Interview with DJ Henri PFR
Henri PFR may be only 22 years old, but the talented Belgian DJ is already famous all around the continent. He was only 14 when he got into the industry, and his career has skyrocketed not long after. A little bit more then a month ago he took the DJ booth at Balaton Sound and performed in front of thousands of fans. On his way to superstardom, he kindly answered to Funzine questions about his music, future plans, and goals.
You released your debut when you were only 14. Who were your biggest supporters at the time, and what was the first response of the music industry?
At the time I was releasing songs that only my friends and family listened to. I remember the day I first passed the bar of 100 plays I was so happy haha! Then little by little my tracks started getting attention and I got over 1000 plays, then 10,000, then 1,000.000, … That’s the magic of the internet, being able to make music in your room and in one click share it with the whole world.
What is your favourite thing about being a DJ?
Music. I’m passionate about music and it’s because of the love of music that I started producing electro and became a DJ. I come from a classical piano and solfege background but I have always loved music of all genres. I love to travel as well, so I’ve found my dream job!
Do you feel like you missed out on your ‘best teen years’?
Yes. Sometimes I regret missing out on student life a little, and starting to work directly. But I’m lucky to be able to live for my passion and I think it’s priceless. On the other hand, I try to stay in touch with my childhood friends, who eventually visit me while I am on tour. It’s important to stay connected to friends and family.
How do you differ from other EDM producers?
It’s a good question because there are so many electro DJs right now that it gets harder and harder to be different. I think it’s my music that sets me apart. I have my own sound and way of producing to differentiate me. For a long time I wanted to make music to be on radio or was trying to make the same music as Garrix or Guetta. But I quickly realized that it would not work. As a DJ I have often been told that my sets are nice to watch because of all the energy I give on stage. I really enjoy myself and people can see it and therefore enjoy with me.
Who do you look up to the most professionally?
Many artists, it’s hard to name only one. Within the electronic industry Martin Garrix impresses me enormously by his young age, the quality of his productions and his energy on stage. Kygo also inspires me very much because he has managed to be much more than a “simple” DJ by truly becoming a POP Star with an incredible live show. Also, I grew up with intense classical piano training and a rock and roll fan father so I am open to many more music genres and musical idols. Outside the electro world, I would say, Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones – despite his age he is still a beast on stage.
You have stand out shows coming up at Tomorrowland and Parookaville. How does it feel to be invited to such festivals?
It’s just amazing! Especially for me, who not so long ago was just a regular music fan in the audience of Tomorrowland partying with my friends. Now, being able to play on the Mainstage of Tomorrowland for the 2nd year in a row is simply amazing, same goes for Parookaville where I performed on the mainstage. I was super stressed and excited at the same time.
What are your biggest career goals? Is there a dream destination where you would love to perform?
My main goal would be to continue to live my passion for as long as possible, because I’m really addicted to that! Making music for the right reasons and enjoying all the opportunities that are offered to me as much as possible. I have seen so many cool places in the last few months and there are so many yet to come. I have always liked to do thing differently so I will be very happy to play on the first space shuttle. Music vs. Gravity – that could be an interesting challenge.
What you have achieved so far is truly amazing. What does the future hold? Are there any exciting collaborations in your plans?
I have a lot of new songs coming up, with tracks for my own project, collabs, tracks for other artists, but right now I am in full summer touring mode with a heavy schedule and lots of fun ahead.
Congratulations on your work, and thanks for the interview!