interview FREQUENCY  (February 2007) | Interview By: Justin

  Dubcnn recently hooked up with New York producer Frequency for an exclusive interview. Over recent years the up and coming producer has laced an array of underground and mainstream artists including; Wordsworth, El Da Sensai, Raekwon, Camron, Masta Ace and most recently Snoop Dogg on the acclaimed Blue Carpet Treatment track "Think About It." We discuss how that track came about and how Snoop felt he brought the best out of him as well as Dr. Dre's reaction to the record. We also talk about his various other production collaborations, dig deep to find out his inspirations, find out what studio equipment he uses as well as what we can expect next from him.

As ever you can read this exclusive Dubcnn interview and we urge you to leave feedback on our forums or email them to justin@dubcnn.com.


Dubcnn: For those unfamiliar with the producer Frequency, please give yourself a brief introduction.

I’m a 23-year old producer and DJ out of Long Island, NY. I’ve worked with a variety of artists, from Snoop Dogg and Cam’ron to Wordsworth and Masta Ace.

Dubcnn: Can you tell us about how the Snoop Dogg "Think About It" track came about?

I did the track for “Think About It” about 2 years ago while in college in Virginia. There was an area downtown full of antique and junk shops, most of which were chock full of records. I hit up these stores just about every weekend. The day I found the sample for “Think About It” I knew the beat was going to be crazy – I went back to my dorm room and made the beat that afternoon.

Fast forward another 8 months to New York where I had a chance meeting with Geffen A&R Mike Chavez at a producer’s conference. I gave him a CD (along with 250 other hungry new producers) and didn’t really expect much from it. About 6 months after that I got a call from Chavez and he told me to hold the beat because “someone” had interest in it. Shortly after I found out this “someone” was Snoop Dogg, I was out in L.A. mixing the record. It was quite a whirlwind experience.

The first time I heard the song was when I got to the studio to mix – I was completely blown away. I knew it was going to be dope, but I had NO IDEA he would rhyme like that! I think it’s safe to say this is one of the only records Snoop has released where he flows so fast. I spoke to Snoop on the phone that afternoon while in the studio and he told me that I had “brought the best out of him” and he “hadn’t rhymed like that since high school”. He even told me Dre was buggin out over it! It was really such a blessing to be co-signed by 2 of the biggest names in hip-hop. I owe Snoop a lot for taking a chance on me and delivering such an amazing song.

Dubcnn: You have also placed a couple tracks with Raekwon and Cam'ron. Can you speak about that?

The Raekwon song “Plenty of Love” was done with an NY artist by the name of Tikki Diamonds. I met him through the legendary Ed Lover, who now hosts one of the biggest afternoon radio shows in New York on Power 105.1 FM. I love that song – Rae kills it! Gotta thank Ed Lover a lot for hooking that collab up.

The Cam’ron joint “Ya’ll Can’t Live His Life” came about through producer Scram Jones who helped me place the track with Cam – definitely got to thank Scram on that. A lot of the songs I’ve place have been the result of building relationships with other people in the industry – its very important, especially today.

Dubcnn: Additionally, you've also laced productions for several underground artists like Wordsworth and El Da Sensei. What was it like working with them?

I love working with those guys. The process with them is a lot more collaborative and interactive and I think it makes for a better final product. Words & El are both extremely talented and well respected artists and I am sure I will continue to work with them on their new projects – they’re the bread and butter, I got to stay true to my base.

Dubcnn: In the recent Scratch magazine, you stated that as a result of stumbling upon your fathers music collection from the 60s and 70s, you started to produce. What sort of musical influences do you draw upon?

A lot of my influences come from soul music. The arrangements in those recordings have something that is missing from the music today. In every track I do, I make sure there is a strong musical element because to me, that’s the foundation. I think that’s one of the qualities that makes “Think About It” so special – the arrangement is so thick and entrancing that the second you add Snoop’s vocals you get drawn inside.

There are times when I just listen to records and replay certain arrangements – not necessarily to sample them, but to learn how they’re constructed and add those elements to my music.

As far as the records I look for, I’m really big on 70’s soul, and I’m starting to get more into the early 80’s stuff – don’t sleep! I also look for more obscure albums and one-off 45’s to try and tap into areas that other producers haven’t touched. I try to research artist and label discographies as well. Many of the production houses had a certain sound that remained consistent throughout their catalogues (Motown, Hi, Stax, All Platinum etc). So you may find a group that only cut one 45, but they had the backing of a great studio band and top-notch producers and engineers that could deliver a great record.

Dubcnn: How did it feel to win the NYC regional for Scion's "King of the Beats", and to be recognized for your efforts?

That event was so much fun. It was hosted by Dante Ross and Doug E. Fresh, and judged by Pete Rock and Prince Paul. For a NY guy like myself it doesn’t get much better than that. The crowd and the judges showed a lot of love. There’s a few videos of the event on my myspace page, myspace.com/frequencybeats

Dubcnn: What kind of production equipment can we expect to see Frequency using in the studio?

The foundation is the MPC2000XL, but I also incorporate Pro Tools and several soft-synths to add more layers. I use Cool Edit Pro (which for some reason they discontinued!) to edit my samples, a Mackie 16-channel board and a few outboard compressors and effects units. I really don’t like to mix inside Pro Tools because I feel like it slows down my work process – I’d rather work hands on.

Dubcnn: Hailing from New York, what is your opinion on the hip hop scene right now? With Jay's return, Nas proclaiming "Hip Hop is Dead", 50 Cent and Cam'ron feuding, and everything else going on...

I don’t really concern myself with all the beefing and feuding because to me it’s pointless – just make a dope record and people will respect you for that. Though I have to say, at times it is entertaining. I liked the Jay & Nas albums but honestly, and NOT because I produced a song on it, I think the Snoop album tops both of them. Each album had a few really good songs, but as complete projects, I think they fell short of their goals.

New York is kind of in the air right now – it’s anybody’s game. I think we’ll see a resurgence when 50 comes back out, but there’s still room for some new talent. I’m always on the lookout for upcoming artists to work with.

Dubcnn: What projects can we expect Frequency to be working on in the future?

I have a lot of things lined up. I just did a few tracks with Ras Kass that are crazy. I have 3 tracks on the upcoming EMC album (Masta Ace, Wordsworth, Stricklin & Punchline) which should be dropping in the Spring. I’m also working heavily with some R&B songwriters because that’s definitely an area I want to expand into this year. Lastly, there’s a few things in the works with OC & AG, as well as up-and-comer A-Pinks. I also hope to be doin' more joints with Snoop and his camp in the near future.

Dubcnn: Got any last words for the fans?

Thanks for the support first of all, and to those that may have just found out about me through the Snoop joint, go check out my back catalogue – there is a discography at myspace.com/frequencybeats. Lastly – I produced an entire album for an artist by the name of 6th Sense called Highing Fly that is FIRE, so definitely check that out. It is available on iTunes. Big up to Justin and the whole Dubcnn fam!






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