Dr. Fresch Biography:
Photo of Dr. Fresch’s debut performance at the DoLaB at Coachella 2015, Weekend Two.
Interview conducted by James Dutta and Kris Haddad at Bang Bang SD on May 2nd, 2015.
Tony Fresch, aka Dr. Fresch is an upcoming star in the electronic dance world. From his well-known G-House remix of “Me & U,” by Cassie to his brand new remix of Carmada’s “Maybe,” this USC alumni has no plans of slowing down and has experienced incredible success thus far. If Dr. Fresch’s education does not impress you enough, maybe the fact that he’s CEO/Founder of Prep School Records, a member of the Echelon artist collective, and still finds time to do shows and release songs on a consistent basis, will leave you thoroughly impressed.
Fresh off his packed set at the DoLaB at Coachella, he took the time to give Techibeats an exclusive interview and talked about his record label, Prep School Records, how influential winning the Discovery Project was to his career, and even shares some words of wisdom to all the bedroom producers out there. Here is how the conversation went down…
Techibeats: Dr. Fresch, thank you so much for doing this interview with Techibeats, we appreciate it!
Dr. Fresch: Dude absolutely! I’m really glad to sit down with you guys, been a fan of the website and appreciative of your support since day one, man!
Techibeats: Yeah, well we’re a fan of you as well!
Dr. Fresch: Awesome!
Techibeats: Okay, let’s start off – what’s your real name and what’s your hometown as well?
Dr. Fresch: My name is Tony Fresch – “Fresch” is my last name, which is part of the reason why I named the brand after that. I grew up in Northern California in a little town called Tiburon, around San Francisco. I have been living in LA for the last six years.
Techibeats: Okay! How did you get into dance music? Where you always musically inclined, or did you just gravitate to the genre of music as a whole?
Dr. Fresch: So, I have been playing and studying music since I was seven. I took classical piano from when I was seven to when I was 18…was in a jazz band, acapella, was in three different rock bands through middle school and high school. I got into EDM in 2006. I actually hated electronic music until then. I was really into Bay Area Hip-Hop and Metal and Punk at the time and I made a crossover from more industrial type, hard Rock type – Nine Inch Nails, Rammstein etc. into Justice and that was the main interception point for me. The whole 2006-2007, that French and German Indie-Electro was what hooked me and so I got into it heavy in high school and started producing in 2008. Producing all different types of music, and you know spending the next four years honing my skills before I started releasing music.
Techibeats: Got it! If you wanted to define your music and put it into a genre, you’re more of the G-House type of guy. What made you stick with that specifically?
Dr. Fresch: So, I mean, it was a HUGE exploration for me honestly I think one of my biggest struggles in starting my career was because I’m so ADD and so all over the place, I couldn’t decide on one brand or one genre that I wanted to produce so I explored a bunch of different genres over the course of the first two years before I really started to have breakthroughs of my releases. I went from everything from Chill Trap to more Future to Deep House to Ghetto House and I combined all of those elements together into a pop accessible, dirty, Ghetto House style that I represent now. So, it’s fundamentally 4/4 House music, but I often use 2 step breaks, breakdowns, Trap breakdowns and drops, but you know I’m sticking to a 4/4 club format centered around House music and using similar instruments regardless of the drum patterns. It is kind of a culmination of everything I’ve been producing for the previous six years.
Techibeats: Everything kind of just came together really nicely for that?
Dr. Fresch: Yeah, I kind of had a breakthrough with my “Promiscuous” remix. I realized it was a culmination of like everything I’ve put out as Dr. Fresch and everything I’ve been producing since day one and since then I’ve been using that brand and representing that brand and that’s become Dr. Fresch.
Techibeats: Great! You were apart of the Discovery Project. How monumental or forward moving was that for your career?
Dr. Fresch: I was apart of the Discovery Project. That was huge for me! Looking back it’s been a year and half and it’s crazy to think about. Umm, that was giant! I was representing a different style at the time, it was before I got into Trap and Future before I even approached G-House and I was producing more Indie dance and Deep House, but it really saw a forward thinking edge to my music at the time that I’m really thankful for because that foundation kind of built what I am now and after that exposure it was insane. Not only did I get a lot of great press and opportunities from just playing, but also I become really tight with the Insomniac crew and they’ve continued to support me. I played the ARTCAR stage at EDC last year, playing some huge Insomniac events this summer and this fall, look out for the flyers! Also, doing some club gigs with them, they’ve become great friends. They’ve kind of helped introduce me to a lot of people in the industry that were instrumental in putting me where I am now.
Techibeats: What type of advice/words of inspiration can you give bedroom producers out there that are simply trying to make it, or get involved with projects like the Discovery Project?
