J Fresh has been there from the beginning.
As Grime continues to ascend worldwide, J Fresh stays true to his UK roots with the release of his ‘Banana’ EP, a follow up to his successful ‘Pineapple’ EP released in February. Enlisting the likes of South London rapper Koder, the project comes with the infectious energy that has gained Grime its global appreciation.
From Pineapples to Bananas
As a seasoned DJ, J Fresh has traveled the world and has opened show for the likes of US superstars French Montana, Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa as well as UK Grime trailblazers Sneakbo and Wiley. From his decade long love for Garage raves to its subcultural evolution that is Grime music, J Fresh has worked hard and built his reputation with some of the genre’s greatest talents.
When we spoke to him about his touring experiences, J Fresh casually recounted an unbelievable story about going for dinner with French Montana and his entourage. This is the kind of lifestyle afforded to a man who has made music his life. Despite these luxuries, what he loves the most, as he described it, is the feeling of connecting with music fans as he travels the globe and breaks records worldwide. He describes the love he has for connecting with music fans as he travels the globe and breaks records worldwide.
On his new ‘Banana’ project, J Fresh seemed very excited. When speaking on what he wants fans to feel when they listen to the project, he said: ‘When I make records and I reach out to artists that I really rate, I hope that we can create something that will really resonate with people and represent who I am and who they are.’ Bold in his intentions to showcase the authenticity of his collaborators, J Fresh gave us an insight into his creative process. He prefers to create a beat with a specific artist in mind rather than sending over several generic beats for artists to select from – this way he ensures the best chemistry is showcased on the track.
One artist who J Fresh certainly has a lot of chemistry with is South London rapper Koder, who features on the project’s standout single ‘Special Powers.’ The high energy track has a bouncy instrumental which is laced by Koder’s aggressive flow. When we asked him about the track, J Fresh explained why he wanted to work with him: ‘Koder is a really dope artists and I’ve wanted to do something with him for a while now.’ He described the track as an unapologetic Grime track in all of its elements from its fast paced instrumental to its gritty lyrics to its authentic video.
J Fresh described how the pair created the track: ‘Koder came down to the studio in Southampton. We knew the direction we wanted to take it in and we managed to record the track in two sessions. The video which was filmed in Brockley, South East London is an ode to authenticity. ‘We filmed it in Brockley, it was important for me that we were authentic with it. For me, it’s interesting to go down to these areas and see the spaces these artists live and operate in – it came together very naturally.’
We discussed the evolution of the role of the DJ and J Fresh was clear about how important it is to be ‘true to who you are.’ As a radio presenter on his globally syndicated BBC 1XTRA show as well as a Dj who performs gigs worldwide, J Fresh is one of the most versatile DJs in the Grime game, serving as a curator and an artist with the music he makes.
On his Instagram, he often posts throwback pictures with the likes of Gracious K and Wretch 32 which evidences that he has been there from the beginning. He gave some advice for upcoming DJs advising them to keep practicing and to use the tools around them to get to the top.
It was great to connect with J Fresh again, have a listen to his ‘Banana’ EP on Spotify below:
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