A genuine staple in LA, Freddy Be has been delivering great music and first-rate events on the west coast since the early 90’s. From the legendary Monday Social parties, which celebrates its 20th year as North America’s longest running weekly house music event, to his awe-inspiring Earthdance Festivals (’97-03), his tireless efforts have been instrumental in defining the progress of Southern California’s dance music culture. Freddy Be is a cornerstone for the global dance scene and continues to pioneer through the ever-evolving architecture of dance music.
As a DJ and purveyor of underground dance music, Freddy Be continues to leave his indelible impression on dance floor enthusiasts by keeping an ear and pulse on the underground sound that lurks just beneath the mainstream consciousness. As dance music genres continue to expand and corporate festival promoters move away from the unadulterated and undeniable sound that is house music, Freddy has been a beacon in guiding newcomers while maintaining a vibrant following of loyal dance goers and true believers.
Keeping an exceptionally pure sound on the dance floor, Freddy Be energizes crowds with his deep sexy hybrid style, infusing a tech-house vibe with dark funky beats, rich melodies and psychedelic undertones. With more than two decades of experience behind the decks, his inspiration comes from an era of disc jockeys that pioneered the intricately layered, smooth beat-mixing style that has become a lost art in today’s dance music scene.
His exceptional track selection and expertly paced sets have allowed him to land residencies at Exchange LA, Audio SF, and Sound Nightclub as well as tour across the nation to perform in other cities and at major festivals including Coachella, Desert Hearts, BPM, and Minus Zero. No matter which dance music heavyweights he is sharing the stage with (Hot Since 82, Green Velvet, Sasha, Danny Tenaglia, Dubfire), Freddy’s sets stand on their own with a fresh approach and stylistic identity.
In addition to DJing, Freddy has also put in lots of studio time, collaborating with various producers including Trent Cantrelle, Davi, and most recently Freaky Chakra. His hypnotic tech-house productions have already been playlisted by Carl Cox, Hernan Cattaneo, James Zabiela, Danny Howells, Sander Kleinenberg, Quivver and John Digweed on his massively popular ‘Transitions’ radio show. 2016 will be another strong year with the release of his track ‘Holding Back’ (including remixes by Funkagenda, Trent Cantrelle and Jody Wisternoff) on Darin Epsilon’s influential label Perspectives Digital.
A true master technician, Freddy Be’s unwavering passion not to conform to stereotypes has kept the lost art of the DJ very much alive, always leaving dance goers begging for more. With the lure of today’s celebrity global DJ and the ever changing landscape of dance music, Freddy is a tour de force to be reckoned with, making him one of the most viable and relevant DJ’s within the club culture.
Hometown Heroes: Freddy Be from Los Angeles
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Interview with Freddy Be
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us.
No problem. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to do this month’s edition of “Hometown Heroes”. I’ve always been a big fan of MI4L so the pleasure is mine!
How did you get into DJing and house music? Was there a specific moment of inspiration or was it more of a gradual process?
I collected records for many years before learning how to mix.. Officially, I started DJ’ing in ’94 (as the Bud Brothers) with long-time colleague, friend, and dj partner Mick Cole. We had a lot in common, as we were both raised in the UK and into the same music. When I first met Mick (interning at a record label), we were both a couple of young ravers and avid vinyl junkies, going out every weekend to infamous underground parties like “Flammable Liquid” where we would listen, religiously, to djs like Doc Martin, who was definitely one of the biggest influences on me when it comes to house music.
At that time, all the music you would hear in clubs was released exclusively on vinyl, so every Thursday, when the 12” imports would arrive at the local record shops, I would make the pilgrimage down to Prime Cuts, a vinyl specialist on Santa Monica Blvd where Doc was working and bug him to cherry pick some of the stand-out records that had inspired us on the dance floor that previous weekend.
Ironically, I didn’t even own a record player at that point but through the process of absorbing house music on the weekends and collecting dance records, my library grew quickly and ultimately led to learning how to mix vinyl. All of this was happening in Mick’s garage right before we started Bud Brothers, which incidentally was just a name we came up with because it sounded way cooler then Fred & Mick :)))
When did Monday Night Social come into the picture? Who is one MNS guest that stands out to you?
After a few years of DJ’ing, we had already sunk our teeth into the local underground scene by playing regular gigs in the smokey back rooms of notorious LA after-hours parties like NECTAR and at MOONTRIBE’s very early full moon gatherings in the Mojave Desert. As the dj circuit started to gain popularity, and the landscape became more political, we decided to start throwing our own parties, where we could DJ and provide a neutral environment for people to hang out and listen to cutting edge new music.
