Anthony Collins is a wanderer of sorts. Having been born in New Work 31 years ago, he spent most of his youth living in France, picking up the DJ mantle when he was barely 18. After a very productive decade which saw him release an album on Freak n' Chick back in 2009, entitled "Doubts & Shouts" and a host of EPs and remixes for various other labels such as Safari Electronique, Curle Recordings, Mule Electronique, Poker Flat, Resopal Schallware and quite a few others, he's moved back to his home town, where for the past three years he's been busy working in his studio with Francis Harris, producing and releasing under the name "Frank & Tony" for their two labels: "Scissor & Thread" and "Natural History"
Great actually, summer still going strong.
You must be used to warm weather having lived in the south of France for quite a bit. Tell us a bit about living there, how was it?
It was great. Spent 10 years in the south & 10 in Paris, did most of my education in France, teenage years etc., so of course it has a special place in my heart.
You started out DJing while you were in Nice, and shortly after dropped out of school. Those must have been some pretty exciting years for you, growing up, being on your own. How did it all go down?
Yeah it was very exciting, kind of not thinking too much about the future, just playing music, just barely paying rent, but it was good times. Then as the years went by things got more serious and it started to somehow become a career.
Did you start producing while you were still there or after you moved to Paris?
Once I moved to Paris, when things became serious and I wanted to take things a bit deeper.
Things picked up soon after that and you released quite a bit of material for labels like Freak 'n Chic, Get Physical earlier on, Safari Electronique. Do you still keep close ties with the old crew?
No, not at all. These were my first years into production and trying to find myself. I have now moved on completely and live in NY where I started the label and studio 3 years ago. Back to where I was born, full circle. I don't relate to all those past releases, sadly , but it was a learning curve for sure.
So, you're back home now. How does it feel, comparatively to living in Paris? Any pros and cons that you could name for living in the US as opposed to living in Paris? Be it professionally or personal.
For me, where I am in my life I only have good things to say about moving back to NY , I could not be happier, would it professionally , socially or personally. It was definitely a great move I wish I had made earlier, even if Paris is good for its own reasons I am much more at ease in Brooklyn.
And what about the studio? As you said, it's been 3 years now since you and Francis Harris started working together and hit the ground running with it. How does the process between you two work while you're making music?
The flow is perfect , we are really on the same page and very focused, Francis is more about the music, he is very inspired when it comes down to writing great lines & maybe I'm more about beats, but there is no rule. We have been able to set a great work space with a lot of hardware, so it's a fun place to get inspired.
Sounds like a blast. You've also released quite a few tracks that feature vocal work. Who does the vocals for your tracks?
We have a great core of talent in Brooklyn or linked to the label , we have worked so far with Jason Poranski, Black Light Smoke, Gry & Bob Moses
The sound that you've achieved is very warm and soothing, but still dancefloor friendly. Your latest release as Frank & Tony, FAT006, featured two tracks, one of which had vocals but more of a spoken word kind of vibe. Should people expect more of the same from Frank & Tony as times passes by?
We have our first album about to drop in November, and you can get all our shades of deep house or at least what we consider deep house. You have some more vocal cuts like our first releases, and some more dubby and more classic house grooves.
If you don't mind me asking, do you have a name for it yet?
"You Go Girl".
You can check out part 1 of it now , it's coming out on 3 separate vinyl.
You mentioned earlier that you've set up quite a comfy little shack that you work from with lots of hardware. Regarding your studio setup, what's your favorite piece of equipment that you use?
Prophet 8 & 808 combo. Classic but does the trick. We have quit an extensive list of gear, so hard to pick faves.
Seeing as it is your home town, and you're so clearly in love with New York, could you name one track that describes it best for you?
A track we made with DJ Sprinkles, who is also from NY with this classic NY house feel , but with a modern twist. It's out on FATLP01, 3 tracks on every record, now on a vinyl only cut, and then the digital album in November with some digital exclusives also.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Anthony.
No problem, man. Thanks for the interview.