At the start of the year, radio DJ and music industry veteran DJ Fresh challenged himself to reach one goal: to release his own music. On Friday, Fresh fulfilled that challenge with the release of the EP Not For Radio.
He decided to release the project about two weeks before doing so. Half of it, he says, is music from two years ago that he’s been sitting on.
“A lot of my career has been ‘always be prepared to do anything now’. So anything you think I did on a whim or at the spur of the moment has been ready for quite a while. That’s part of the secret, I’m always prepared for the next move.”
Not For Radio consists of six house songs, each with no vocals. In putting the EP together, Fresh worked with the likes of Adile, DJ Clock and Eltonnick.
How did the name come about and what influenced it? “There’s a song I did about two years ago, and the mix kinda went viral on YouTube. Someone said ‘Add a vocal, radio will love it’ and my comment was ‘I don’t feel I need a vocal’.
"Besides, I didn’t make it for radio. That’s how the name of the track came about. And then I realised that I’ve got at least another five, six tracks that don’t have vocals”
Fresh recently also partnered with The Lucky Bahati, an afrofuturist food franchise serving home-style African food in and around Jozi. Asked how this new venture came about, he says: “I love Africa, I love all things African. My back has a map of Africa tattooed on it. The Lucky Bahati was an idea I had with a friend of mine, he owns Moyo.
“We were talking about how when you’re in Lagos you’ll never hear about Casava Wednesday. Casava’s their staple. Why must we have Mogodu Monday? Why must we theme our food? We’re almost turning African food into a special event, and it’s overpriced.
"Why must I pay 200 bucks for a plate of African food?” Bahati caters for authentic African soul food including morogo, mogodu, chakalaka, pap, samp and dumpling. The broader plan with The Lucky Bahati is to franchise it, and to empower, ‘abogogo who are making a living from selling food’.
Next year, Fresh will be releasing another EP, The House of Love, around Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t look like he’ll be slowing down anytime soon. “My plan for 2019 is to just drop music until there’s nothing left to drop.”