On The Record: DJ Soundsex
BY KALANI WILHELM / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Party extremists beware — DJ Soundsex is back.
In Miko Franconi’s quest for dance music supremacy, there are three constants: music is life, life is music and big risks always lead to bigger rewards. Franconi is back in town for a series of appearances that will conclude with the sixth annual “Silky Love” on Feb. 15 at The Fix and neighboring venue The Underground in Chinatown.
Mix youthful exuberance and a rock star persona, and you get DJ Soundsex. After carving out quite a niche in local electronic music circles for more than a decade, the popular electro house specialist decided his comfort zone was getting a little too comfy and it was time for change.
In search of career growth and personal validation, Franconi took his talents to the mainland when he embarked on is first ever national tour in March 2013. The summer escapade covered 19 cities in nine states and totaled 21 shows; stops included big time music cities like Miami, Chicago, Las Vegas, Denver and Seattle. It’s been about global domination ever since.
Exposing his infectious sounds to the masses was just the adrenaline boost he needed to take all aspects of his career to the next level. He credits the countless number of gigs in Hawaii for not only his drive and passion for electronic music, but also for preparing him for the nightlife worlds that exist outside of the 808.
“Stepping up to these big stages and booths and feeling comfortable is something that is acquired over time,” he said. “I know that if I had to play on some of the stages that I get to now, a few years ago I would not have been ready.”
While Franconi (younger brother of “Superstar DJ” Keoki) admitted returning to Hawaii at the conclusion of last year’s tour was an option, his instinct said otherwise. The time was right to relocate to Hollywood and kick his career as a DJ and producer into overdrive.
“LA has given me so many blessings; the music has been flowing,” he said. “Honestly, it’s been 190 mph since I left the 808. I gotta say it’s been full of smiles but this year has been a trying one as well.”
The biggest year of his life took a turn for the worse in April when his father died. The trying time put a brief halt to his career aspirations, but the downward emotional spiral was short lived thanks to the support of family and friends. Franconi, who didn’t attend the funeral service, continued touring.
“It was a tough decision, but I know my father would have wanted me to pursue my passion,” he said. “He was always pushing me to follow my dreams. If it wasn’t for the kind words of encouragement, this year would have been overwhelming, to say the least.”
While living in Los Angeles, Franconi said he is focused on putting the finishing touches on a number of projects set for release this spring. He said he plays a handful of gigs a month and spends most of his time in the studio.
Despite his recent success, Franconi said that no amount of stardom would ever cause him to turn his back on Hawaii.
“I’m always repping the 808,” he said. “I probably make people sick of hearing how much I love my homeland, but it doesn’t matter. I want people out in the world to think ‘dance music, nightlife, parties’ anytime they hear the (word) Hawaii.