As America’s first Frenchcore DJ and producer, Levenkhan is an acclaimed name around the USA and Europe for his incredibly unique style. With an early career in producing Hip-Hop, as well as an extreme passion for classical music and punk, he has been able to craft his own unique style within the genre to define himself.
Levenkhan has performed at stages across Europe and North America. His unique style has been seen at many events, including shows put on by the top promoter in his genre and some of the top Hard Music organizations in the US. Hardstyle Mag sat down with Levenkhan to dive deeper into the story behind DJ Levenkhan and an exclusive look into what is to come.
How did you get into the electronic music scene?
As far as I can remember, I was always surrounded by electronic music, however somewhere around 2009 I recall listening to Deadmau5 for the very first time, which completely changed and absorbed me into this progressive house era. Songs like ‘Strobe’ and ‘Faxing Berlin’ captivated me entirely and put me in a musical trance unlike ever before. How can one person create such a timeless piece of electronic musical art?
What came first for you DJing or producing?
Production came first, I discovered FL Studio 3 from a buddy of mine back in Madrid, Spain. He gave me a bootleg copy, I tried it out and made some garbage with it. When I moved to New Jersey, I transitioned to FL studio 4 thanks to my cousins that were all involved in the underground Hip-Hop scene, and from there I just never looked back. I started experimenting and learning new stuff on my own. Keep in mind there weren’t any YouTube tutorials back then, there were no masterclasses, everything even until this day is completely self taught. DJing came shortly after when I purchased my first pair of turntables “ Gemini TT-02”.
How would you define your personal sound?
My sound stands out from the rest. I love music and throughout my life I have experimented and found new passions in different genres. I try to implement all of my past experiences into this modern day era of Levenkhan, you know, it’s like I can’t forget the past, I will forever respect it, learn from it and showcase it but never be stuck in the past. Feel me? My sound is Levenkhan, there’s no other type of way to describe it.
You often incorporate hip hop into your tracks, how has hip hop influenced your music?
Hip-Hop is a whole vibe, its culture. I was somewhat born and surrounded by this all my life. Hip-Hop is pain, it’s suffering, it’s loyalty, it’s people gathering in the park vibing in unity. It’s the struggle of trying to figure out how you will pay next month’s rent. My sound today and tomorrow will always be influenced by Hip-Hop and within the art of sampling.
What other sources do you derive inspiration from when it comes to making a track?
Usually anything outside of the genre I am producing. For instance, if I am making Frenchcore, I won’t listen to Frenchcore at all. I will dive deep into some lofI-house or lofi-jazz. I will get into some Deep numetal or Deathcore, Punk, Trap, etc. The environment and the area that I am in also helps, experiences with people, and exploring. Life itself is inspirational, it always comes when you least expect it.
We’ve seen various trends in Frenchcore over the last decade, what sets your music apart?
Frenchore is currently in a gray area, the top dogs in the game have set their stamp in the scene and many of the up and coming artists are simply following what they are doing, which there’s nothing wrong with that. I however like to do my own thing, I follow no one in this scene and I have discovered my true ‘Levenkhan’ sound in recent tracks that I released such as ‘Bingley’. You can say I am taking a far more ‘Americanized’ way of Frenchcore, utilizing my previous production experience into my sound today. I’m making music for both festivals and home experiences. I’m making music that makes you nod hard, that may give you a bass face, but will also make you listen to my lyrics. A ‘wholelotta fly vibes’ is what I like to call it.
Can you walk us through the creative and technical process of what goes into a track?
Every track is different, I always start from scratch, But I can talk about an upcoming track that I will be releasing which has a pretty cool and unique process. I went over some old vinyls from the 60’s and discovered a particular track that had a really cool section that I wanted to sample. So from a four minute track I chopped and sampled six seconds and made an entirely new track from this that got transformed into Hip-Hop. I finalized this hip hop track and then resampled this same track into a full blown Frenchcocre track. Then, I built the kicks around the sample and constructed a melody to follow along. I don’t think anyone has done this in our scene. This track is very special to me, and will be released this year.
You have a very unique brand (for example your pink hair and infamous Balenciaga shoes) where did this come from?
You need to have a solid brand that represents yourself musically and physically. For me I was always into urban street fashion and high-class designer fashion crossovers, mixing these two can come out pretty tight. I like to dress fly as hell, I love vibrant colors mixed with black and white, although my closet is mostly pink hahaha. I simply like to stand out, pulling up with a dope fit goes a long way plus it gives people a reason to see me and remember me. Getting compliments on my outfits feels dope. Just stay fly, I don’t like to blend in.
What role does social media play in your brand?
It’s a key element, not only for me, but for every other artist out there. Social media is your partner alongside your musical career, play alongside your partner and not against it. Don’t try too hard, don’t be cringe, don’t fake shit. I see a lot of try-hards and fake personas, just be authentic and provide a dope product. The pink hair was something that I always had in my bucket list, the pandemic simply helped with the ‘f*ck it’ mood and did it, plus pink is my favorite color. STAY FLY AND BE YOU .
How has the pandemic impacted your music career? How did you manage to find inspiration during this time?
It actually helped me out a lot. The pandemic was a masked blessing for me, although there was a lot of tragedy. I was able to catch up with life, I got myself out of a dark hole and realized that the only way out was to move forward no matter what. I released many tracks, and pushed forward, and nobody can take that away from me.
What are you working on now?
I got a few collabs at the moment, one which I am very excited for with Rooler. However I’ve been working on a personal project that will define Levenkhan as a whole. A project unlike anything you’ve ever heard before in our scene. I basically said to the whole scene “ Yea that’s cool and all, but hold the f**k up, let me do something my own way”. From Fine Art, Digital Art, Fashion to musical Frenchcore, rap, trap, and punk. All on my very own. I’m pushing for the culture, and unifying separate areas into a whole. If you pay attention, you will notice that most of these tracks in the scene lately have great festival crowd reactions but get forgotten far too soon. I am making timeless art and at the same time, I am just having a lot of fun. Just wait and see… Special shoutout to my girlfriend too, as she is a key element in helping me develop my ideas into fruition.
What can we expect from you this upcoming festival season?
Fly dope gritty s#!T only, just me being myself, always dressed fresh as hell, pulling fresh music, fresh edits, and a whole vibe and energy from beginning to the end of my sets. Just watch me live at Intents, Defqon.1 or any of my upcoming shows this summer, you will then understand.
Where can people connect with you online? Drop those links!
Besides the obvious links, Please support me on Spotify by following my page and my Artist playlist. Then you can follow me at:
Much love guys, Through darkness comes light.