti-social. It was rare to cross paths with another class clown. We went for a coffee after class and realized we both made music and started sending each other our demos.
How did you connect with music?
FEINTE: Before DJibouti and I met in class, my best friend and manager had actually already sent me DJibouti’s remix of “Papa was a Rolling Stone.” I had yet to connect the dots, but after DJibouti had sent me his music, I forwarded it to my manager, saying this kid in my class is sick. My manager, on an ego high, said, “I put you on months ago…”
When and how did you decide to collaborate?
FEINTE: The first track we made together came after the first DJibouti set I went to. I had gotten kicked out of the underground club in the East Village for smoking inside but snuck right back in. I playfully wrote a song called “ciggiesintheclub” mocking the story from the weekend prior. Neither of us was able to get it out of our heads and decided we had a lot more music to make.
Were you both music majors?
Actually, neither of us was a music major; we both went to Gallatin at NYU, the make-your-own-major school. Famously associated with both big thinkers and poor decision-makers.
When it comes to making music, where do you get your inspiration? What and/or who are your muses/inspiration?
FEINTE: My music comes from life experience, I think with any interesting art it requires the artist to tell their own authentic story. In the case of Run Riot, I was going through an intense breakup and simultaneously moved to Berlin, where I knew no one. Quickly I learned the way that Berliners deal with pain: Dance. The inspiration for this project was to capture that feeling of dancing through pain.
DJIBOUTI: Nothing like hearing the biggest bomb at someone’s set. After a great set with great tracks is when you have the itch to make something the most. It’s hard to pinpoint just one in dance music because the more you dig, the more incredible collections you find and even nowadays, our contemporaries are producing some incredible work and it feels good to know there’s someone who will make a bigger hit than you, it’s motivating. The sound is always changing and it’s nice to be part of a certain dance zeitgeist.
@Feinte Your “Baby Tee” single/solo song, is a different genre from the collaboration on this Run Riot album. What made you explore both genres?
FEINTE: Growing up, I spent much of my childhood in Herzliya, Israel. Before I learned the language, I had no friends and spent almost all my time in front of the TV with MTV Dance on. It was 2009, and hits like “Ready for the Weekend” by Calvin Harris and “When the love takes over” by David Guetta were at the forefront, and my eight-year-old self couldn’t get enough of it. As I grew older, my love for dance music only grew stronger, with legendary acts like DJ Koze, Daft Punk, and Todd Edwards becoming big inspirations for me. I realized my personal music might not do justice to my love for dance music, and I always dreamed that I would sing on a dance project; fortunately, I did it, and it happened to be with one of my best friends. In the six months prior to making Run Riot, was when I made the move to Berlin, where maybe a little too much of my life was centered around going out and dancing. Obviously, Berlin is famous for its love of techno, but at every club, there is a room with more of a house and disco sound, which is where I spent most of my time. This experience of living in Berlin cemented my need to make my contribution to dance music.
How do you feel the two genres reflect who you are as an artist?
FEINTE: The mantra behind the name Feinte is a beneficial deception. Through the dance sound of Run Riot or on my more indie-pop solo stuff, I aim to digest whatever strenuous emotions I endure and communicate them in a playful way in my songs. Both of these sounds have given me the outlet to do so.
@DJibouti When did you discover house music?
DJIBOUTI: I’ve always been subconsciously dancing to four on the floors all my life. I always liked the more dancey/feel-good music, be it funk, reggae, pop, or bossa-nova. I had all these stages with house and different subgenres, especially finishing high school, and just throughout time that taste just becomes more refined as you have more sets, make more tracks, and find more records.
Who are your favorite house djs?
DJIBOUTI: PAWSA, Sweely, Kolter, Dave Lee.
Who are some of your dream collaborations?
DJIBOUTI: I need that DJibouti Drake.
RUN RIOT. – Give 3 words or one sentence that best describes each track:
Track 2) “Give Me Your Heart”
dissident, inferno, lost
Track 3) “Interlude”
sneaky, playful, delicious
Track 4) “Love Bug”
cute, vibrant, bouncy
Track 5) “Pop Song”
nostalgic, fresh, catchy
How did the mini-movie for Run Riot come about? What was the inspiration for the animation?
FEINTE: Growing up, I thought that the coolest thing an artist could do was to have a cartoon alias. Take Jamiroquai, Daft Punk, The Gorillaz, and Kanye for example. I knew with whatever my music sounded like, I would need a character to represent it and me. Fede Feinte shows me at my rawest level of emotion.
If you could trade shoes with one musician for a day, who would it be and why?
Cudi… Bape stas.
A piece of food or dessert that best describes your taste in music and why.
Tiramisu and Baklava… Tastefully classic.
One song that best describes each of the following:
“Carry On” – Martha Wash
“Love is a Lonely Thing” – Kings of Convenience
“U & I Know” – Key Glock
“Girl with Attitude” – Folamour
“Somebody New” – Blossom Dearie
Finish the sentences:
Love is “the shit.”
Music is “what keeps us human.”
DJibouti & Feinte are “two best friends who love a good dance.”
*end of interview*
Run Riot is out now, listen/buy here.