[Interview] Felix da Housecat Returns to Atlanta

[Interview] Felix da Housecat Returns to Atlanta

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By Frank Duke

Photos by Teddy Williams

Felix da Housecat is a mastermind of house music and its development from the very beginning. He joined us in Atlanta to show us what he is all about.

I walk in the EQ nightclub and see they have made some changes for the evening. Afro Acid and Horrible Children teamed up for this night and brought in two projectors. They showed a Valentine’s Day themed visual loop on a big sheet with tears on the bottom creating a cool effect to the screen. The visual loop was provocative and sexual, which I didn’t mind at all. I thought it was an interesting, off the wall, and respectable approach.

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The music playing had a tonality of disco, funk, electro, and house. Comstock and Lunashift warmed the crowd up and had us all dancing, laughing, and socializing. With these two imprints working together, the mix of people was very unique. Everyone was representing themselves and their love for house music. Special shout out to the speedo boy, he was doing his own thing without a care in the world.

As the night progressed, more people arrived and everyone was nice and cozy with one another. Felix makes his way to the booth and starts off building anticipation with a dark and ambient opening statement. The grooves followed with long tailed kick drums, pianos, and open hats that were threaded together with a bit of funk. People were blown away with his tracks. Crowd favorites were when he played an edit of Michael Jackson's “Thriller” and an edit of “In the Beginning (Jacks House)”.

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His range was vast. He played everything from deep house, to techno, and even a bit of progressive house. He was joined by DJ Pierre in the booth throughout most of his set. They were socializing and catching up since it had been a while since they have seen each other. At the end of the set, Felix did something that I thought was very special. He got on his headphones and reversed the polarity of the magnets so that they could be a microphone. He stopped the music, and spoke to the crowd. He started off by thanking everyone for such a good evening. He spoke about how DJ Pierre “Put [him] on”, and about how Pierre truly gave him an avenue for his music. Pierre also talked about how "Felix is like [his] little brother” and about how proud he is of him and everything he is doing.

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Felix then spoke about Pierre’s track “Acid Tracks” and how it changed him holistically. He wrapped up speaking to the crowd a bit about how Felix the Housecat came to be via DJ Pierre. We all conglomerated around the booth and talked for a bit and took pictures with the man of the hour. Once most people made their way home or walked over to Odyssey, Felix and I stepped outside for a bit of an interesting fireside chat.

As we were walking out, Felix said to me, “This is so underground. I love it."

I knew that he was just getting back from Holy Ship, and when I brought it up, he immediately jumped and said, “Holy Ship! Man, Holy Ship changed my life. I met a lot of industry people, they said I was an influencer, and got an intimate experience with my fans. Lots of people from Ohio had some love for Felix the Housecat.”

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Then he changed gears and talked about how he spent some time with producer Dallas Austin here in Atlanta. “I used to live in Atlanta for about six years. Dallas convinced me to move here while I worked on my album. So I came to Atlanta, got on this little rocket ship, Dallas and Bee’s {takes a pause} let me give a shout out to Bee’s! They really helped me rework my life. Then I went to England from here, then Montreal after that, met my girl in Montreal, and now I'm back in the ATL."

I wanted to get a bit more insight into how him and DJ Pierre met, and he was more than happy to oblige. “When I was a freshman in high school, my mama bought me a drum machine. So I would walk around high school telling people ‘I’m the Housecat’. And I made a track called ‘House Beat’. No one knows this story. I gave it to a guy named Jeff and Emit. And they said ‘Yo, I know this guy named DJ Pierre and he made this track called ‘Acid Tracks’. Then Pierre listened to it, and gave me a call, and asked me if I wanted to get together in the studio.”

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He then walked over to Pierre’s car to bring him into the conversation. Pierre tells us, “You know, there’s a lot of people out there with talent. But this kid took it and ran with it. I put them in a place where he could flourish and some people do and some people don’t. You just really got to have the talent, and you have to be an artist. Felix had it.”

We stood around and talked a bit more about their early days in the industry and about all the people helped curate Acid House. You can tell these guys are full with pride of the work that they’ve done and are extremely excited to share it with the world.

 
 
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