“If I had to nominate just one DJ to represent everything Chicago stands for as a city,” we once wrote, “that DJ would be Frique.”
As of late, Chicago’s Frique has been flexing his production muscles as well, with releases on Farris Wheel, KGBeats and Soul Foundation and now his own Lea Music label.
Frique has a new track out now in the Frique boutique (and in major stores Monday) called “Are You Here For the Music?” with remixes from Chicago vets Isoke, Bai-ee and Ed Nine. It’s got a kind of low-slung swagger and the title obviously begs a few questions.
Are YOU here for the music? Stream it with us above and let’s talk about it with Frique starting now:
I heard this track and knew I had to get on it! How long have you been sitting on this one?
The vocals were recorded in 2007 or 2008, I’m not quite sure. It was actually one of my first undertakings recording such. Made the track early 2011, a little after I received my first remix credit for a Gene Farris project on his label.
First we’ve got to talk about the title. This is basically a DJ’s anthem, right? Where’s the vocal from?
[quote align=”right” color=”#999999″] “I will always be in solidarity with a Chicago cat. That’s how I roll.” [/quote]
The title had no real intent on being any sort of anthem. It’s just how I felt (and feel), my travails through all the different types of dance music I’ve been privy to over the years. The vocal was just a shits-and-giggles conversation with myself and my friend Melisa in town from SF (hope you’re not mad I’m mentioning you!) that we recorded at my house after a night out at Boom Boom Room. A two minute-ish impromptu recording, after getting an idea to chop it up and stretch it out, became what it is now a couple of years later: something onto its own, giving life to an otherwise random fun mic-up.
You’ve got 3 (sort of) Chicagoans on board in Isoke, Bai-ee and Ed Nine. Because they all live here, I don’t want to single out any of them, so let’s talk about all 3. Bai-ee has really hit his stride lately; Isoke killed it on the recent Soul Foundation vinyl (he remixed Andrew Emil’s Change Request track “I Wanna Go Back”) & Ed has carved out a niche for himself for sure. Was it important to you to keep this close to the Chicago scene or did it just work out this way?
The idea to do remixes didn’t come about until a year or so ago, I think. We all do our own thing in terms of production, and I’ve known these guys for some time, so I felt why not tap them on the shoulder to pique their interest in the project? I will always be in solidarity with a Chicago cat. That’s how I roll. We’ve been a part of many dance floors here.
Bryan’s mix came about through an FB conversation. Simple and to the point. It went something like, “I got something for you, for sure. Let’s do it.” Loved Isoke’s remix for Change Request. Had to get him in on it; plus we are a part of a long standing crew here in Chicago called Soul Foundation. So, no brainer. And Ed Nine, love the drums on tracks I’ve come across of his. Such an early 90s feel with that accurate to-the-era swing. Needed it. Everyone came through and gave me hotness!
I notice you drop this on your own site (and for iTunes prices) before it goes live elsewhere. How long have you been doing this, and is it successful so far?
Yes, I have a store on my site frique.com, the purpose is not to be so reliant on the digital majors for label releases and their timetable, initially. The store was set up upon the first release on Lea from Sugarcane Family back in September. A short time after, I got the gift of a distribution deal with Para Dise (thank you Deron Delgado, & Joshua Iz on the recommend). The direct connection between the music and the people is essential to me. But I’m no fool, the distribution aspect came through solid.
While the catalogue continues to grow, it’d be great the public caught on to the fact I’ll have label releases on my site first. And I’m not so concerned about the store’s success, especially so early in my production career. The unobstructed portal(s) to Lea Music is all I care for at the moment.