(Original Photo By: Alex Abaunza)
Tony Fresch, better known by his alias of Dr. Fresch, knew in middle school that he wanted to work in music at some capacity or another. The Bay Area born artist was exposed to music while very young, having taken piano lessons since the age of seven, and later joining both a rock and jazz band. It was not until 2009, however, that he cultivated a love for electronic music after moving to Los Angles to attend the University of Southern California. There, he uncovered artists like Boys Noize, Masterkraft, and Bloody Beetroots, and began DJing parties. For Tony, music was his life, and he was ready to stop at nothing until he reached his goal of working in the industry.
With the aspiration to work for Steve Aoki’s label, Dim Mak, Tony fired out rounds of cold emails to contacts there – no one answered. He was not going to let this discourage him, and kept reaching out. Finally, after his eighth email in the span of two weeks, Tony received a reply back. He was offered an internship with the record label, and took a giant leap forward in fulfilling his ultimate dream. While there, he gained invaluable experience, and began to build his network within the industry. He continued by working a succession of other related positions with companies including Faux Entertainment Management and Marketing, Atlantic Records, Pacific Festival, and The EDM Network. What Tony learned, is that following your passion coupled with a relentless and steadfast approach was a winning formula. This persistent mentality that he possessed was instilled in him growing up.
From an early age, Tony’s family inspired him to follow his passion, and supported him unconditionally. They were the backbone to his success, and pushed him to work hard and never give up on his dreams. During his journey so far, Tony has encountered more than a few hardships. His father, who also acted as his mentor, passed away from a tragic accident in 2012. Tony’s last call with his father was a memorable one. He urged his son to keep pursuing what he loved and to not let anything interfere. These last words embodied the whole of their relationship and catalyzed Tony to create his own label, Prep School Recordings. He turned to music as a way to cope for the loss and gradually healed over time. Unfortunately, just this past month, Tony endured another devastating loss, as his brother and best friend, Tim, passed away from a horrible accident. Although excruciatingly tough at first, Tony learned to look at these experiences in a positive light; one where he could draw inspiration from their lives, and in turn create something beautiful. This fueled him to succeed in his career aspirations, and forever carry their spirits along with him.
As Tony’s career began to progress in 2013, his next goal was to release an EP on a well-known label. He wanted to establish his name within the industry, and gain credibility as an artist. But after sending his music out to a slew of labels, no one was interested in signing it. He became frustrated at first, but with his dad’s final words tattooed in his mind, he was determined to fight through this adversity. He took a leap of faith and released his self-titled EP, Dr. Fresch, on his own. This was a defining moment in his career, as he had finally grown the confidence to share his music with the world. Although Tony admitted that it might not have been his best work to date, the release of his EP allowed him to develop as an artist and learn from this initial experience.
Since the release of his initial EP, Tony’s career has taken bounds forward. His musical success has not only given him a core fan base, but also a platform where his voice is heard and respected. A memorable moment came when a fan approached Tony after a show one night and told him his dad had recently passed away. Instead of being sad about the loss of his father, the young fan who was inspired by Tony, decided to celebrate his father’s life by attending the show. For Tony, this moment is what it was all about. Through his experiences, he wants to inspire people’s lives and help them stay focused on what is important in life. He does not want to dwell on his past, or use it to his advantage. His goal is to share his stories with fans and build authentic, personal connections with them. He hopes to leverage his clout as a musician, and lead by example on how to make the most of situations, even when they’re bad. If he could do just this, he would consider his career a success.
Through personal and musical hardships, Tony learned a lot about himself and life. He followed the words of his father, and never gave up on his passion for music, even through hard times. He learned valuable lessons from these experiences, some of which others may never experience. To reciprocate, Tony’s one main goal is to give back, and lead by example however he can. Always remember that resiliency and hard work will pay off eventually. It is only a matter of time until you get there.