Entries in DJ (2)


Flipping beats and samples around with self-confessed audiophile Freshtone  

He’s a self-confessed audiophile, and although he hasn’t been in the music industry for long, he’s slowly making a name for himself. His name is Jamie Kielland, or better known by his stage name Freshtone. Freshtone is a DJ turned producer, reigning from London but now calls Norway home. Traditionally he normally taps into oldschool, UK garage, 2 Step and drum and bass, but he’s also dabbled in hip hop, which is how he first grabbed our attention with his J Dilla tribute album.  We chat to Freshtone about his latest release, why J Dilla was such an inspiration for him to become a producer, and he walks us through his production process. Margaret Tra writes.

You haven't been in the music industry for long, how are you finding it?

Not long at all, actually only about three and a half years now! It has been an interesting journey. I started because one day I really wanted to learn the piano, so I bought a Midi keyboard, and realised I needed a program to go with it, so I talked with a couple of people and they pointed me in the direction of reason!. After some seriously frustrating time of learning the program, I latched on and didn’t just play piano anymore, I started producing, or so what I figured was producing.  

I find the industry to be like a big maze! You try to stick your head into every door possible, and sometimes someone sees you, but mostly people see you but they don’t pay attention to you.

How much of your work is producing rather than DJing?

Well I used to DJ years ago, doing such things as house UK garage and drum and bass, but after the move over to producing I really haven’t spent too much time on my DJing. Maybe I should unpack the old 1210's and have a spin soon.

Was it a natural step for you to turn to producing?

Natural? It was more of an accident; all I wanted to originally do was play piano. This obviously grew into producing slowly as I have no past knowledge, nor schooling of music in any such sense.

You've worked with artists' across the world, any particular artist that has shaped you in any way?

I can’t really say I have been shaped by any specific artists, or particular artist, but all the ones I have worked with are fantastic, and I send much love and respect out to them, hoping a positive outcome for their music lives.

What role does J Dilla play in your life?

J Dilla is more than enough to describe the reason I think I carried on making music. His music was just so amazing. Each beat was perfect, and each sample perfectly chopped and mixed! EQing was amazing and well you get the point, I love J Dilla, and he has a massive amount of respect from me.

As to do with a role he gave me, I think I started making music which he would have made then slowly realising that many people copied his style. So I’m trying to veer off and create my own things, currently while emphasising a couple dinks from the Dilla.

Are you working on any new projects?

Right now I’m working on a couple things, possibly a new album, but mostly on some track ideas for a record labels compilation release which should be quite exciting.

Tell us about your latest release.

‘The small things’ was actually built up from countless nights sitting up and just flipping beats and samples around. I wish I had a better story to tell about it, but really it’s just a ''Best of Freshtone'' you could say.

How do you produce your music, do you sample or create original beats?

I have to say it really depends, I play mostly 90% of all the instruments you hear layered over my tracks, but I use samples as a ''reference.'' You could say I build up off them, and all of a sudden I sit with a whole new song without even hearing the original sample.

What Stimulates Your Soul?

Food, music and love! Definitely, I can’t stress how much music stimulates me, if I didn’t have music. Well I just don’t even want to say what I would do!

Want to hear more from Freshtone? Jump onto his website.


Sonically in key with Mick Boogie

Mick Boogie

He’s the master at making Mixtapes, an artiste in fact. DJ Mick Boogie has worked with the likes of legendary Jazzy Jeff, Talib Kweli, Little Brother and more recently his work with Slum Village the ‘Dirty Slums mixtape’ due to drop tomorrow.

From 80s, Rock & Soul to disco and of course Hip-Hop mash-ups, there is no limit to what Mick Boogie can do, he has the ability to mash up different genres to create a masterpiece you’d watch over and over again. We catch up with Mick Boogie about why working with Jazzy Jeff was the highlight of his career, what his playlist would be if he did a 90’s party in Australia, and an exclusive on his latest mixtape with Slum Village ‘Dirty Slums’.  Margaret Tra writes. 

The first thing you think about when you think of Australia?

Kangaroos. Sorry.

Can you divulge anything about the Dirty Slums mixtape you’re working on?

It comes out next week; it’s a whole new version of Slum [Village] including T3 and J Dilla's Brother, Illa J. It’s pretty dope. Slum for a new generation, but still ‘Slummy’.

What would be on your playlist if you did a 90’s Hip Hop party in Australia?

Tribe, De La Soul, Outkast, Biggie, Souls Of Mischief, Wu-Tang. Nice & Smooth.

You are a mixtape genius; walk us through your production process.

It's all about the idea. Find a concept that no one has done, find the right team to pull it off, and make sure the quality and creativity are there.  After that, good marketing is essential.

You have worked with a lot of Hip Hop legends, who would has influenced you the most?

Jazzy Jeff!  An honour! Jazzy Jeff is the reason I became a DJ, and to be a friend and collaborator of his is a highlight of my career. Maybe “THE” highlight.

It would be unfair of us to ask if you have a favourite mixtape, but is there a mixtape that was close to your heart?

‘Viva La Hova’.  It changed my life. Viva La Hova opened so many doors, in both the hip hop and rock communities for me.  People honestly treat that mix as an album.  MTV featured it on television; Coldplay had it on their site.  It really blew up and got my brand in front of people who would never have downloaded a mixtape before.

Is your work centred around the artists you admire? Or do they approach you?

Both.  It's a two way street... One I'm happy to live on. (Laughs)

You allegedly pursued a career in Hip Hop after your mum bought you a turntable, is this true? And why did she do this?

This is true. She saw me messing up her record player, and decided it would be better for me to have my own.  The rest is history.

You seamlessly mash up different genres together, from Adele, Colplay to Jay-Z, how do you do this?

It has to make sense and be logical.  You can't do it, just to do it.  It has to be believable and real, and sonically in key.  Then... it wins.

The most unbelievable thing that has happened to you whilst DJing?

I met my wife while DJing. When I saw her, it was one of those magical moments where time stood still and she had a glow.  Not a soul-glow, but a nice glow, none the less.  Our first date lasted from that night until four days later, and we got married exactly a year from the day I met her.  She's awesome.

What stimulates your soul?

Soulful music, good food, and a nice sunny day.  As weird as that sounds.

To listen to Mick Boogie's mixtapes click here. 

Download The Dirty Slums here.