Francis is a resident DJ at Tipotango in Eindhoven and has been invited to DJ in milongas throughout The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
Among his notable performances are the 4D Festival in Eindhoven, the Marathon De Tres Paises in Maastricht and multiple Totally in Tango events.
Francis likes to approach DJ-ing as a dancer; music should summon you on to the dance floor, inviting you to express a myriad of emotions, facilitating an optimal connection with your partner and fellow dancers.
To achieve this, he jeeps a careful eye on the dancers, picking up clues that hint at the required music for an optimal atmosphere.
TEN QUESTIONS WITH:
DJ FRANCIS MBILA
– a question of taste
Origin: The Netherlands (born in Democratic Republic of Congo)
Rank your favourite music style when playing:
I mostly play music from the Golden Age, with regular excursions to the early ’30’s and orchestras of today that properly grab the feel of authentic tango. Occasionally, I will include a neo or non tango tanda.
Are you dancing yourself?
I have been dancing for 6 years.
Which year did you start to Dj?
I started DJ-ing in 2015.
What was the trigger that made you start DJing?
Around 2014 I became so interested in the music that it became a sport for me to recognise the orchestra and singer whenever I heard a song. A dancer in my community who was aware of me doing that then dared me to DJ once at a practica, I did and the rest is history.
What is the main quality a DJ needs to have from your point of view?
Flexibility and empathy. Dancers will surprise you all the time with the way they react to your music. You need to be able to notice mood shifts and adapt to them.
About cortinas: how long, why and kind of music?
No longer than 40 seconds. Preferably happy, but more importantly they have to be well-timed. You don’t want to ruin the good atmosphere you’ve created during the tanda.
What is your playlist system? Always the same or do you adjust it; when and why?
I don’t have a preset playlist. I do however have set tandas, because I believe that certain songs fit best together. While DJ-ing, I never plan more than 2 tandas ahead and I’ve often changed the next tanda during a cortina.
Somebody comes to the Dj booth and asks you to play a song. Your answer?
I’ll see what I can do’. If I can build a good tanda around the song, I will play said song. If not, I will not play the song.
What would be your last song you played on a Tango Festival or Marathon?
La Cumparsita. The version depending on the mood at the moment.
If you would have a free wish, which Festival or Marathon would you like to play at?
Any Festival or Marathon would be welcome of course. I would particularly love to play at a Maracuentro someday.