New single 'How Love Begins' with High Contrast featuring Dizzee Rascal is out now: po.st/HowLoveBegins
Listen on Spotify: po.st/HLBSpotify
Get the How Love Begins EP incl. Elevator with Erik Arbores
Just the name ‘DJ Fresh’ presents a lifelong challenge. How can a producer live up to that name some two decades after he was first bowled over by the newness and innovation of rave music? How, in short, does DJ Fresh stay fresh?
Dan first became interested in 'Rave' music after older kids played him tapes from raves they’d sneaked out of school to go to. Hearing tales of the early Acid house scene, Dan was captivated by the fledgling sound of Jungle Hardcore.
Meeting one of Kingston’s 'Scandal FM' DJs at university he was offered a regular set, and word got around of his production skills. Introduced to Vegas by MC moose and later Dbridge and Maldini, Bad Company was born. Their first track 'The Nine' (later voted the biggest drum and bass track of all time) began an onslaught of game changing beats that captivated the young imaginations of acts like Pendulum, Chase and Status, Sigma, Futurebound, Bassline Smith, Camo and Krooked and the Brookes Brothers. All of whom would soon sign records to Dan's new label venture 'Breakbeat Kaos' with Adam F.
Dan's quest to spread the sound he loved finally started to break down doors at MTV and Radio 1. His website 'Dogs on Acid' (the biggest music forum in the world in 2003) spread the word of drum and bass worldwide, as some of the first ever playlisted drum and bass tracks tore their way onto the airwaves via the Breakbeat Kaos imprint. Pendulum became a sell-out Wembley arena act releasing the double platinum 'Hold your Colour' with Dan's guidance and a&r savvy. And the scene was set for the forthcoming invasion of the British mainstream charts.
His first collaboration with Ministry of Sound 'Gold Dust' graced the top forty for 18 weeks, becoming the highest selling track of the year not to make the top 10. Lucozade wanted a ‘Gold Dust’ of their own and commissioned Dan to attempt another collab with Video Director Ben Newman resulting in the award winning campaign, and the UK and worlds first Dubstep no.1 record with 'Louder'. The follow up to this, The first ever drum and bass no.1 'Hot Right Now' launched Rita Ora and paved the way for a string of top ten hits as Dan began a transition from producer to producer/writer.
The support of Radio 1's Zane Lowe and Annie Mac placed his tracks at the heart of the new eclecticism, and he began to expand his tempo range. Inspired by newcomers like Flux Pavilion, Jack Beats and Dillon Francis, he took on jump-up dubstep, electro, Dutch house and even moombahton rhythms, which provided the foundations for his top 3 hit ‘Dibby Dibby Sound', and Top 5 smashes 'Earthquake' with Diplo, and 'The Power' with Dizzee Rascal.
2015 saw Dan add another hit to his already burgeoning back catalogue, working with MOBO and Brit award singing songstress Ella Eyre. ‘Gravity’ stormed into the official singles charts in February, peaking at number 4 and has gone on to sell over 400k records to date, plus has stacked up over 14 million views on the official video. Following this we saw the release of single ‘Believer’ with acclaimed DJ/producer Adam F, and subsequently ‘How Love Begins’, his second collaboration with legendary MC Dizzee Rascal.
With over 3 million record sales, two number 1 singles and a further two top 6 singles to his name, he is infectiously optimistic about the next phase of his career, seeing the current climate as being “as open-minded as those very first days of rave, back in 1990 or whenever, when I started to get what it was really about”. Refusing as ever to fit anyone's expectations, and always driven by that idea of diverse minds uniting under a musical banner, he's not resting on his reputation but still pushing forward – still Fresh after all these years.