Fun Factory. 1999
Autor: Richard Constantinidi
Etichete: Al Walser, Close To You, Fun Factory Productions, Next Generation, Non-stop, T-roc, Toni Cottura
Toni Cottura (b. in Hamburg, Germany on June 7, 1971) is a eurodance and hip-hop producer and rapper from Germany, who began his career in 1988.
In 1993 he founded the eurodance group Fun Factory, where he started out as producer, songwriter and dancer, moving on to rapping as well on the second album (Fun-Tastic). The Fun Factory Theme (1992) and Move Me (1993) were the first singles released.
The original members of Fun Factory, Rod D, Smooth T, Marie Annett and Steve, left the group in 1996 and Toni Cottura and partner Aris Bülent disbanded Fun Factory in 1997 to concentrate on their burgeoning hip-hop collective Booya Family and the Booya Music label, where he produced tracks for a variety of hip-hop and R&B artists, such as Nana (a.k.a. Darkman) and Pappa Bear, among others. He also produced tracks for popular boy bands N'Sync and Backstreet Boys and collaborated with Puff Daddy (P. Diddy).
In 2000, Toni Cottura parted with Aris Bülent for good and disbanded Booya Music, further producing The Underdog Project and Popstar winners Bro'Sis.
In 2006, Toni Cottura released the Quieres Una Aventura single, a duet with Romanian singer Corina.
Fun Factory - The Next Generation. 1998
In 1998, Fun Factory made a comeback with an all-new lineup, comprising Al Walser, coming from Liechtenstein (leadsinger, rapper and composer), Annett and T-Rock. The style changed to a more poppy rap, mixed with reggae and techno-dance beats. The act became hugely successful on the Asian market. This project's third release, The Next Generation, came out in 1999 and sold over 100,000 copies in Japan and Europe. Singles from this album include Sha-la-la-la-la, Fun Factory's Millennium Theme, and Party With Fun Factory (which spent five weeks at #1 on Japanese radio and singles charts).
Here we have the second generation Fun Factory interview we took in Arad (Romania) during the 1999 solar eclipse festival (Eclipsa '99, also promoted as Sărbătoarea Berii Kaiser).
MORE ABOUT Eclipsa '99 in a ROMANIAN Language INTERVIEW
1999.AUG.9-11. Arad. Festivalul Eclipsei
During the next two weeks, the next couple of interviews will feature Pappa Bear and Nana (both part of the Booya Family).
Fun Factory. 1999 Line-Up
Annett (20, b. in Germany)
Al (22, b. in USA, living in Liechtenstein)
T-Roc (27, b. in USA)
Annett (born in Schwerin) debuted in the music scene four years earlier: she studied economics for a while and quit; becoming a member of various dance acts before this one.
Al was a radio DJ in Liechtenstein, where he did an interview with Janet Jackson.
T-Roc (born in Virginia); did his military service in Nürnberg, fell in love with Germany and decided to stay, bulding his own in-house studio.
CZB: What is the message you're promoting through your music?
Al: We believe life is too short for stress. Our message is positivity, fun, happiness.
CZB: When did the original band break up and how were you chosen to continue the project?
Al: Four years ago the group broke apart because of personal differences and we were solo artists in the same studio, working with the same producer (Toni Cottura). We were all good friends. I've known all the members of the first Fun Factory group for a long time. As a matter of fact, me and the one that looks a little less beautiful than I am, come from the same place in America, we went to the same school, joined the army together, came to Europe together, got out of the army at the same time - and he went to Hamburg - while I went to Switzerland to do my first solo project (and he began doing projects in Hamburg).
CZB: How did you meet Annett?
Al: We saw her in a club. Me and T-Rok were the first in the group. Being in Fun Factory meant that we have to be party people - and we went to a disco one night to have a party and we saw this long-legged tall, tall, tall, tall girl who stood over everybody at the disco…
Annett: Cause I had really high heels on.
Al: …and we asked her if she'd like to audition for casting in our group - and she thought we wanted to have sex with her but that wasn't the case… she thought about it and we took her out later that night to a restaurant, we had a drink - and the next day she showed up at the studio and sang and danced and the producers were very amazed by her abilities and here we are.
CZB: What would you say is the difference between USA and Germany?
T-Roc: Germany has a very strong economy. People are fighting for their existence every day. People in Europe have a lot more to fight for: art, culture. In the US of A, a lot of people are spoiled. I have more respect for Europeans who fight through all the hard difficulties, like the Balkan War, which was very sad! - that people can't just sit down and talk!
At first, the US was Europanized; now Europe is being Americanized.
Romania is very beautiful, fantastic!
CZB Characterize the others in the band.
