FKJ is a one-man, groove-making machine who’s full of surprises as he demonstrates at Shrine Expo Hall

French Kiwi JuiceBy Josh Herwitt //

FKJ with (((O))) //
Shrine Expo Hall – Los Angeles
August 5th, 2019 //

I’ll be completely honest: I had no idea who FKJ was before this year. In fact, I had no clue who he was six months ago.

I found out about Vincent Fenton, better known by most fans as French Kiwi Juice, while watching Coachella’s Weekend 1 webcast on my couch back in April. It was there on that Saturday afternoon where I came to see how talented the French musician actually is.

Originally from the city of Tours, the multi-instrumentalist and singer is considered to be a pioneer of the New French House movement, having garnered a strong following in a short amount of time thanks to his live show that sees him incorporate live loopings through the software sequencing program Ableton while holding his own on a number of instruments, including synthesizer, piano, guitar, bass, saxophone and digital percussion.

But with 2017’s self-titled LP serving as FKJ’s only studio album to date, we weren’t sure how long Fenton would be able to entertain the sizable crowd in LA that showed up on a Monday night and braved the sauna-like conditions inside the Shrine Expo Hall. The set times, from what we were given, indicated that he was scheduled to play for 90 minutes, yet the 28-year-old must have had other ideas either before or once he took the stage.

FKJ

It’s rare to see an artist these days blow past their scheduled out time, especially on a Monday evening. In the City of Angels though, you never know what you’re going to get at a concert on any given night of the week. That’s what makes it one of the best cities in the U.S. to catch live music (we see you Austin, Nashville and New Orleans, too).

And just like we didn’t know that FKJ would go more than 20 minutes long, his snippet of “Xxplosive” from Dr. Dre’s legendary album 2001 around the performance’s midway point also came as a pleasant surprise. Sure, it would have been extra sweet to see the one-man, groove-making machine drop a few bars of “California Love” on us as well, but those who were there showed plenty of enthusiasm when Venton’s wife June Marieezy, who performs under the moniker (((O))) and served as the show’s opening act, came out to sing on their “Vibin’ Out” collaboration.

Covers and guest appearances aside, what’s almost as impressive about FKJ as his mastery of so many instruments are his improvisation skills onstage. Fenton, who went to film school as a way to study sound engineering for free, doesn’t stick strictly to a script like most electronic musicians, even those who play instruments instead of just pushing buttons. That’s probably why the show extended past 11 p.m. with FKJ performing almost two hours of material, much of which bordered at times on nu jazz, alt-R&B and naturally, French house.

2019 has already been a banner year for Venton in several ways. Besides making his debut at Coachella less than four months ago, he partnered with livestream media company Cercle to release this jaw-dropping live video that sees him performing on the world’s largest salt flat. Plus, he married Marieezy in March after previously working with the Filipino songstress. So with Marieezy by his side and fan bases in both Europe and North America now solidified, it appears that FKJ is ready to share his one-of-a-kind live show with the rest of the world.

Because for those who still haven’t heard of him yet, they certainly will soon.

Pass that shit: Top 10 weed songs

Subscribe to our Spotify Playlist “Pass that shit ➜ Top 10 weed songs” and listen to the 50 best weed songs ever!

Our list is based on the criteria that the best weed songs are blatantly about marijuana and very catchy. So as the movement to legalize and tax marijuana like alcohol gains steam, light up a spliff and check out our 10 favorite weed songs of all time.

What did we miss? Leave a comment below.

10. Let’s Go Go Get Stoned – Ray Charles
Originally recorded by The Coasters in a 1965, Ray Charles made “Let’s Go Get Stoned” a #1 hit a year later. This classic blues track was released after Charles was released from rehab, as he was attempting to kick heroin. It’s assumed that Charles smoked copious amounts of marijuana as well…Thanks Billy Preston!

9. Ganja Smuggling – Eek-A-Mouse
Jamaican reggae singer Eed-A-Mouse is about two things: repetition and weed. His concerts often consist of “a-Wa-Do-Dem” being repeated for 65% of the time, but he placates the stoner rastas and trustafarians with his biggest tracks “Ganja Smuggling” and “Sensee Party.” “Ganja Smuggling” still has the mouse’s patented repetition and sends positive irie vibes.

8. Smoke Two Joints – The Toyes
Sublime made this track famous, but it belongs to The Toyes. According to The Toyes website, “Bradley (Nowell) himself had happened upon the song and recorded it before he knew The Toyes or their music.”

7. The Next Episode – Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg, or Snoop Lion as he wants to be called now, must legally be included in this list, as he is the current cultural ambassador of ganja. Just check his twitter feed. Most list makers would probably use Gin & Juice, or something from The Chronic. We’re going with the track that had every pot smoking teenager saying “Smoke weed every day” with the spot in our top 10.

6. I got 5 On It – The Luniz
“I got five on it” refers to throwing down with your buds on a sack and puffin’ away. Just check the lyrics: “Kinda broke so ya know all I gots five, I got five. Unless you pull out the fat, crispy five dollar bill on the real before its history. I got 5 on it, let’s go half on a sack.”

5. Champagne & Reefer – Muddy Waters
“Yeah bring me champagne when I’m thirsty. Bring me reefer when I want to get high…Well you know there should be no law on people that want to smoke a little dope.” The Rolling Stones still cover it.

4. Mary Jane – Rick James
Rick James may be more well known for his addiction to cocaine thanks to The Chapelle Show, but “Mary Jane” proved that Rick James was multi-faceted in his drug use. History proves that Mary Jane was an actual girl Rick James loved, but she left him. In this case, music fans have spoken, and Chapelle’s movie Half-Baked help solidify this song and the woman Mary Jane into pot popular culture.

3. Rainy Day Women #12 & #35 –Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan was an early cannabis supporter – hell he introduced herb to the Beatles. And no song signified this more than the refrain “Everybody must get stoned!” Dylan reportedly got everyone super high before this recording that appeared on the legendary album Blonde on Blonde.

2. Hits from the Bong – Cypress Hill
No one has owned Weed Music more than Cypress Hill. Just look at the way they’ve described the details of their love for herb in tracks such as “I wanna Get High” & “Dr. Greenthumbs.” But it’s “Hits from the Bong” that has left the biggest impact. Remember, ‘just like chong, I hit the bowl and I reload it.’

1. Legalize It – Peter Tosh
At a time when support for marijuana legalization and taxation is at a all time high in the US, Peter Tosh’s track “Legalize It” is as relevant as ever. Legalize it. Don’t Criticize it.

No Bob Marley??? Leave a comment!

Subscribe to our Spotify Playlist “Pass that shit ➜ Top 10 weed songs” and listen to the 50 best weed songs ever!