“Say hello to my stringy little friend!” – Miami73
When I think of Miami, I think of sun-drenched beaches, cocktails, roller-bladers with perfect bodies, painted-on smiles, and (thanks to Al Pacino’s Golden Globe winning performance in Scarface) mountains of Columbian powder. So I expected to hear of some crazy adventures from our latest feature, Fred, who’s musician tag reads ‘Miami73‘.
He began introducing himself and I immediately experienced a gentle tugging of the zygomaticus and little waves of serotonin wetting my imagination owing to the sheer optimism and joy he exudes. Rather than tales of cartels, the underworld and high-living aboard luxury yachts, Fred’s account of himself was far more serene and pure, instantly whipping up visions of mountain peaks, clear blue skies, pristine lakes, and a man who finds positivity in all things.
The only mountains of white powder here are the blankets of untrodden snow drifting up against the fir trees of Savoie, situated in the French Alps where Fred lives with his wife and daughter.
I asked how he arrived at the stage name ‘Miami73’, keen to satisfy my curiosity and to see whether there was a deeper, or darker, meaning to offset the glaring positivity that surfaced from his introduction, “I was sure that you will ask this question!” he says, and explains it has been a long-standing title, given to him by his work colleagues who “wanted to give themselves nicknames like the characters in the famous Netflix series, La Casa Del Papel”. Fred was given the name ‘Miami’ owing to his physique and love of weight training… “they immediately thought of Miami Beach.”.
Fred is better known to his listeners for his eclectic blend of Electro-Rock, Blues, Jazz, chilled-out beats, and numerous collaborations with other musicians across the globe. Regularly featured in BandLab’s trending lists, he isn’t short of inspirational, laid-back music and generously dispenses a healthy dose of support and encouragement for other musicians that cross his path. Let’s get into it…
Thanks for taking the time Fred, tell us a bit about yourself.
I am 49 years old, living in France in the Alps in the department of Savoie, with my wife and my 13-year-old daughter. I’m the happiest daddy I think! I’m a happy and optimistic person (but also a realist!). I like to imitate the people around me (since I was a little boy I have imitated people, famous characters, or people that I meet). I have a lot of humor and I like to make people laugh around me. A day is so much more relaxed when you laugh and laughter is very good for your health! I listen to a lot of music every day.
Tell us about how you got into making music, what’s your background?
Two and a half years ago, I met my friend Bob, who shared the same passion as me for music and guitars! One day he told me about the Bandlab app and all that we can do with it! It was amazing and it was free! It happened around the time of the COVID 19 pandemic. And I have to say that despite the atrocity of this epidemic, it was an eye-opener for me (like many other musicians too, I think). We were often stranded at home because of the long confinements. So I put this time to good use and discovered this new passion for musical creation. The “Do it Yourself” (DIY) really made sense for me at that time! I started on my Smartphone (it’s still amazing what we manage to do with it!). Then I bought some equipment, small amps (I live in an apartment so I can’t play too loud!), an audio interface (Scarlett Focusrite), a master keyboard, cables, etc! I even had to replace my computer because it was no longer powerful enough to play music. I created this little Home Studio that I take out and put away easily.
You’re obviously a guitarist, and you have a beautiful looking blue strat there, what instruments are you playing at the moment?
Eight years ago, I bought an electro-acoustic guitar with which I learned some major chords. But I played when I had the time! Then I bought my first electric guitar in November 2018. It was an IBANEZ – RG370AHMZ BLUE MOON BURST. I was immediately seduced by its color (Midnight blue with emerald reflections) as well as by a demonstration video on Youtube and above all, it corresponded to my small budget! It is also this guitar that I use in the photo on my different profiles for social networks. The blue guitar is Miami73!
Following this purchase, I started by scratching a bit, thanks to my father who sent me some exercises and tips on the pentatonic scales … But I was not progressing very quickly! We will say that since I created my music, I have improved a bit but I am still very far from having a good level … However, I do not despair of improving with time and practice!
Recently, I started using the cigarbox (3 strings) while working on the technical “Slide”. It was thanks to my friend Bob, who made me a unique copy of the Marvel character “The Punisher”: the Punisherbox sounds hellish! This guy is really good with his hands: he makes amazing instruments out of wooden boxes, you should go see and listen to what he does! For the rest, I sometimes blow my harmonica, or I play a few notes on my master keyboard, but it’s still basic.
Who are your main musical influences?
My main musical influences are essentially Rock, Hard Rock (I love music of the 80′-90′), Jazz, Acid Jazz, Lounge, Chill, Indie, Lofi, Electro, Soundtrack, Classic… I’ll name a few names that come to mind instantly; Joe Satriani, ACDC, Scorpions, Journey, Dire Straits (Mark Knopfler), Tears For Fears, Ritchie Kotzen, U2, Simple Minds, Coldplay, John Barry, Hans Zimmer, James Horner, Jerry Goldsmith, Basil Poledouris, Franck Sinatra, Michael Bublé, DEPECHE MODE, Sade, St Germain, Shazz, Kevin Yost, Kenny G, Tony Joe White, Joe Bonamassa, Massface, Enigma and many more!
