TF Archives


Author: Alias
Sunday, January 1, 1995
"Play me something funky man!" The call is heard all around the world. People want the funk. They need the funk. And they continually demand the funk in order to get them out on the dancefloor to bust a groove. Sydney based producer Fatt Dex is on a mission to get people out dancing, and has done quite a good job of it with his debut single, Jus' Funkin', which is all over the radio at the moment, and with good reason. Its mix of organ tinkering, shuffling drums, and cheeky vocal stabs makes it the perfect soundtrack for settling the score on the dancefloor.

The man behind the Fatt Dex alias is one Leonardo Esposito, and he too is surprised at the attention that has been given to his first solo effort. "I didn't think they would play it as much as they are, but I'm stoked that they're playing at all," he says enthusiastically down the line. "I thought that more dance and community stations would pick it up more than Triple J." With such a huge impression made with his first single, Fatt Dex looks set for bigger and better things. With a two single and one album deal with Virgin Records (not known for its support of local talent) and remixes of Jus' Funkin' by Vicious Vinyl's John Course and the notorious Sushi Twins, things are on the up and up. It all seems a little easy doesn't it- "I wouldn't call it easy," Leonardo asserts, "There has been a lot of hard work behind it all. I've been doing music since I was 15 and this is probably the first exciting period for me in terms of radio play and stuff. It's not like I came from nowhere!"

Which begs the question, where on earth did the oddly named cut and paste master come from- "I've been in and out of bands quite a bit around Sydney but nothing major or anything. A couple of the bands I was in a got a bit of airplay on community stations and once or twice on Triple J, but that would be the end of it. I have always been doing music and I realised that I had to get off my ass and try to make it happen, and y' it's happening." However it wasn't always as rosy, Leonardo basically fell into his current deal by accident "It was bit of a spin out actually," he says. "It was a contact I made at Mushroom Records, and that manager moved onto EMI, and I always kept in touch with him. When I was at Mushroom he was the only guy who dug or understood anything that I was doing, and that was such a big frustration. I hit a real downpart of my life, and was about to just throw everything in and get the hell out of music, and all of sudden this guy rings me up out of the blue and says 'We really like this track, we want to release it', and I was like 'No Way!' So it started from there, and now I'm just really happy."

Esposito grew up listening to an eclectic range of music. From the techno and industrial synth pop of Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode, to the rolling groove of sixties and seventies soul and funk, and also the chiming guitar pop of the late eighties and early nineties, Fatt Dex takes snippets from all and realigns them for the new millennium. "I suppose its all my influences coming out (in the single)," he replies, "but I don't like to define myself or characterise myself to one style. I like to be a bit more collage-y, try to avoid sticking to the one straight line."

Leonardo also hopes to take the Fatt Dex concept live to the people. "For sure!" he asserts. "My aim is to get a full set of music behind me by the middle of the year, and then tour with a drummer and a live bass player. Really work on that groove element by trying to establish a vibe and visuals, and then have me behind it with a sampler and a couple of decks and a few other kits, and then also getting a few of the vocalists that appear on some of the tracks to get up on stage and MC." Coming from a more band based background, Leonardo feels that the live concept can only make sense in terms