Folie a deux consists out of two cousins, Robert Gjini (27 years old, Dutch/Albanian) & Kees van der Ven (36 years old Dutch/Indonesian). Both originally come from a small village called Lichtenvoorde. Currently Robert is living in Rotterdam & Kees in Winterswijk. One day on a family visit, they found out they both were into techno/house music and also were DJing/producing separately. It didn’t take long to figure out they had to team up and started working together under Folie a deux. After working together for 6 months they had their first releases planned and were playing their first gigs.
ZF: Everybody knows that Amsterdam these days is a hub for Underground music.
How do you think Rotterdam compares/differs?
Folie a deux: Compared to Amsterdam, Rotterdam is the underdog indeed. Amsterdam has a lot more to offer in terms of events and festivals. But that doesn’t mean Rotterdam has little to offer. Rotterdam has a strong base with clubs like Toffler/Bar/Transport /Factory010/Maassilo. These clubs deliver great events with big line ups almost every weekend. Also, there are a lot of upcoming smaller clubs and events who are worth visiting. So you’ll never be bored visiting Rotterdam.
ZF: Folie a Deux is a duo group and you are cousins.
Does musical talent come from within the family at all?
Folie a deux: We wouldn’t necessarily say musical talent comes from within the family but perhaps the interest of music does. Our grandpa was a radio DJ who had his own pirate radio channel. Back in his time the phone was ringing all day long with people sending requests, because he had the latest records first. We still have his 5000+ vinyl records collection saved. As far as I (Robert) can remember I was always interested in electronic music and DJ-ing in general. I’ve had a mixer and cd players in my room since I was 12 years old. About 3 years ago I really start digging in to it. Kees was interested in producing music since he was a teenager and started young with producing hardcore music. Later on he got more into techno.
ZF: Do you both share the same musical tastes or does it differ at all?
Folie a deux: For the biggest part we have the same musical taste. We have a really wide taste in music. If a track can transmit a certain feeling or expression that your supposed to feel from it, it’s good music in our opinion. We have some small differences in our musical taste. Kees is more into minimal sounding music while Robert is more into melodic & story telling stuff. When producing together, we can find a good balance between those two.
ZF: When producing/Djing do either one of you have specific tasks you do
or is the process shared completely?
Folie a deux: We try to do as much as possible together. Once a month we come together to produce new music and come up with new ideas. The rest of the time when we’re not together, Robert is the main guy. He takes care of the biggest part of DJing/ producing tracks and general tasks. When working separate, we always give each other strong feedback on our work and try to get the most out of it.
ZF: What have you got planned for the next 6 months
any performances/releases at all?
Folie a deux: For the next couple of months we have a lot of releases coming up on new labels, including our second vinyl release. We’re also working on a big EP which is finished for 70% now. Besides that, we have a couple of gigs coming up and some festival bookings which we’re really looking forward to.
ZF: If you could tour in 5 countries, which ones would they be and why?
Folie a deux: That would be Argentina, America, Russia, South Africa & Japan. Because we have never been in those countries and would really love to visit all of them! They all have their own glamor.
ZF: What would you say is the best thing about the Netherlands?
Folie a deux: I think the best thing about the Netherland is that everything is well organised here. For example medical care/housing/careers etc. It’s also a multicultural country which means restaurants with delicious food from all over the world We love food haha.
ZF: Who in your opinion is an artist (musical/non-musical) ahead of curve?
A trend setter so to speak.
Folie a deux: That would be David August. I don’t think there’s anyone in the world who can’t appreciate his music. There’s just so much emotion and intensity in it. The guy is a genius.
Thank you to Folie a deux for their time and music!