Dr. Fresch: From a musical perspective, make as much music as possible, but also be cognizant of the fact that from a business perspective it’s very important to have a cohesive brand and style that you represent – from a production point of view and from a live point of view because there are a lot of people that like a range of styles of electronic music, but it’s really most effective to develop a singular style that you can develop a devoted group of fans from. Those’s something that I didn’t realize until about a year ago and it’s really elevated my career to the next level and really grown me to about three-fold from where I was when I made that revelation, but at the same time make as much music as possible. Do not hesitate to make a certain style or explore a certain style. Learn how to produce everything and then hone in on what you’re best at and then hone in on what you love and you know, make sure you have a good team of people that support you and remember that music comes first, but immediately after you need to treat this as a business too because you’re advertising yourself as a product. Obviously if that supersedes your music, you shouldn’t be doing this, but it’s very important if this – as an artist who’s trying to make money, make this your career. Develop a brand, develop a style and represent that style.
Techibeats: Okay, yeah! Speaking of brands, you’re a founding member of Prep School Records. Give us a little more information about that and where you want that to move in the future?
Dr. Fresch: Totally! So, I started Prep School Recordings back in 2012. It was an idea that I conceived in 2011 with former member Clinton VanSciver – he’s still involved, but he’s not an artist at the moment and that record label vision was to develop a brand, that’s not just a record label platform, but also a brand that we can translate into every area of electronic music and beyond. So basically, we were using the model of Steve Aoki’s “Dim Mak,” “Fool’s Gold Records” – A-Trak, Diplo’s “Mad Decent” and Skrillex’s “OWLSA” too and taking a multi-faceted company that is not just a record label, but also an events company, not just merchandise, but a clothing line and building a platform for us to represent our artists first and foremost, but also be able to carry that from the music industry and open up revenue streams in music and fashion and live events. Part of the inspiration that I got for that – half of it came from being a college kid where most of my friends were producers at my level, you know couple few hundred fans, really learning the ropes and the other half was from when I got to LA, I interned for “Dim Mak” in 2010. Become friends with that whole crew and really learned the nuts and bolts of that company and realizing that was exactly what I wanted to create and use that model to design my company and part of the reason why I love that is because obviously there is competition in the industry, but the nature of business between labels like, “Fools Gold,” “Dim Mak,” “Mad Decent,” is so collaborative at the same time. I wanted to start my own entity so I could do that and represent my artists well, and while the digital age has destroyed the traditional model for a record label – it was the intuitive move for forming a company because people associate groups of artists and collectives with record labels, traditionally. So that has been our distribution platform, but it’s really been an umbrella for us. Like, for instance, I think one of our biggest breakthroughs of all time was our event that we threw at Sound Nightclub in the beginning of this year, 2015, with SNBRN, Hotel Garuda, myself and Matt DiMona that was our first time selling out a major venue. Yeah, so for me it was establishing a record label initially, but also using it as a multi-faceted platform.
Techibeats: To move forward, basically?
Dr. Fresch: Yeah, exactly!
Techibeats: Okay got it! So, you know just kind of finishing up right now, you just got off from, what I understand, playing a phenomenal set at the DoLaB at Coachella. How was that experience for you and how does it feel to see – you know, Coachella is a huge festival to play. How is it to see your vision be projected on that kind of stage?
Dr. Fresch: You know, as expected, that was the most amazing experience I’ve had in my career to date and it was actually a reach goal for me last year. I dreamed of being able to play Coachella 2015 and I set a reach goal of being able to play at the DoLaB specifically, or the Heineken Dome, and by 2015 I started to – not even meet the DoLaB members, but gain a following from them when they started to reblog, repost and include my tracks on their Soundcloud feed and all of their blogs and tweet out my tracks – share my music to the public around last August and through the entire fall and spring advertise my music to their group so I was just hoping and wishing that was a telltale sign they would book me for Coachella. Things worked out great! We linked up, they offered me a spot and it was a dream come true, man, honestly that stage specifically has had a special place in my heart since I’ve been going to Coachella just a few years ago. It represented everything I loved about music and all the different sounds that I produced before I landed on Dr. Fresch. Everything from burner-style Techno music, to Nor-Cal Indie Trap, and they represented EVERYTHING I wanted to see at the festival, other than within the scope of electronic music. It was much more in line with my views than the Sahara Tent, or even the Yuma Tent was, so that was a dream come true – the crowd was amazing! They surpassed my expectations. I went on, there was 200 people there because it was a very mellow set and there were set times clashing before, but within 15 minutes, man, there was like 1000 people there within 30 mins of my set, there was about a few thousand – it was packed to the gills, even beyond the stage!
It was unreal – and I recorded that and will be releasing it soon, so look out for that!
Techibeats: Excellent!! Well, thanks a lot for doing this interview. You’re headed in a very good direction I’m sure we’ll see you on a lot of big name venues!
Dr. Fresch: Totally! Look out, got a couple huge festival announcements coming!
Techibeats: Well, thanks again for doing this interview for Techibeats, we really appreciate it, Dr. Fresch!
Dr. Fresch: I love Techibeats and I’m glad to be apart of it!
Techibeats: Thank you so much!