After reviewing and loving Frid's EP 'Serving Time' I was thrilled at the opportunity to throw a few questions his way. Born in York and based in the Manchester, Frid's down-to-earth nature has resulted in a fantastically unpretentious and unassuming interview, revealing a man humble and honest and quietly aspirational. "An introspective and passion-fuelled lyrical conquest", his debut EP set about laying foundations for an undeniably long career in hip hop and one Music Dissection will be following all the way! Read the interview below and check out the EP afterwards. Thanks to Frid, and the team at Wenlock Music for making this interview possible and for executing it in the most graceful of manners!
Music Dissection: First lets get the usual questions out of the way! How did you get into the music industry, and who or what inspired you to do so?
Frid: I have written poetry since I was at school and it's pretty much the only thing I enjoyed about school. The poems started becoming a little 'edgier' the more that went on in my home and personal life and without even realising, when I started getting more and more into Hip Hop, they naturally started becoming more like bars with a hip hop influence and it snowballed from there, really. My whole life inspired me to start writing verses and songs and then, later, recording them. The people around me in everyday life continue to inspire me. My little girl is only 8 months old and she is why I do this mainly. When I'm in the studio and start feeling tired, or frustrated that I'm not hitting a verse correctly or whatever, I just think about her and remember that I'm doing all this for her, and things seem to fall back into place again. She's a massive driving force. I just keep working to make sure that when she's 18 she is like; "Yeah, Dad made some awesome tunes when he was younger", rather than "That's properly fucking embarrassing!" [laughs]
MD: Would you say those inspirations influence your work? If not, who or what does?
Frid: Oh, without question. I mean, there is so much personal content on the last EP, that it's pretty much an audio autobiography, just, in reverse chronological order - which was intentional, by the way. There are so many references in the content of that project to things that have played a massive part in me becoming the person that I am, that it's pretty impossible to say my inspirations don't influence my work. Maybe they do a little too much sometimes, but I'm a passionate person and I wear my heart on my sleeve, so I have no problem with being 100% honest in my music. It's the way I vent, and sometimes things happen to me in my life and I'm like; "okay, if I don't speak about this, I'm going to go insane". I like that people find it easy to relate to elements, too. I got a tweet the other week from a fan who is having a hard time of things and she said that my song 'Hold On' was a real inspiration to her at that point and that it was helping her stay strong for her little girl... that kind of thing means more to me than any album sale, any money that comes my way, whatever. That there is real life stuff, and to be reaching someone on a level like that is incredible.
MD: Who are you listening to at the moment?
Frid: Well, I know this is going to sound stupidly self-obsessed, but I'm listening a lot to myself at the moment. Inbetween every project, I leave the project for 2 or 3 months and don't listen to it once, and then come back to it and listen solidly for like a month. That way, it's easier to spot where I maybe could have done something a little better or how I'm going to improve on things and expand as an artist for the next project. I know roughly where the next project is going already. I'm also listening to things that are in the works still; my guest spot on my mucker Uppacut's new album, etc. I've been honoured enough to have been played some of the new music he has coming, and people do not want to miss out on it, because it's ridiculously good. Aside from stuff that I'm involved in, I've recently re-ignited my love affair with 3 Doors Down, who are one of my most favourite bands ever. I never know how to answer this kind of question properly though, because I listen to a lot of stuff really.
MD: What are your plans, album-wise?
Frid: Well, The 'Serving Time' EP still needs promoting, and we are about to start filming for the videos for the singles from that, so there will probably be 3 singles to emerge yet. I've got a collaboration project with 7 Deadly from Grand Rapids which I've recently started working on, but that might take a little while because we want to make sure that we make the most of both the UK and US elements and approach it right. More immediately, I'm already working on a new, shorter EP which I intend to be the closing off of the Serving Time EP - almost the credits to the movie, if you know what I mean? Also, myself and Uppacut have started work on a joint EP which I think will probably be ready to drop around the half year point of 2012. I've been writing for it properly for three weeks and there are already probably four keepers in the locker. I'm starting to get very excited about that. Of course, Music Dissection will be the first to know about it, because you are so ontop of the game. In fact, I was shocked to hear you ask me, rather than already know before even I did! [laughs]
MD: We at Music Dissection loved your EP 'Serving Time'. Are we going to hear an evolution from that passionate and very immediate sound in the future?
