Music Q&A:
J Fresh

The broadcaster, DJ, interviewer and producer has just released his debut album and heads out on tour, including Jalou, York, 25 Nov and the Lounge, Manchester, 2 Dec

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How would you describe your sound?
Very UK. It’s very me, reflecting my musical heritage and influences but with a view to always moving forward. My music is me – from an up-tempo grime record that you’ll hear in the grimiest, underground basement UK venue to a more melodic hip-hop track that you’ll hear at a pool party in Ayia Napa. It’s very authentic and it’s me, reflecting the different sides to my character my moods and personality.

What informs your music and songwriting?
Life! Past experiences shapes you, but you can’t let it define you. There are always things I’m working through or dealing with, either professionally or personally. There are the goals I want to, no, I will achieve and the dreams I have. All this feeds into your music, either consciously or subconsciously. I’m a very positive person. The glass isn’t half empty or half full with me – I’m gassed that I’ve got a glass in the first place! This is sick, this is my glass – I can do what I want with it! I can put what I want in it, I can carry stuff in it, I can drink out of it – I can make this glass work for me in many ways. It’s how you view things.

How have you evolved as an artist over the years?
As a young DJ I’d always dabble and make remixes of existing tracks, extending parts of a record or re-arranging verses – a natural extension of the very foundations of hip-hop culture. As you become more experienced and informed and your life experience grows, so does your attitude and what feeds into your music. Nostalgic records and phrases and sounds are great but for me it’s important to look and push things forward musically and culturally. Now I have the contacts, the connections, the experience, the ability to place records and this is why 2017 has seen a large push, with co-ordinating two EP releases and my debut album.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
My debut album as a producer dropped in October this year, featuring some sick artists such as Monkstar, Godsgift, DJ Ironik, Blay, Lady Ice, Predz UK, Shaodow and Serocee as well as contributions from Charlie Sloth and DJ Target. The album has been heavily supported by BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, KISS, Kiss Fresh, Capital Xtra, Complex UK, Trench, Link UP TV and countless others. The lead track #TrynaGetBy has been playlisted on 1Xtra as the BBC Introducing track of the week and I continue with my regular guest mixes for 1Xtra and feature mixes for Kiss. I’m currently in the middle of my UK album tour, hitting 13 cities across the country, bringing the flavour of my records and what I do as a producer into my live DJ sets. The reaction across the country so far has been sick! It’s been very humbling to connect with existing and new fans and I love meeting new people!

What’s on your rider?
All very simple – bottle of Remy Ma, bottle of flavoured Ciroc, water, Red Bull, lemonade.

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
In life or in music?! We’ll stick to music! I was DJ-ing in a warehouse venue a few years ago – about 1,500 people, big stage, big production – and the vibes were really sick! I was mid mix and suddenly everything went off. Not just the deck or the mixer – everything, all the lights, all the sound. I couldn’t even use the mic – everything! It was pitch black with everyone in the venue screwing that the music had cut out and I couldn’t see or do anything. The engineers eventually got everything up and running, but that was a bit mad for a few minutes!

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