Published Jul 24, 2009For the past 20 years, Felix Da Housecat has proven himself an originator and innovator of electronic music in the midst of superstars and the underground elite. 2001's acclaimed Kittenz And Thee Glitz laid down electro in a raw, emotive form and helped popularize the style in clubs worldwide. Now eight years later, He Was King continues down the gold path of rebel pop music where 2007's intrepid Virgo Blaktro & the Movie Disco left off. First single "We All Wanna Be Prince" pays homage to the influential artist with husky, effects-laden vocals and straightforward synthesizers. Felix was the keyboardist for Prince & the Revolution cover band Shades of Blue (back when Purple Rain was released) and 25 years later, his respect comes full circle. Each song on He Was King brings an individual vibe to the record: "Turn Me On A Summer Smile" presents bold, breathy vocals, sexy live bass and eerie keyboards; "Do Not Try This At Home," similar to Ambra Red's cover of "Tainted Love," is an electro-enhanced tune about something hellish, the music hypnotic and somehow uplifting. "Kickdrum" blasts off, conveying the hot effects of deep drums on women. (Remember "Cars With The Boom!" by L'Trimm?) He Was King brings us conceptually to the edge of avant-garde and musically, to the centre of the strobe light with its creative, pumping beats.
Were you striving for anything musically in the making of He Was King?
I never like to repeat myself with any album I try and do. I try to push myself creatively to another level. Sometimes I reach back for old ideas and make them newer and fresher. But for this record, I felt relaxed, happy and stress free.
I've read about your supreme reverence for Prince. Can you talk about how he's inspired you?
I love the '80s Prince! The dude I am singing about is Prince about 1978 to 1991. We all wanna be that Prince. At least I did.
Everyone is talking about Nese Djouma and her vocals on "Kickdrum." You seem to have some cool relationships with your female vocalists, and your music appeals to the female perspective. Is this intentional?
Very intentional! Women are much easier to work with than guys. It's an ego thing. Me and a woman in the studio works great - no egos, and more sex appeal comes out in the music. But with a woman and men working together, sometimes the ego thing can get in the way.
What live elements were incorporated on He Was King?
Dan Dixon plays bass and guitar live on a few songs: "Turn Me On A Summer Smile" and "Machine." Those were the only songs that used a live element.
Can you share the names of the other vocalists on the LP?
Geminia, Angie Romasanta, Sia' Meez and of course, myself and Nese.
You recently toured North America and had a number of Canadian stops. How do your shows in Canada compare with the big events you play in London?
Canada has that European feel, to me, easily comparable to London, which is great!
Where do you see electronic music going in North America?
It's going on here right now!