Al: he’s a funny guy, the joker,
Annette: he always has an open ear if you want to talk to him in the studio, he's like your daddy but you can't party with him.
T-Roc (comments about Annette): ...she parties with cake and ice cream, we party with vodka and women.
Al: We're very lucky to have this collective of people to work with.
T-Roc: We have a greater purpose: to bring joy to the world. Al is a fantastic artist - very creative, he knows The Jacksons and is working with Jermaine Jackson at the moment. He's a real straight good guy, you can depend on him!
Annette: He's kind of like an Idol. Whenever I have a problem about the backstage scene in rock, he gives all the right answers. He's really smart.
Al: She's very beautiful, on the inside and outside. True beauty comes out from the inside. I'd love to have sex with her.
Annette: Thank God you've finally said it!!!
Al: She's a hard worker. Everythng else is X-rated. I think it's very good that we have a girl in the group.
All Live Photos: RiCo, Arad. 1999
Photo 10: Fun Factory. 1997
Photo 11: Fun Factory. 2010
After the second Fun Factory
Al Walser, leadsinger from the second Fun Factory, released the African Queen single, featuring rapper Que in 2007; the video featured Miss Eritria (Semhar Tadesse) and Miss Switzerland (Nadin Vinzens). As for Annett Möller, she studied acting in Hamburg for three years and found a job as a reporter for RTL Nord and later moved to N-TV as a moderator, appearing in N-TV Wissen.
Fun Factory seems to be a seasonal DJ project that needed to be reinvented as teen generations changed (about once every three years). Every time, some producers would write some dance hits that would chart in several countries and world tours would be organized for a couple of years to promote the new album, after which the Fun Factory team would disappear into obscurity.
Reinvention made the group one of the most remarkable European acts internationally.
Fun Factory - The Third Generation. 2001
The new line-up included Marie-Anett (the front lady of French descent), Smooth T the Italian dancer, rapper and background singer, Steve, the dance partner from Germany and american rapper and freestyle king Rod D.
Fun Factory worked on new songs in their Hamburg studio.The fact that both Steve and Smooth T have a background in martial arts helped the act get a better choreography.
On August 21st the new ABC of Music album was released in Japan (along with promo single Tam Tam). This time, Fun Factory tracks charted high in USA, Canada, Germany, England, Sweden, Finland, Poland, France, Italy and the Far East. During a 12 month cycle, they toured both West and East Europe, South East Asia and did the USA three times.
Fun Factory - The Fourth Generation. 2007
Rumours spread that the Fun Factory project would attempt a comeback in 2007. The band name Fun Factory was re-registered (in Europe) by German producer Rekardo Heilig for the 3rd generation Fun Factory. Although the name was re-registered, Toni Cottura announced that he planned to release material under the same name.
Later, Toni Cottura confirmed that Marie Anett Balca was the original and only Fun Factory singer. She sang every single song on all of the first generation albums, which means Marie-Anett Mey did not sing at all.
Anett Balca recorded a song with Toni Cottura called Stop Playing Tricks With My Heart. A Fun Factory style solo album produced by Toni Cottura was also in the works.
The new Fun Factory producer and manager, Rekardo Heilig, organized a casting for two singers (male and female), a rapper, and a background-singer. The castings ended in March. They promised a Summer Hit for 2007. A new music label called Fun Factory was created for this ...but nothing happened.
2008. The new Fun Factory team included
Douglas (born in Hamburg, rapper, breakdancer)
Jasmine and Joel (vocalists)
Jasmine (background vocals and dancer, ex-Love Machine and The Sweetheartz)
Joel (background vocals and dancer)
Lea (model, dancer and choreographer)
The new album's working title was In The Heat Of The Night, later renamed Storm In My Brain.
In July, dancers Lea and Joel were replaced by the dancer and background vocalist Jenna and dancer and rapper DGS. DGS and Lea were also part of Phen-O-MENIA, a project built around Franca Morgano.
It seems to me that due to legal conflicts, the new Fun Factory isn't able to actually release new material. It is possible that producer Rekardo Heilig is now using the new team for private party purposes. It would make no sense otherwise to find webpages and details pertaining to the 2010 band on the internet.
Fun Factory. 2010
Members: Diana, Jenna, DGS, Douglas
Hometown: the act moved from Hamburg to Bremen, in Germany
Record Label: Fun Factory Productions
- Non-Stop (1994)
- Close To You (1995)
- Fun-Tastic (1995 / 1996 in Japan)
- All Their Best (1996)
- The Party - Fun-Factory Non-Stop (Japanese Edition, 1997)
- Next Generation (1999)
- ABC of Music (2002)
- 10th Anniversary Greatest Hits (Singapore Edition, 2006)
Toni Cottura WEBSITE
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