In the extended heat of our season-less Los Angeles climate, we’ve developed a profound appreciation for the deep grooves and disco sensibilities of Mike Ferrigno, aka Figgy. The Brooklyn-by-way-of-Massachusetts producer slash DJ has been lending his sun-drenched touch to many a jam, amassing a bonafide collection of soulful, dance floor-tailored tracks that are equally at home blasting from your speakers while cruising beachside. Hot on the heels of his new EP, Missing You‘s release, we catch up with him and talk jazz, SoundCloud, and turning down Drake:
LA CANVAS: How does your jazz background inform your production and creativity now as a producer and DJ?
Figgy: At this point it’s been internalized, I’m definitely not thinking about jazz theory when I’m in the studio. The biggest lessons were in discipline and patience, I mean it takes a LOT of time to learn the language of an instrument. When I started moving towards production, spending entire days in the studio felt normal.
LAC: You are based in NYC, but grew up in Massachusetts – and that’s not often a place one would typically associate with electronica, bass, house, R&B, and so forth. How were you exposed to that kind of music?
F: Boston definitely has a scene, I suppose it’s over shadowed by Red Sox culture, but it’s there. I started going to this party Bassic back in 07 or 08. I remember seeing Kode 9, Pearson Sound, Pangea, Martyn, etc… At that time REAL dubstep was just coming to the US and these guys were on point with their bookings and still are. There’s also Together, an amazing week-long electronic music festival 5 years running. For the house world, Soul Clap Records…
LAC: It seems like R&B is making a comeback. What do you think it is about the genre that resonates so well with people?
F: The honesty of the vocals, and I don’t necessarily mean lyrics. Soul music will be around forever, it’s not a trend.
LAC: We first discovered you through your remix of Usher’s ‘Climax’ – what was the reaction to that remix and what role has it played in the development of your career?
F: Oh nice, thanks for keeping up with me that long! That one was special to me, it was the first track of mine to gain any serious attention. It got picked up early on by the YouTube channel Majestic Casual, and racked up almost 2 million plays. So yeah that was great.
LAC: Your FKA Twigs bootleg was removed from SoundCloud. Has there been an instance where your bootleg/remix caught the [positive] attention from an artist?
F: Yeah, last year I did a Drake bootleg, and he was calling me like alllll the time to do a collab, but I wasn’t feeling it so I guess he reported me to SoundCloud. ICU Drake.
LAC: With platforms like SoundCloud making music distribution more accessible, how do artists like yourself stand out? Is SoundCloud a blessing, or a hindrance?
F: Definitely a blessing, I mean, it leveled the playing field and so much great music came out of SoundCloud culture over the last few years. Unfortunately, by teaming up with Universal they’ve started cracking down on bootlegs and mixtapes hard; it’s looking like the glory days of SoundCloud are over.
LAC: Lastly, where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
F: MTV Cribs, chilling with Drake after we squashed our beef.