Henri PFR on his Robin Schulz Collab, His Name, Dream Vocalist + So Much More!
We caught up with Dutch duo Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano in Amsterdam. We chatted about their label, how Steve Angello is a father figure, their latest music and their upcoming ‘Sexy By Nature‘ event. They’re really awesome guys, you can check out their latest release with Marc Volt below the interview.
You started learning music at age 6, what instruments did you learn first?
I first learned piano, it's funny because I started with the academy so really classical music like Beethoven and Mozart. Then when I was twelve I decided to play piano on the computer, thanks to that I started making electronic music.
What was the first song that got you interested in Electronic music?
That's a good question, maybe 'Lord of Trance' from Tiesto. I started listening to trance music. Also, in Belgium we have a DJ called DJ Furax, he's quite famous - I remember, that kind of music brought me to another world actually. So I said that's the music I want to make and thats what will give me the most sensation. That's what I love in electronic music, you can have good feelings as well as sad music and all of that with a lot of energy.
Can you explain the reason behind the name Henri PFR?
It's really simple, my real name is Henri Peiffer. I just removed the vowels in my last name to create PFR. However it's annoying sometimes as people sometimes say my name as Henry and not Henri, and sometimes mistakes with PFR - mixing up the letters. So it's really a complicated name, I'm not so happy with it.
How did your collaboration ‘Wave Goodbye’ with Robin Schulz come about?
I remember I was at a party in France at 3am and I received a message from Robin's tour manager. He said he was at the airport with Robin Schulz and they were listening to my stuff. I thought it was a joke at the time, because I only had around 10k plays on that track. I couldn't imagine a guy like Robin Schulz was listening to my music! I got him to send me a photo of him and Robin to prove it. Then Robin himself sent me positive messages and invited me to a party in Paris. At the party I showed him a track I was working on and he loved it so much he decided to collaborate with me on it. We worked on it via Skype as he was always touring around the world. It was really cool, for me he is one of my biggest inspirations and to make a track with an inspiration is a dream for a lot of people.
When working on a new song, what is the first part you focus on?
The main part for me is the lyrics, what you want to say in the song; then comes the chords. It really depends though, sometimes i focus on the drums, the sound design, the melody, it’s a hard question because it varies from track to track.
If you could work with any vocalist past or present who would you pick?
That's another tough question, if I say one i will forget 10! But i think i will pick Mike Jagger from The Rolling Stones. My father is the biggest fan of The Rolling Stones in the world, if I say to him I did a track with Mike Jagger - he would be so proud. So I say Mike Jagger for my father!
What is your favourite studio snack?
It’s not good to say but I drink way too much Red Bull in the studio. The studio life is not very healthy at all, you stay really late and hardly eat. When I have an idea for a track, I can’t stop working until I’ve made it.
You started on Armada and have been signed with Sony since, how is it working with a major label?
It’s really cool, I’m really happy with Sony - it’s Sony Belgium so it’s a bit smaller but still has all the support from the major label. I’m not a little fish in a big ocean, because the label is still quite small. I have my place and I have the people who work with me and provide me with the big contacts.
What are some goals for yourself in 2019?
In the short time I want to continue making music and performing, basically continuing what I’m doing now. In the long term I’d love to become a movie composer.
You can listen to Henri PFR’s most recent release with close friend HIDDN below!