FreezeUK has had a busy year of releases. His music has graced drum & bass labels such as Device, Prog:Ram, and Liondub International, he’s collaborated with the legendary Nicky Blackmarket & remixed Marvellous Cain.
We thought we needed to speak to FreezeUK about his latest release collaboration with MC / vocalist Miss Melody…
Thanks for taking time to chat. Before we get into the guts of this chat I’m keen to know how you came up with your artist name? Is there a story behind it?
Hey, I appreciate you taking the time out also! So thank you.
Ha! There is a bit of a story behind it actually, my original artist name was ‘JRG’ which I began releasing music under way back in 2010! Gosh! Just saying that makes me feel old
Sometime in the following 6 months I was approached by Andy (Crystal Clear) formally of Playaz about joining his Cold Blooded Camp and putting out some music with them. The music I was making was different sounding to what I had been making previously as I was moving in a slightly different direction so we decided on creating a new brand name, and so after discussions ‘Freeze’ was born.
The actual thought behind it was in Manchester (which is near my home town of Preston) a popular word in urban slang used if something was considered ‘Cool’ was ‘Cold’ so I decided to play on that a little and thought what’s cooler than ‘Cold’.. hence me becoming ‘Freeze’
Your latest single ‘Do You Love It Like That’ features Miss Melody. How did this collaboration come about?
Karen (Miss Melody) actually messaged me on Instagram one day and said she had heard Nicky Blackmarket playing some of my music on his radio show on Kool FM, she said that she liked it and asked if I would be interested in working with her on some ideas together, which I gladly accepted! She’s a real talent!
‘Do You Love It Like That‘ like that is one of many tracks we have put together and I guess as well as me she was open to exploring and trying new ideas so we both stepped outside of our comfort zone a little with this one. I think it came out really well!
Was this your first time working with a vocalist?
Actually I had worked with maybe one or two vocalists before (although I didn’t deem the end product good enough to release) and I have actually done some vocal parts on my own tracks prior to working with Miss Melody, although nothing on this level as I’m not much of a vocalist in all honesty!
What labels or artists inspired you when you started producing?
I can still recall being blown away by tracks such as ‘The Slammer’ by Krome & Time, The House Crew – Euphoria (Nino’s Dream Remix), all things DJ Red Alert & Mike Slammer as well as Nookie being a strong favourite! More commercially SL2 ‘On A Ragga Tip’ really stands out! 92-94 is still my favourite era for ‘Rave’ music, when it was still such a melting pot of Jungle infused hardcore sounds! I actually often try to reintroduce this to the new generation in my music by digging out old samples used in those records from that era.
When I started getting into DJing and thinking about producing I was always massively influenced by the Bristol sound and all things V Recordings and later Dope Dragon/Full Cycle.
Roni Size, Krust and especially DJ Die being a strong favourite! I’ve also been a massive fan of Shy FX for as long as I can remember!
You’ve released on labels such as Device, Prog:Ram, Liondub & Suburban Base over the past couple of years. How long has it taken you to get to this point in your career?
I have been really privileged to work with some of my favourite labels within the genre over the years and it’s something I feel grateful for everyday! It hasn’t come easy though, it’s taken so much time and practice to really work on my production skills and grasp the science behind it all.
It’s taken years of hard work and sacrifice but I just feel like it’s my purpose in life and I think it’s important to do what makes you happy.
What advice would you give to your younger self for making it in the music industry?
Be patient, first impressions are everything so don’t rush to send labels your music if it isn’t up to the standard required.
Always be your own worst critic, if you can spot errors or think something doesn’t sound good enough it most probably isn’t!
Believe in yourself always! Take risks!!! Nobody every achieved anything great by sitting in the easy lane! Most importantly you have to remember that talent without hard work is a waste!
Aside from Miss Melody, you also collaborate with Nicky Blackmarket. How did this link up come about?
Again Nicky slid into my DMs asking me to send him some music, which was a bit of a surreal moment!. Nicky was always one of my favourite DJs growing up and in fact probably heavily influenced the sound of my music a lot with his tune selection, which for me was always fun and had bags of energy!
As they say in life things often go full circle.
It was on my bucket list to work with him since I saw he had started making music again a few years ago. The track did with Voltage notably caught my attention that he was back in the studio so I took a chance and asked him about working on some music together and thankfully he said yes!
