Charlotte Frimpong, the DJ better known as C.FRIM, has just spent a successful day shopping in sticky-hot Seoul, perusing flea markets to hunt for vintage designer wares.
“I got some Needles pants for 40 Australian dollars!” she says proudly, Zooming in from her hotel room in the city. We don’t blame her – those usually cost hundreds. She’s practically music’s answer to David Dickinson.
But Frimpong’s on a winning streak more generally, too. Over the past year or so, the 23-year-old has become one of Australia’s most in-demand DJs, a trajectory that was largely kickstarted by her slamming Sugar Mountain Boiler Room set in Melbourne last December.
Growing up in the suburbs of Melbourne, Frimpong, who has Ghanaian and Filipino heritage, didn’t come from a particularly musical family. Rather, she was introduced to production and DJing by her group of high school friends, all of whom were “big music heads,” as she puts it.
“There’s an area called Footscray in Melbourne that has all these abandoned warehouses, and we’d go to raves there when we were 15 or 16,” she says. “Those were one of my first points of contact with electronic and dance music. I remember always standing at the front of the crowd watching the DJ, trying to figure out what they were doing.”
Entirely self-taught via YouTube videos, Frimpong used to sit at her laptop and “kind of air DJ” while saving up to buy a mixer. When she finally got one, playing at house parties was her first order of business. Pretty soon bookings for radio sets, clubnights and festivals started rolling in – first in Australia, then across the world.
Case in point: in a couple of weeks, Frimpong will make her debut at Amsterdam-based festival Dekmantel. Big deal, eh?
“A huge one! I’m very nervous but excited,” she says. On the menu for her Friday evening set: “A sonic journey that reflects all the amazing music I’ve heard over the last year. But also a reminder of home and where I’m from. I want to introduce people to Melbourne sounds that they might not have heard before. I want it to be high energy and euphoric. If you’re not dancing, you’re not listening, you know?”
10% Describe your music to an alien.
Oh, shit… Everytime someone asks me what type of music I play, I buckle completely. It’s a tough one because I’m inspired by so many different types of music and I do a lot of genre-hopping. But I would probably start making some dub siren noises.
20% If you were cooking food to impress someone, what would you make?
The first thing that comes to mind is sinigang, which is a Filipino soup that my mum would cook when I was younger. She would cook it when we were sick and it was one of my favourite Filo foods. I’m most impressed when someone cooks something that means something to them – it doesn’t have to be a crazy five course meal. I want something home cooked that’s going to nourish me. It has to come from the heart.
30% What’s a bad habit that you wish you could kick?
So one of my favourite foods is green mango with chilli – I will eat that shit until I have a stomach ache. I just can’t stop. But I kind of don’t want to…
40% What’s the strangest DM you’ve ever received?
After my first Boiler Room, when I played at Sugar Mountain Festival, I was in the car looking at my DMs. There was this one guy that sent me a voicenote saying, “You absolutely just butchered Boiler Room, what the fuck was that!” I remember being like, oh my God. He was obviously so drunk to take the time to pull up his phone, get on Instagram and voicenote me and to say that I butchered Boiler Room. Maybe I did, but hey: it is what it is. I choose peace.
50% If you ruled the world for a day, what would go down?
Relaxation for everybody! No one goes to work. I want everyone to get a massage or have a spa day or something. But then there’d have to be someone to give the massages… Maybe I’ll just call up the aliens to do that. Let’s just take a break from the world for a moment.
60% Love, like, hate?
I’m a hater. I feel like I hate so many things. But: I love eating, I like cooking and I hate cleaning up.
70% What’s your number one holiday destination?
I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland. That’s definitely on the bucket list.
80% What’s the most pointless fact you can share?
Apparently tomato juice tastes better when you’re in the air flying, because the altitude makes the juice taste sweeter and fruitier. I’m yet to test out this theory but I’ll let you know when I do.
90% If you could travel back in time to see an iconic music act perform, who would it be?
Probably Fela Kuti in his prime, like in the ’70s, with the whole band and everything. Or Jimi Hendrix on some rockstar shit.
100% Do you have any exciting plans coming up?
I’m going back to Ghana in January, hopefully. That’s where I’m from – where my dad’s from. I’m super keen to connect with the motherland and my roots. In a couple of years I definitely want to move back to Ghana. I’m really excited about that. I want to come back super inspired.