Do you have a particular genre that you associate with the most, and how would you best describe the music you create?
As a composer, I am more inclined to play Jazz, Lounge, or Electro songs. Although I love to compose Rock or Dark Country songs. Everything will depend on my inspiration, but it’s quite binary with me: it is most often sensual or badass!
What is it that motivates you to create?
Bandlab motivates me, Spotify motivates me, Youtube motivates me! As soon as I see or hear a song that I like, I have a crazy desire to create! I always think of music, even at night! To date, I have created over fifty original songs.
Are you working on anything new at the moment that you’d like to mention?
Yes, I work on a lot of things! This may be my biggest problem! I have so many ideas that I start a lot of projects that I put aside (due to lack of time) and then resume later… As I am a big fan of DIY, I also create my videos clips for my Youtube channel, which takes me a lot of time! In fact, the next one is in the works … I hope you will have a look! I try to be also present on a few other social networks like Instagram, Tiktok, but it is a challenge because I don’t have time and then I do not always understand how to use these media well, it is certainly related to my age!
Describe your creative process when you write new music.
First of all, it’s a tune or a beat that I create. I only use Bandlab and Cakewalk at the moment. I do not yet master all the features of these DAWs! The beat or the drums are often my work base … Then I add samples, or I put some guitar notes on them. Then I sometimes imagine other “real” instruments. At this moment, I call on my friends from Bandlab to collaborate with me. For example, for the Saxophone (an instrument that I love) I ask my friend Dirty D.
For vocals, I also have my favorites – female vocalists: Zana, Jenny Stevens, Antonia Vibes, Jannine A, and male vocalists: Tom Benz, Jordi Fons. Gabriel Kanka. But there are many other artists that I collaborate with and certainly new ones in the weeks to come.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I was very happy that you gave me this interview. It’s a huge honor for me. I would like to thank you Mistachesta, Giulietta Zardetto, Beck M, Sno, Outerimage and Rick Tyrrel for your investment in promoting independent artists. I devoured your article on Dan Ripley (I’m a huge fan!). Your magazine is beautiful, awesome, and thorough. I congratulate you and I wish you much success!
Finally, I would like to thank the Bandlab social network again a thousand times, as well as all the people who have brought me so far – my friends; Bob Bobguitar73 (France), Dirty D (California), Jenny Stevens (UK), Zana (Malaysia), Antonia Vibes (Chile), Jannine A (Philippines), Tom Benz (Germany), Jordi Fons (Spain), Gabriel Kanka (Indiana, USA), Nerse (Thailand). Without you, my friends, Miami73 would not have existed! I love you! Sorry for anyone I didn’t mention because the list is long! Thank you also to all those who support me in everyday life and those who encourage me or congratulate me on social networks. I really appreciate your feedback and it always motivates me more!
Long live music. Take care of yourself…
Well, thanks for sharing with us Fred… and now, on to your music – let’s hear what you’ve got for us and what these tracks mean to you…
Before being called “Hi, it’s Me” the song was instrumental and its title was “Pancake Music” (because I was enjoying pancakes when I composed it and you know now how I love pancakes). I created this song using the Bandlab application (which is a bit like the “Facebook” of Music) and my smartphone! I posted it on my profile. Jannine heard it and immediately loved it. She wrote the lyrics and the songwriting. This is how “Hi, it’s Me” was born. What makes the story even more admirable is that we never met. Indeed, I live in France and Jannine in the Philippines! All of our collaboration was done via the application’s Chat! She’s a great singer and you must to go to listen her cover of Don’t Know Why by Norah Jones: It’s amazing!
The story of “Not Alone This Night” was different. I created a sensual beat on Bandlad which inspired me and I asked to my favorite sax palyer Dirty D to make some Jazzy notes. He did it more than I expected! As always his work was fantastic. Finally I asked to Antonia Vibes whom I had heard and whose voice had subjugated me. I aked her to speak only with a sensual voice in two language, English and Spanish…She wrote the lyrics and spoke with a lot of sensuality. I’m very proud of this song because it’s very original and mix a lot of genres: electro, Jazz, Groove, spoken word, Lounge, all in the same track!
Wild Wolf is my most popular rock track. I compose this track on my Strat Ibanez and with the Cigarbob #2 (cigarbox) that my friend Bob lent me. There many guitar sounds on it which give this original tune. I added some wolf scream to give it more epic rock atmosphere! I’m very proud of this track because it’s the first time of my young musician life that I win a contest! I was selected in 2nd place and I received $100 for that! For me it’s unbelievable! I was very very happy!
“Nu Day” is the EP of the first tracks that I made with my friend Dirty D. This is a Jazzy, Lounge and Chill EP. My collabs with Dirty D are very successful because we complete us very well. He knows exactly how to play on each track. I’m very proud to meet him on Bandlab and I’m very lucky that I wanted collab with me the first time! I thank him always.