FKJ is the abbreviated version of multi-instrumentalist Vincent Fenton’s moniker “French Kiwi Juice,” a name that has become eponymous on Youtube over the past few years with unique, live-looping performances in beautiful locations—like this clip, filmed in the world’s largest salt flat, or this one at the Paris Modern Art Museum. His mastery of piano, synthesizer, guitar, and even saxophone has garnered him international acclaim and a far-reaching fanbase. For the first time since 2019, he brought his famous live show back to Denver.
Opening the night was LA-based duo OHMA, comprised of Mia Garcia and Hailey Niswanger. Their debut album, Between All Things was released just over a month ago, and they’ve aptly described it as a “sonic forest”—saxophone, light guitar grooves, and echoey keys are layered with ethereal vocals to produce a smooth, jazzy, and sometimes meditative sound evocative of nature’s ebbing and flowing.
After a 45-minute set break, FKJ sauntered onstage through a wooden door—part of an elaborate physical recreation of the home where he spent much of quarantine lockdown (also seen in this live session). He slowly walked over to a sleek mid-century modern bookshelf, outfitted with records, a turntable, and even a kettle which he used to pour a glass of tea. He put on an album before relaxing on a full-size leather couch off to stage left. His endearing furniture set-up and accompanying skit were flanked by three massive LED walls, displaying imagery of a lush green jungle outside.
Moments later, he was seated at a keyboard center-stage and already deep in looping and improvisation. FKJ’s virtuosic, nearly 2-hour performance explored funk grooves, dance-pop melodies, jazz, soul, and even a brief guitar-driven foray into psychedelic rock. Lush, soaring, and effortlessly varied, nearly every song evades classification—he moves between genres and motifs as smoothly as he does between instruments. While many know FKJ for his solo performances, Friday night’s show saw accompaniment by a drummer, bassist, and, for the second half of the show, a string section, all of whom played together beautifully. The strings were especially powerful during the crescendos of “100 Roses” from the 2019 EP, Ylang Ylang.
It’s hard to overstate the vibrance of FKJ’s instrumentation and his brilliant interweaving of what feels like countless genres and styles. He certainly evokes a nostalgia for the past, both sonically and visually with his 70s-inspired set design, but his Ableton-based looping and imaginative improvisation prove that he has one foot in the future, too. Keep on eye out for future tour announcements—his live show is one you won’t want to miss.