This is a man who needs no introduction, but we’re going to give him one anyway. Tony Fresch aka Dr. Fresch is an unstoppable force in g-house, and electronic dance music in general. As a producer, curator, tastemaker and mentor, he’s changing the game for the better with every move he makes. And, he’s only gaining momentum.
Dr. Fresch has been around the block so to speak, having assisted the launch of a number of artists in the industry. Now, it’s his time to shine. He’s headed straight for the top, but refuses to do so alone. As heard through his signature mix series The Prescription, he’s bringing plenty of his friends along with him — and soon enough his own record label of the same name will house their releases.
Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves, though. We were able to catch up with this fluorescent-haired phenom at Shambhala Music Festival in British Columbia this summer to talk his incredible No Introduction EP, the Ghetto-EDM University, and so much more. We’ll just let him take it from here.
P.S. If you haven’t already rocked out to the No Introduction EP,
who even are you? now would be a fine time to do so. Listen and read up below on one of our greatest inspirations — the definition of future ghetto, the man, the legend, Dr. Fresch!
Dr. Fresch – No Introduction EP
How has your Shambhala been so far?
So awesome! Last time I just kinda came in a day before my set and didn’t do the whole experience. This time, I brought my friends and set up camp. I’m a part of the experience! I have a connection to the farm and I love it — I love this place.
Now that your No Introduction EP is out, how does it feel?
It feels so good! Man, I’ve been working on a couple of these tracks for two, almost three years — “Fire” and “No Introduction.” The other two tracks came together in the last six to ten months. I was looking to do a multi-track EP project that was focused on mid-tempo, electro and g-house, and now that the project is here it feels great. That’s all I can say.
When did you know it was finished?
When the collab with Jacknife came together. That was the icing on the cake! Dude, he’s awesome. The next year is gonna be huge for him. He’s working on a lot of cool stuff. That guy is in that mode in his life where he can knock out a track every other day. He’s just making so much music!
So yeah, I had the first three tracks. I had written “Feedback” and got Mina Knock to rap on it. At the same time, Jack hit me with that collab. The original was just one drop with some different bass sounds. I was like, I love the concept, I love the vocal — let’s add some melody and some hip hop breakdown and beef up these sounds and go to town. It pulled the whole EP together. I was like, “Fuck yeah, we have a project!”
It’s probably like picking between children, but do you have a favorite one to play out?
I mean, “Fire” has definitely become that. But, I like playing out “No Introduction” too, because it’s so hard and raw. It’s just like a harder version of “Gangsta Gangsta,” basically. I actually wrote the skeleton for “No Introduction” first and it was a really basic version. I used that as inspiration for the “Gangsta Gangsta” project. I had all those melodies leftover, and I was like this is the perfect introduction track. It worked out really organically.
But yes, “Fire” goes off!
Do you remember the first record you bought?
The Offspring – Americana. That was the first one I bought on my own. Before then, it was just what was lying around the house. My parents listened to a lot of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin and The Beatles. But, The Offspring — I was 8 and getting really into skateboarding. That culture was so appealing to me. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater was about to come out. It was that period of time, late 90s. It was as angsty as I could get for an 8-year-old.
What about the moment you first wanted to be a DJ?
Well, I knew I wanted to be a musician from the moment I started playing classical piano even. I used to go to these recitals and play for a couple hundred people. It was the best feeling in the world! I wasn’t a great classical pianist — for the amount of years that I took classes, I should have been way better. I was so distracted! But, I knew I loved performing.
Then, in middle school I started joining bands with my friends. The vision became clear, but I wasn’t always positive I’d become a rockstar. I didn’t learn guitar necessarily. I played keyboards and did backup vocals and played bass.
When I was 16 I got into electronic music. When I was 17, I started producing in Logic Pro and started DJing on a Numark. Then, after playing a couple of house parties I just knew — this is exactly what I wanted to do. About 10 years ago exactly.
Who were those gateway artists for you?
Boys Noize. Justice. Masterkraft. Soulwax. The Bloody Beetroots. Pretty much anyone on Ed Banger. A-Trak. Even Steve Aoki back then was a huge inspiration. And, Diplo at one point.
What’s your favorite song right now?
Oh man, of all genres of anything! Dude, it’s this unreleased Ciszak remix of “We Like To Party” by the Vengaboys. I just got it. I’m gonna drop it here at the Fractal Forest. It’s the most insane tech house remix. Fisher and Chris Lake are making tech house take over right now, but it’s one of those tracks you play and even if you don’t like tech house — oh my god! It builds up to the deh deh deh deh deh dehhh, and then it’s just pounding tech house! It will probably come on at like 5:15 am.
Ok I’ll be ready! And, what’s your go-to song for reviving a dance floor?
