Have you ever heard the story of how Swing music reached Europe?
It all began in America in the 1920’s when Swing, the first pop phenomenon in music, was born during The Great Depression. Every portion of society in that time grew to find some form of Swing favourable for their dancing or listening. The ideology behind the music was to fund belief in American exceptionalism, in ethnic pluralism and democratic equality which was ideally suited to the collective needs of a nation battling Fascism. By World War II Swing was reaching its peak but the draft of big band members, a lot of them Afro-American, to the army spelt the demise for many big bands America and the beginning of its recognition overseas in Europe. Travelling musicians-turned-soldiers would take the music with them and introduce it to others. Most noticeable Glenn Miller and his band who kickstarted the phenomenon in Britain with ‘In The Mood’ while playing to soldiers in order to up morale. Meanwhile overseas, Nazi Germany had banned swing in the run up to the war as they believe it an antithesis to the Reich, but when the war began popularity prevailed they viewed swing as an ideal vessel to spread propoganda because it was so popular. The Nazis created their own swing bands (Charlie and his Orchestra) to compose songs containing satirical messages. Records would be dropped over enemy lines via parachute and radio waves beamed to enemy and neutral countries spreading the propaganda. These two factors of propoganda swing being broadcast by Germany and musicians continuing to travel post war lead to its advancement throughout the world.
History lesson over. Fast forward to the present day. Swing music has undergone vast changes. It split in to other forms not long after the war, such as bebop and ragtime, and has been incorporated into a variety of other genres. In it’s most contemporary form, ‘Electro Swing’: an amalgamation of EDM and the old-time swing music. This branch has lost the racial and political factors behind it and is simply about frenetic, frivolent fun. This music, ladies and gentleman, eventually found a young producer named Frizzo. An aficionado, DJ and producer of the genre all the way from Italy. Let us introduce you.
FB: Tell us a little bit about your background in music.
Frizzo: I have always been interested in a number of different music genres. As a teenager I loved Reggae and Ska then I started to appreciate a wider range of electronic music, but at the same time I always loved to chill to Jazz and Classical music. At the moment I am playing and producing Electro Swing and Nu Jazz because it allows me to join the rich Jazz harmonies with the club sound and mix the two sides along with all the newest possibilities of electronic music.
FB: What led you to get involved in music?
Frizzo: Music has always been my main passion, first playing the piano then trying to learn as much as possible about audio and sound. I feel that I can give a lot through music, it’s the most authentic way to express my personality.
FB: What was the first instrument you played?
Frizzo: I played classical piano for 11 years, playing the piano is the best way to understand many aspects of composing and assembling different elements in the same song/track. I can play the clarinet too which got me into the big band/dixieland music. All this has an influence in my music, all my tracks include instrumental parts.
FB: So how does Glasgow compare to Italy?
Frizzo: I was born and bred in Italy, but I have been living in Glasgow for the past 5 years. There is a huge difference between Italy and Glasgow. I love Italy because of the landscape and the weather, but i prefer Glasgow for the people and music scene. Glasgow is such an eventful place and music has a central role in the city.
FB: You’ve received a significant bit of attention on your Soundcloud, but it’s been 5 months since you released any music. Does this mean that you have something up your sleeve?
Frizzo: Yes indeed, I have been working to an upcoming release with Broken Records, a Bristol-based label. The new EP will include 2 tracks merging 40s-50s music samples with a fat bass and a bouncy groove.
Frizzo will be releasing with Frogbeats Records soon. Look out for his upcoming releases with Broken Records. In the meantime, catch him playing his debut for Frogbeats at Scantily Beast on Friday October 25th at Stereo, Glasgow.
By Russell McMahon