In the summer of 1996, Monday Social was born and started it’s weekly events at LOUIS XIV in Hollywood, which was a hip French Restaurant / Lounge that already had a built in crowd consisting of fun, open minded Europeans. MNS quickly became a platform to book special out-of-town guest djs that were still in town from their weekend shows! These weekly laid-back social gatherings became a staple in Los Angeles with industry folks and like-minded music heads! MNS was the start of something new and fresh in LA and gave us a platform to develop a sound, embrace new artists, and pioneer the downtempo beats that you would never get to hear in the clubs at that time!
Over the past 19 Years, Monday Social has gone through many changes and hosted it’s weekly events at 5 different Hollywood venues. There have been so many memorable guest dj’s, that it would be almost impossible to narrow it down to just one, so here is a list of a few artists that have stood out to me: Groove Armanda at Louis XIV (96-00) • John Digweed, Lee Burridge and Danny Howells at Las Palmas (’00-’04) • One + One featuring James Zabiela (B2B) Nic Fanciuli at Nacional (’04-’99) • Dadalife & Nicky Romero at Playhouse (’99-’13) • Hot Since 82 at Sound (’13-’16)
What do you think is the most challenging part of promoting a weekly event like Monday Social? Where do you find the tenacity?
I guess the tenacity comes from a life-long passion for music. Monday has always been one of the toughest nights of the week to get people out and with the way the scene has changed over time, it definitely comes with it’s own set of challenges. The main thing I’ve noticed in recent years, is a major resurgence that’s been going on with the copious amount of parties, clubs, pop-ups, and boutique festivals that are going on during any given weekend. In short, the scene has grown immensely! These days, people have more of a tendency to pick and choose their battles based on their schedules, tastes, and financial resources.
Before all of this, we were one of the few rodeos in town that endorsed pure underground music and with almost 20 years under our belt, there’s obviously a reason why people are still coming out. It is the music that has kept us in business without a doubt. We always put the music first and the rest just fits into place. Whether we are featuring a superstar dj like Green Velvet or Hot Since 82, or pushing a relatively undiscovered artist like Olivier Giacomotto, you are sure to hear something innovative and inspiring that pushes the boundaries at Monday Social.
What’s on the horizon for you 2016?
The biggest milestone of 2016 is Monday Social celebrating it’s 20th birthday, which is pretty crazy! I can’t think of anything else that I’m looking more forward to!
As far as gigs go, I’ll be kicking off the new year playing with Coyu at Exchange LA on January 2nd for my birthday before heading to Playa Del Carmen for the 2nd annual Monday Social Showcase which is an official BPM event at TriBeCa on January 11th!
On the production front, I have several projects in the works including a new release coming out on LA-based PERSPECTIVES DIGITAL in February titled, “HOLDING BACK” which was promo’d a few years back and featured on John Digweed’s Transition Radio show. This upcoming release will include brand new remixes by Trent Cantrelle, Funkagenda, and Jody Wisternoff. I’ve also been working with my studio partner, Freaky Chakra, on another exciting project that we’ve been developing for the past year now that’s coming out as “Freddy Be and Freaky Chakra”. Under this collaboration, we have a bunch of new material lined up that will be ready for release in 2016.
Fortunately, I’ve had the opportunity to play at many legendary clubs such as The End in London, Audio SF, Sound Nightclub and Exchange in LA as well as festivals like Coachella, Nocturnal Wonderland, Desert Hearts, Minus Zero and BPM. In addition to these club and festival plays, I’ve been paired up with many influential artists that I’ve looked up to over the years including Sasha, Danny Tenaglia, Dubfire, Green Velvet, and Hot Since 82.
My hopes for the future would be to play on a more regular basis outside of the West Coast, perhaps Chicago, Miami or other US cities as well as some key international gigs in London, Barcelona, Ibiza and Berlin. To be able to play somewhere like Amnesia or Space Terrace to 5,000 people as the sun comes up would definitely be a dream gig of mine.
What’s one track in your crate that gets the party poppin’ every time?
“Freddy Be and Freaky Chakra – Want You To Love” which will be coming out sometime in the new year.
Tell us about your mix…
This mix was recorded LIVE at Monday Social during an impromptu set I played filling in for BETOKO who was unable to get his visa in time. This set includes many of the featured artists we’ve had at MNS such as Olivier Giacomotto, Noir, Betoko, &ME as well as one of my own unreleased tracks “Never Leaving” with studio partner Freaky Chakra (at the 39 min mark). I would describe the music I’ve included on this mix as a a reflection of my sound which is a hybrid style, that infuses a tech-house vibe with dark funky beats, rich melodies and psychedelic undertones. Hope you all enjoy!
Drink of choice…
Greyhound (Vodka Grapefruit)