Barbara Ford is one of the most versatile and talented performers to emerge from the Amsterdam scene in quite a while, playing and producing tough vibes for sweaty low ceiling clubs (check out her contribution to ClekClekBoom’s recent ‘Various Cuts’ EP if you haven’t already) and lending her sultry vocals to a variety of projects.
Can you tell us a bit about your musical background?
“My mum has always been a big music fan. When she was young she would keep track of all new releases and would wait in front of the record store to buy the vinyl. My dad is also a big music fan, so I think that’s where it all began. I played the piano for 9 years and did some drumming and jazz-singing at my high school. Not very serious though, but just for fun.
Also my brother started playing vinyl in the basement of my parents when I was 11, I think, which always seemed very magical to me. I think this has all contributed to me ending up as a musician in different ways.”
What have you been up to lately?
“I’ve locked myself up in the studio lately, so you could say my priorities lay there at the moment. Of course my ClekClekBoom release has been a big thing for me. It received some really good reviews, very happy about that.
I also did a collab with Sinfol a while ago; I did the vocals on his track ‘Crystalline’ on his new ‘Intra’ EP, released under his own label Anagram, which gave me an opportunity to show myself from a different angle.”
What are you working on at the moment? Any future projects you can tell us about?
“At the moment I’m putting a lot of attention to my productions, but I’m also working on my performances, as a DJ but also as a singer. I perform together with Sticks, Willem (the Opposites), Miss Bunty, Gosto and Dusty in the album shows of De Sluwe Vos. That’s quite a different side of me, not comparable with the sound I play as a DJ.
As for my other future projects; I don’t feel the need to plan everything out yet, I’ll see what happens, that makes it more fun.”
“About 1,5 year ago I met Bambounou at a party in Amsterdam. He played a wicked set, and I complimented him on that. We talked for a while and he gave me his email address so I could send him some of my tracks. The next day I sent him some of my productions, thinking nothing too serious of it. He liked it and asked me to send it to his buddy French Fries, as he might like it as well.
A few days later it was settled, French Fries wanted to release it under his label ClekClekBoom. Since then I’ve been going to Paris, where I’ve always had a good time with the guys, hanging out and playing with them.”
What artists are you into at the moment?
“The ClekClekBoom crew of course; they’ve all got some really interesting and different vibes going on. Every one of them has a unique musical personality. Take NSDOS for instance, he is a mad man when he plays live. I’ve never seen a live act so vibrant and mesmerizing as his. He is so energetic, and while he plays what he feels he has complete control over his crowd. It’s something very pure that clearly comes from deep within himself. It’s pure magic.
I’m also quite intrigued by Blawan, Karenn, Mickey Pearce, Ron Morelli, Funkineven and also the label Trilogy Tapes has had my attention for quite a while now. But there are a lot more DJ’s, producers and labels I’m into, way too many to mention.”
Any talents we should look out for?
“Yes, you should definitely look out for Caslau, Lemonick, Parrish Smith, Scott Franka, and Ansome. Really talented guys.”
You’re a product of the Amsterdam scene. Do you feel there’s a lot going on in Amsterdam right now when it comes to electronic music?
“I don’t really see myself as a product of the Amsterdam scene, I don’t know in which scene I belong actually, but I get inspired by what’s going on in Paris at the moment. There is so much energy in the clubs there, the crowd actually digs it if you play differently and daring. I find that there’s more room to be experimental, to be able to play something different than the usual ‘easy for the ear’ stuff.”
You always seem to go for a dirty, analogue and raw, yet at times emotional basement type sound. Can you tell us a bit about the setup and the tracks you used for this podcast?
“I’ve used 2 Technics and 2 CDJs for this podcast and the track selection pretty much came down to what my mindset was at that moment. I kind of had an ‘island vibe’ going on, which explains the variety of drums. Actually, island vibe or not, I’m always a big sucker for harsh drums, raw edges, analogue vibes and like you pointed out, emotional sounds that let you float just a little bit.
I really like it when music takes you back to a certain time or moment. I think that’s a very important aspect of playing and making music; making the listener travel to a different place and time, allowing him to let go of his surroundings.”