Flipping beats and samples around with self-confessed audiophile Freshtone

He’s a self-confessed audiophile, and although he hasn’t been in the music industry for long, he’s slowly making a name for himself. His name is Jamie Kielland, or better known by his stage name Freshtone. Freshtone is a DJ turned producer, reigning from London but now calls Norway home. Traditionally he normally taps into oldschool, UK garage, 2 Step and drum and bass, but he’s also dabbled in hip hop, which is how he first grabbed our attention with his J Dilla tribute album.  We chat to Freshtone about his latest release, why J Dilla was such an inspiration for him to become a producer, and he walks us through his production process. Margaret Tra writes.

You haven't been in the music industry for long, how are you finding it?

Not long at all, actually only about three and a half years now! It has been an interesting journey. I started because one day I really wanted to learn the piano, so I bought a Midi keyboard, and realised I needed a program to go with it, so I talked with a couple of people and they pointed me in the direction of reason!. After some seriously frustrating time of learning the program, I latched on and didn’t just play piano anymore, I started producing, or so what I figured was producing.  

I find the industry to be like a big maze! You try to stick your head into every door possible, and sometimes someone sees you, but mostly people see you but they don’t pay attention to you.

How much of your work is producing rather than DJing?

Well I used to DJ years ago, doing such things as house UK garage and drum and bass, but after the move over to producing I really haven’t spent too much time on my DJing. Maybe I should unpack the old 1210's and have a spin soon.

Was it a natural step for you to turn to producing?

Natural? It was more of an accident; all I wanted to originally do was play piano. This obviously grew into producing slowly as I have no past knowledge, nor schooling of music in any such sense.

You've worked with artists' across the world, any particular artist that has shaped you in any way?

I can’t really say I have been shaped by any specific artists, or particular artist, but all the ones I have worked with are fantastic, and I send much love and respect out to them, hoping a positive outcome for their music lives.

What role does J Dilla play in your life?

J Dilla is more than enough to describe the reason I think I carried on making music. His music was just so amazing. Each beat was perfect, and each sample perfectly chopped and mixed! EQing was amazing and well you get the point, I love J Dilla, and he has a massive amount of respect from me.

As to do with a role he gave me, I think I started making music which he would have made then slowly realising that many people copied his style. So I’m trying to veer off and create my own things, currently while emphasising a couple dinks from the Dilla.

Are you working on any new projects?

Right now I’m working on a couple things, possibly a new album, but mostly on some track ideas for a record labels compilation release which should be quite exciting.

Tell us about your latest release.

‘The small things’ was actually built up from countless nights sitting up and just flipping beats and samples around. I wish I had a better story to tell about it, but really it’s just a ''Best of Freshtone'' you could say.

How do you produce your music, do you sample or create original beats?

I have to say it really depends, I play mostly 90% of all the instruments you hear layered over my tracks, but I use samples as a ''reference.'' You could say I build up off them, and all of a sudden I sit with a whole new song without even hearing the original sample.

What Stimulates Your Soul?

Food, music and love! Definitely, I can’t stress how much music stimulates me, if I didn’t have music. Well I just don’t even want to say what I would do!

Want to hear more from Freshtone? Jump onto his website.