If we’re in the same vein, the Chris Lake and Marco Lys remake of “La Tromba.” If you’re on the house kick. For bass, I love using Sevenn’s VIP of “BYOB.” Like, everything’s dead. You could just [filters down with his voice, then back up] — “Everybody’s going to the party have a real good time!” When you trail in with those vocals it connects with audiences and gets people ready for the drop.
Has anyone ever asked you really messed up medical questions?
I had a doctor once start to grill me on stuff. I was kind of caught of guard. I think more commonly, I have people make dirty gynecology or proctology jokes about checking out other people. Just, creepy jokes about me looking at girls and guys. It could be funny if it’s one of my friends, but I don’t know.
Justin (Tony’s friend): I’ve always wanted to fake a heart attack in a public place with him. On a plane would be great. “IS THERE A DOCTOR ON THIS PLANE?” [laughs] If he stood up, I’d be like, “HE’S NOT A REAL DOCTOR! GET AWAY FROM ME!”
Me: Just get a video of that if it happens so we can put it on the internet.
My mom is actually Dr. Fresch. She is a lawyer, but she is technically a doctor. I am in fact not the real Dr. Fresch.
Now that we’re talking about your mom — Is there something she has told you that has always stuck with you?
Don’t try too hard to be something for anyone else or anything else. Only try to be yourself. She taught me that a lot growing up as a kid in the context of being on the playground. Don’t try to be cool or be something else. I think I apply that to production, too. There’s so many styles of music out there and the temptation to make what’s popular or trendy or cool at the time is always there. But, I’ve developed my own style and sound — so it worked in my career.
I’m just going to keep the cheesy medical questions coming! If there were a prestigious school for electronic dance musicians to become doctors of the art, who would be the professors?
I think Dr. Dre for sure. [laughs] Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine are the go-to obvious answers. I would put maybe Busy P in there — he’s a bad ass. That’s a good answer. And, Carl Cox in there. And, Maybe Tommie Sunshine. That guy has been raving before anyone else! I think he’s proud to say he has more of a knowledge about the industry than anyone. He should definitely be a professor!
Maybe he’s the Dean! Who’s the dean?
Anything you want to plug?
I’ll be starting my own record label this year. It’s gonna be a lot of the music you hear on The Prescription — the artists that I play and the artists that I feature. And, it will also be called The Prescription. Details are to come. So, get excited for that!
The label is going to be all about building up this family, this network of artists that I support and work with. People who are like-minded. Maybe like two or three years out from where I am in my touring career and just getting theirs going. I love sharing my knowledge of the DJ and production world with people.
The guy I’m running The Prescription record label with, he goes by Freak On. I’m excited to support him. Excited to support Jacknife… [he rattles off a number of artists that we won’t give away just yet].
Anything you wish people would ask you in interviews that you never get to talk about?
Recently I’ve talked about a lot. Like my old label, Prep School Recordings, I started when I was just making the jump from being a Hollywood DJ to Dr. Fresch. The team I started that with and kind of my whole journey until now. So yeah, I started the label with Louis the Child’s manager and my manager. We launched Louis the Child, SNBRN, myself, Illenium, Loud Luxury, and a lot of other guys. Then, I became Dr. Fresch. And, six years happened and here we are. A brief history.
But, my favorite food is sushi. I don’t think I’ve talked about that in a long time. My ideal roll — if we’re doing rolls — a dragon roll probably. I’ve been so into straight nigiri and sashimi. I just like the fish. Toro, I’m all about it. Salmon, I’m all about it. I love a good Alaska roll, if we’re talking simple stuff. I’ve gotten more bold. I like uni now. It’s one of the few things I can eat and it doesn’t hurt my body, because I’m allergic to a lot of stuff. I’m a fucking sushi nut, man. It’s really expensive though. You can’t eat sushi everyday.
But, I’ve said, that’s a goal! I want to get to a point in my life where I could order Michelin star sushi every day! That’s my perfect life. I don’t need to be Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. I just want to be rich enough that I can afford Michelin star sushi every day. Whatever that level is. And, I’m assuming at that level, all of our friends will be living in mansions next to each other. We’ll have a big weed farm there, too. Life will be pretty good. That’s pretty much it.
Write us a script for having a good time at Shambhala!
-Drink lots of water.
-Pace yourself, because this festival is very nonstop.
-Don’t be married to your phone. This is one of the few festivals that is truly the perfect space to get lost and be able to roam free with no repercussions. Take advantage of being disconnected.
-Half of the fun is seeing new artists. I find myself getting engulfed in bass sets from artists I’ve never heard of before. Step out of your comfort zone! If you don’t usually listen to drum and bass, then go listen to a drum and bass set!
-Get in the river! I’m gonna try to not lose my hair dye, but I’m gonna do it.
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