The DJ trio known collectively as Fruity has a new home in The Eighty8 guesthouse, has recently hosted their first international guest – and the music isn’t set to slow down
THEY’VE been “making it rain since December 2010” and despite a few slow patches – babies and busy B Boys have halted plans on occasion – Fruity, the three-person DJ crew that recently took up residence at The Eighty8 guesthouse, is back on track and ready to make their shows even more diverse.
Founding member Dan Beck, 27, who originally hails from Scotland’s Glasgow, has a long history of being part of various club nights back in the UK, and was previously involved with Phnom Penh nightclub Pontoon.
Beck says he became disillusioned with the music DJs in this city were playing, so decided to play what others weren’t.
“It was just something I wanted to do. No DJs were playing the music I like. Then I saw this person posting some good music on Facebook. I’d met Cindy before but I sent her a message asking if she could DJ. She said no, and I couldn’t really either, but we started it up anyway.”
The Cindy that Beck refers to is Cynthia Herman, a 28-year-old originally from London. And while Beck jokingly calls her taste in music “a cheesier version of what I like”, DJ CynCity has become quite the name about town, known for playing a slew of garage tracks that had faded into the back of many people’s minds, but never fail to please.
The newest member to join the group is Peanut, a true music professional from Seattle in the US who is already well-known for his previous work with NGO Tiny Toones.
Having now left Tiny Toones to “do his own thing” which includes establishing a record label that’s “happened but not official yet”, Peanut, 28, says he’ll introduce Cambodian hip-hop tracks into
the Fruity mix.
As Beck and Peanut jovially argue about who asked whom for the B Boy to join the outfit, they explain they’ve been friends for around three years now and have always enjoyed collaborating on various projects together.
“He kissed my butt cheeks and I kissed his. We spoon each other while we’re sleeping, too,” jokes Peanut as he messes about with a huge pair of headphones and his laptop computer.
In terms of what to expect from a Fruity show, Beck explains that there’s a progression of sound that builds during the night: Peanut kicks things off with “swaggering hip-hop”, CynCity then shares her love for all things garage, before Beck himself and his signature hat takes things over with house and bass-influenced tracks.
The stylish Scot is quick to point out however that while bass has a stigma attached to it of “rooms full of sweaty guys and no girls”, Fruity’s mix of bass, house, hip-hop, garage, dubstep, R&B electronics, vintage and electro is “boys’ music for girls and girls’ music for boys”.
The Fruity appeal is a far-reaching one, so far in fact that FIT, a DJ and record label owner from Detroit in the US contacted Herman, interested in Phnom Penh’s music scene, which resulted in him being hosted by Fruity to spin at Fly Bar
on July 15.
FIT was Fruity’s first international guest but the trio has plans in the works to continue hosting other DJs, beginning with a friend of Beck’s who’ll arrive in October and who’s been a player in the UK DJ scene since he was just 14 years old.
Also on the agenda is the purchasing of some new vinyl and equipment, including decks, as Beck says they’re training themselves “to be proper DJs”.
Clearly, the “lack of focus” that Beck says hindered the early days of Fruity has been rectified. As he says as he takes a sip of his gin and tonic: “At the end of the day, it’s all about the music you play”.
Fruity’s next show will take place at 9pm on Saturday August 13 at The Eighty8 guesthouse, located on Street 88, Phnom Penh.