Since then we have written a handful of tracks with more in the works. He’s such a humble character and I try not to fan boy too much when we work together, otherwise we wouldn’t get much done! I think we can all learn a lot from Nicky about working hard and staying humble! He once said a quote in an acceptance speech at a D&B awards event a few years ago, the quote was ‘it’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice’ this is something that has always stayed with me.
Does he bring much wisdom to the studio sessions?
What Nicky brings (as well as amazing stories and top banter) to the studio is great ideas! He may not be the most technical individual but his ideas are great!
His wisdom on life and being an artist within the industry is priceless! I’m grateful to call him a friend!
He loves a cuppa… Does studio work stop for tea breaks?
Yes!!! He loves a cuppa! This is something we share in common, although I’m more of a Yorkshire Tea man (being Northern of course) and he opts for a PG tips! Other tea bag brands are available 🙂
Lots of tea and good banter are essential for finding good chemistry in the studio I feel and we get through quite a few cups during our sessions!
We have a lot of budding music makers that visit LoveThatBass so we always like to ask producers about their favourite plug-ins. Do you have a go to plug-in?
Absolutely! I have a few favourites I couldn’t do without but my most favourite is Serum. I can literally make a full track with just that! It’s such a powerful synth!
Your last couple of releases have come on Suburban Base, alongside Moving Shadow & Reinforced they pioneered the jungle sound. How did you get involved with them?
They certainly did and they played a big part in my journey also might I add!
The link with Suburban Base came through my good friend Marvellous Cain actually. Before we were friends I decided to make a bootleg of his classic track Badman ‘War For 94’ which for me was one of my favourite tracks from that era. I wanted to make an updated version to play in my sets which I did. I had played the track out a couple of times and it had gone off big time! I decided to send it to Marv so he could have a copy and also to get his blessing as I believe it the right thing to do if you bootleg somebody’s track.
I sent it Marv and he asked for my phone number to call me. I was literally sh***ing my pants thinking he was going to hate it! Actually it was quite the opposite he absolutely loved it and offered to sign it on the spot! From there I remixed two more tracks, Dubplate Style I remixed with Nicky which came out on Marv’s Return Of The Hitman Album on Suburban Base and another I can’t say too much about as it’s still doing the rounds on dub and pretty much only me and Marv are the only DJs with a copy.
From there Marv linked me up with Danny Donnelly who runs Suburban so I jumped at the chance and I did a few remixes for him (all of which are still on dub and forthcoming) Danny showed a keen interest in me as an artist and asked me to be part of the Sub Base family going forward which was really nice. He believes in me as an artist and matches my ambition with his plans for the label which is really important for me.
Were you aware of the labels history?
I was aware of the labels history to a degree but I’ve become more educated about the label since joining and realise I had barely scratched the surface!
As I mentioned previously ‘The Slammer’ by Krome & Time will forever be one of my favourite tracks! ‘Hitman’ by Marvellous Cain is another! ‘RIP’ by Remarc, ‘Stamina’ by The Dream Team ‘Johnny 94’ by Johnny Jungle and not forgetting ‘The Dark Stranger’ by The Boogie Times Tribe (Origin Unknown Remix) which I still play in my sets now! So many great records from such a great label.
Finally, what’s next for you? Any more releases or collaborations in the pipeline?
Yes! So much to be excited about! I’ve got lots big gigs coming up with my residency at Vibez in Bournemouth starting with a massive V Recordings event in November!
Vibez is one of the biggest events in the area and I’ve been their resident for going on two years now! Their parties are always crazy good!
I’ve recently been pushing my boundaries with my music and trying some different things. I have a couple of tracks I’ve written with an incredible singer called Beverley Eason, one of which includes a local Saxophonist called Vicky Sax which I’m really excited about! I have some more collaborations with Nicky Blackmarket including a remix of another Sub Base classic (one previously mentioned but I’m not saying which one) which has been destroying clubs and festivals for us both over the summer. I’ve also done a remix for Suburban Base of a track with Singing Fats which has been doing the business in my sets for the last 12 months.
We are also filming a music video for ‘Do You Love It Like That’ featuring Miss Melody which will be a first for me as I’ve never made a music video before! I’m both excited and nervous at the same time, which in my experience is a good place to be.
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