Frid: Thank you, it was certainly an incredible and overwhelming review. Erm, [pauses], no, you're never going to hear me move away from a passionate approach, because I have too much passion for what I do. I mean, I could write a song about something completely fucking random, and it would probably be garbage, but I write about things that I love, so I have no choice but to pour everything I have into it. That said though, you will certainly hear an evolution with the Frid and Uppacut release, and maybe even slightly more so with the Frid and 7 Deadly release, because I've upped my game lyrically. I was talking to Uppa about this just a few days ago, and we're both keen to try a couple of 'experimental' things with the joint release, and I'm learning more about actual song construction, not just song writing. You know, more how to actually compose a piece, like, normally I might say "right, there's the verse, I'm happy with that, so we go into the chorus" but now I'm looking at a bigger picture and rather than just going with it, I'm assessing it like "Hmm, maybe we don't just go into the hook, maybe this is a bridge section?", you know what I mean? Maybe I haven't explained that very well, but either way, there is certainly an amount of evolution, but my fans don't need to worry about me 'doing a Black Eyed Peas'... I'm hip hop now, and always will be.
MD: Are there any new ideas, lyrically or musically, that you want to explore in the future?
Frid: Yes. but I don't really want to tell you what they are just yet because a lot of ideas I have sound amazing in my head, but actually, in reality, are really terrible. But, you'll hear the final product of the better ideas soon enough, of that I assure you.
MD: Is there anything on your EP that you dislike, or would like to change given the opportunity to revisit it?
Frid: No, not dislike. Never. I'd have scrapped it before it saw the light of day if that were the case. The only thing that I do wish, is that I had maybe been in a position to do it to that standard a few years ago, because, I truly believe that I'm the sharpest I've ever been now, and I can only improve from here, but it concerns me that I should maybe have been hitting this place two or three years ago, because there is going to come a time when I can't or won't do this anymore, and there is so, so much which I want to get off my chest and get out there that it's untrue. I can't rap forever, which is why I work so hard - I'd never be able to forgive myself if I got to 60 and thought; "Bollocks! I meant to try and tackle that such and such topic!"
MD: Flipping that on its head, what was your favourite moment recording 'Serving Time'? A collaboration you particularly enjoyed?
Frid: Wow, that's a massive question. Um, there is a hell of a lot about the EP that could be placed in the category of 'favourite moment', but there are a few stand outs. When we recorded 'Dear Daddy', I sat in the studio listening back to the vocals for the first time, and for the first time heard all the elements in one place, other than my head, and I just started to well up and got more than a little choked up. That song is 20-odd years of pain that I've never spoken about in the wider audiencce, and it took a lot for me to get it down on paper and then even more to put it out. But I knew that when it was, that particular subject in my life was boxed off that little bit more - never forgotten, but could be put to one side now. I think one of the other favourite moments was during the recording of 'Set it Off'. I ripped through the third verse and just stood there almost in a trance, like a fighter psyching himself up, the adrenaline was flowing big time and I was taking a minute to bring myself back. Then I heard the sound engineer's voice through my headphones and he just said, "Frid, that was a little bit special. you've found your sound...". I knew then we were onto a winner. As for collaborations, probably everything I've done with Uppacut. He and I bounce off each other so well - you know, we like the same music, similar artists, similar sense of humour, we're from the same City, his kids play with my kid etc, and that makes a massive difference to the music. Everything just feels more natural, and we're in a position where if I send him a new track, or run an idea by him or vice versa, we're comfotable enough with each other to just be like, "no, that's really wank mate", and that helps the music be the best it can be.
MD: What are your aspirations?
Frid: To be respected by my peers and to continue to be creative. I don't neccessarily want a huge fanbase and the riches of stardom - although I might not actually turn that down if you offered it to me - no, to me, the respect of peers and fans from keeping my musical integrity is the most important thing. That, alongside continuing to grow and push myself are the most vital things to me.
MD: Finally, we're very fond of the question: If you weren't an artist, what would you be and why?
Frid: I'd be what I am now - just an ordinary, working class guy. I'd still be my baby's Daddy, I'd still go down the pub once in a while to watch the football, I'd still get excited over stupid stuff like the release of the new FIFA every year, I'd just be 'Steven' on a full time basis. I'd actually like to think that if I wasn't behind this microphone, I'd be behind a different one, doing what you do, reviewing music and interviewing artists... I'd like to think I'd still be involved in music somehow, because, simply, I love it too much to not be. And I hope that comes across in my music to the listener, because it means a hell of a lot to me!
Find my original review of 'Serving Time' over here, and the nine-track EP itself over here!
Find my original review of 'Serving Time' over here, and the nine-track EP itself over here!