In a new Chicago mix/interview series, DJ Frank Bono discusses playing at Prysm Nightclub, his love for Eric Prydz, and getting played on Above & Beyond’s Group Therapy.
Frank Bono is a progressive house DJ/producer that has made waves in the Chicago electronic music scene in 2022. Recently opening for Cristoph at Prysm Nightclub and Charles D at Spybar, Frank is a passionate music fan that often DJs parties throughout Chicago.
His 2021 Genesis EP with Erik Lucas was released on Grum’s Deep State Recordings imprint. The lead track “Genesis” was then played by Above & Beyond’s Group Therapy Radio Episode #442, putting Frank’s name alongside major artists like Seven Lions and gardenstate.
Frank Bono has DJed many other Chicago venues like Sound-Bar, Hush, Mansion on Rush, and Chop Shop. He has several exciting shows coming up this summer, as well as many new tracks on the way. Listen to Frank Bono’s progressive house sound in his Chicago Summer mix now, and read his interview questions below to learn more about this rising talent.
Earlier this year, you opened for Cristoph at Prysm Nightclub and Charles D at Spybar in Chicago. What is your relationship with both of these artists and how was your experience playing these shows?
Cristoph and I have been very good friends since 2018 when we met in person after he played with Grum at Soundbar. Everyone knows me as a massive Eric Prydz fan, so when Eric brought on Cristoph to his label in 2016, I got to know his discography very well. Eric doesn’t just let anyone on his label so I knew this guy had to be good. It just started with a simple Twitter exchange and turned into a very good friendship. I wasn’t even DJing yet when I met him so it was a pretty surreal moment when I was able to open for him at Prysm – especially since I told him that one day I would do that. We closed out with “Every Day”. It was honestly one of the highlights of my life and I won’t ever forget it.
Same with Charles D, Eric brought him onto his label and I got to know Charles very well through social media interactions. Playing at Spybar was something I thought I’d never be able to do, and I was very grateful for the opportunity. Charles and Cristoph have a long successful career ahead of them and I feel very lucky to call both of these massive talents my friends.
You released the Genesis EP with Erik Lucas on Grum’s Deep State Recordings label in 2021, and the lead track was picked up by Above&Beyond for ABGT442. What was it like to get recognized by these highly influential artists?
This moment was just unbelievable. I remember getting some messages from friends saying that they heard my track on Group Therapy. I immediately texted Erik Lucas about it and we both started going insane. I’ve always listened to Group Therapy and never in my wildest dreams did I think I would hear Paavo say my name live on air. I was even happier for my collaborator on the track, the very talented Erik Lucas. He was even a bigger fan than I was, and to help make one of his dreams come true was extremely satisfying. Erik has a lot of talent and I was just happy he was getting the recognition he deserves.
You’ve also played several sets at Hush Chicago. How has that venue – and the Chicago industry as a whole – impacted your career as an artist?
Hush is a brand new place a few of my friends have opened up at. One of those places where I can just have some fun in my sets and not stick to any particular genre. It’s open until 5 AM and it’s always a party.
The Chicago industry is amazing. There are so many talented DJs, and since the pandemic, it has exploded with many more. It can be hard to try and establish yourself and get gigs, so you really have to be active with attending events and networking with other DJs and promoters to get recognized. The good news is there are so many parties/events/afters to get yourself a good gig.
Several of your collaborations are with K A R I M and Samuel Sonder. What do you enjoy most about collaborating with other producers? Do you have more tracks on the way?
The best part about getting into DJing and producing is doing it with your friends. K A R I M and Samuel Sonder are two of my very best friends, K A R I M is the one that got me into DJing in the first place, and Sam got me into production. Sam and I started with a remix of one of my all-time favorite tracks, “Send Me an Angel”, which is a free download on our Soundcloud pages.
We followed that up with ‘Want Me’, and finally we were able to get all three of us to collab on a techno track called “Relentless”, both of which are available on Beatport. Sam and I have a very exciting EP coming out on Mioli Records: Golden Hour & Hidden. “Golden Hour” should be a summer banger this year, really looking forward to that release.
I can’t say anything more about this yet since it’s not confirmed, but I am hoping to have another release on Deep State with Erik Lucas, so keep your eye out for that.
What are some goals you hope to achieve in the next few years as both a DJ and a producer?
I still have much to learn when it comes to producing. Although I have some releases, they have all been collaborations. So one of my major goals is to have my first solo release. I am also trying to start DJing more often. Most of the time I just kind of wait and see who asks me to play, but recently I have been seeking out to play a lot more. I have some exciting gigs lined up this summer.
My ultimate goal is to start a possible label. It has been on my mind for a long time and I feel that is where I ultimately belong in this industry. I would also like to try to throw more events in the progressive house genre as well.