MEET: Fred, DJ
Thu 18 Aug 2016 @ 22:17
Time to meet another of SNAP's top performers. This time we meet FRED. Not only a DJ, Fred has some serious musical chops, has played at some of London's best venues, and unleashes a fairly hilarious joke upon the world.
SNAP: Did you always want to be a professional DJ? Do you have any other strings to your bow?
FRED: In some ways, yes. My brother was a Jungle and Drum & Bass DJ when I was 9 (he's a lot older than me), and his mates used to come round ours for a mix, so I learnt pretty young. At age 13 I started playing drums, so this took me in a different and yet similar direction - I now find the two disciplines quite complimentary.
Tell us about your musical tastes
Being a musician (sorry, drummer) my musical tastes are many and varied, I have a finger in almost every genre and when DJing my own nights like to take people on a journey through a number of styles spanning the last five or so decades. I think this is why I'm a DJ, though sometimes DJs have a reputation for being a little snobby. (Fred in drumming mode below!)
Give us five tunes you love playing as a DJ at the moment.
"All This Love I'm Giving" by Gwen McCrae is great to get people moving, as is "You Got The Love" by The Source feat. Candi Staton.
"Everybody Wants To Rule The World" by Tears For Fears always makes me smile and is a great sing along.
If I'm playing to a young crowd, anything by Kendrick Lamar does the trick.
Finally, "I Saw The Bright Shinies" by The Octopus Project always has people coming and asking for the track title. It's just a great track. Sometimes I feel like a human Shazam! As it happens I DJed Shazam's Christmas party last year, they had great taste and made a lot of great requests.
What's the most memorable (or weird!) gig you've done and why?
A particularly memorable gig was In The Woods festival's silent disco. Being a silent disco, there were two DJs and the guests could select which channel to tune into. I was playing "versus" Dave Okumu from a band called The Invisible, but as he's such a lovely guy there was never really any competitive edge. The weird part was when you take your headphones off and look around to see people dancing and singing along to different songs. Great fun.
Last year you did a string of gigs at LSO st Luke's. What makes these gigs so special?
Playing at LSO St Luke's is great, partly because the building is just so wonderful! The ambience, combined with a fantastic team of staff, means every night there is really enjoyable, and it's so different from the usual venues I play - I mean, it's a church! I can't wait to be back there in December. (Image below taken by Fred at one if the LSO St Luke's parties last year)
What's the most amazing event you've been involved in?
I guess New Years Eve is always a big one. Everyone wants it to be memorable, so I always create a few one-off show pieces and generally have a bit of fun with it. Last year I made a five minute piece to build towards midnight that included the Countdown theme, the countdown to space shuttle take-off and Beyonce's "Countdown". I'm not sure anyone was even listening at that point but it made me happy.
What's the most valuable skill of a good DJ in your opinion?
Tune selection and the ability to read the dancefloor.
If you didn't work in music, you'd work in...
Haha, advertising probably!
What do you think is the biggest thing people misunderstand about hiring a DJ for their event?
People often think DJing is easy, and all you have to do is "press play". I often think that they don't take into account the knowledge of music you need, or the hours you put in to get as good at "pressing play" as you need to be. It's more about knowing how to provide the right entertainment on the night, which just comes with experience.
Finally, tell us a joke.
Q. What do you call a DJ without a girlfriend?
Fred is one of our team of hand-picked DJs, contact us to discuss your event now or click here to see more info, download a quote or make a booking.