Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Interview: Fresh Produce Collective

For all the talk of podcasts over the last few years there are few that bring a range of quality music from across the beat spectrum which are actually worth listening to. A notable exception is Fresh Produce. Broadcasting since 2008 Fresh Produce play everything from funk to Dubstep although there can be little doubt their hearts reside with variations on the theme of hip hop. I caught up with main men Daddy Like and AG...further down you can access their latest broadcast with features yours truly!

How did you guys meet?

AG: The original FP line-up consisted of Dr. Swerve On, Daddy Like and me. Swerve and DL knew each other. We met at a party, started talking music and they invited me to join them for an interview at the local radio station the next day. I got drunk, overslept and missed the interview – but they let me join them anyway. And we’ve been playing new tunes for and with each other ever since.

What sounds did you first get into that led to your current interest in hip hop, funk and dance?

Daddy Like: In the US, where I grew up, hip-hop is one of the musical forms that surrounds you; in particular, any time you dance – whether in a club, at a school dance, or a wedding, it’s mainly to hip-hop. Unfortunately there’s few other genres of dance music that break through the hip-hop miasma... every once in a while I would hear snippets of it, and wanted to know more -- but in the US they call dance music “electronica” and that superfluous “a” more than anything means that it’s something pretentious and snobby. So when I moved to the UK more than a dozen years ago, it was a revelation to find that dance music was as ubiquitous here as hip-hop was in the states. And ironically, they appreciate older forms of American music such as funk and rare groove much more in England than they ever did in the States. But perhaps we repay you the favour by respecting the British classic rock people over here sleep on!

AG: Growing up in Manchester, you can’t avoid its musical heritage: it’s a loud, proud and self-consciously brazen city. Liverpool had the Beatles? F--k that: we had the Buzzcocks, Factory Records, New Order, the Mondays… plus Oasis, of course, if you cared about lad-rock. But it was Manchester’s drum and bass scene that was my first real exposure to the world of beats; and from that to the jungle, hip hop and electro nights around the city. Always slightly full of itself, Manchester tends towards the insular: but sitting on the top deck of the 85, on the way to Electric Chair, it felt like all the music you ever wanted was here, somewhere, in the city.

How did you come to start Fresh Produce?

AG: Our radio debut was on the short lived Oxygen FM in the sleepy city of Oxford – Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10pm till 1am. Highlights included the weekly “FREE R KELLY” t-shirt giveaways, Daddy Like’s stand against the unjust incarceration of one of his musical heroes… Dr. Swerve-On returned to the States in 2004 to continue his career as an itinerant scholar of hope; when I moved down to London in 2007, DL and I resurrected the show as a podcast. And a new era was born…

What’s your music policy?

Daddy: In four words: anything with a beat

Where do your listeners come from? How many people tune in?

Daddy: It’s a surprisingly diverse bunch! For a while we were getting tons of listeners from China, but I always suspected that was some sort of spam crawler software rather than real people. Our podcast platform makes it easy to see where people listen from but difficult to see how many unique listeners there are. I’d guesstimate that there’s about 140 unique listeners per show.

Any plans to extend the brand into other media?

Daddy: Only live sets – wedding, bar mitzvahs and funerals.

Are you going to be doing a Guru tribute?

Daddy: I feel like we have to play some songs in honour of the man, even though our next show isn’t until about a month after his tragic demise. I think we’re going to play exclusively tracks we haven’t heard on any other tribute, which will be difficult because there’s so many great ones out there.

AG: ‘Lemonade was a popular drink and it still is/ I get more props and stunts than Bruce Willis’. Love it.

Which songs are doing it for you right now?

Daddy: In no particular order:
Strong Arm Steady feat. Phonte – Best of Time
Ty feat. Sway and Roses Gabor – Heart is Breakingz
Kylie Audlist – In A Week, In A Day (Ashely Beedle’s Streetsoul Edit)
Chemise – She Can’t Love You
Erykah Badu – 20 Feet Tall (Yoruba Soul Remix)

AG: RSD – Naked Mario Kart
Method Man & Redman – City Lights ft/ Bun B
Hackney Colliery Band – Money
Theophilus London – No Answers ft/ Jesse Boykins
Amanaz – Sunday Morning

What next for Fresh Produce?

Daddy: Hopefully we spread like a virus around the world... not a disappointing one like swine flu, but the real deal! Audio polio...

Any final shout outs?

AG: Manchester-based Sidestep Music ( always bring the heat. And keep an eye out for FP Stateside from Swerve, appearing later this year.

Daddy: Also a shout out to all the labels that sustain us: BBE, Strut, Kindred Spirits, Soul Jazz, Tru Thoughts, Wah Wah 45s, Stones Throw and Ubiquity. And London pirate radio – is there anything cooler in this world than 15 year-olds risking ASBOs to bring us new music for free? Who needs “Big Society” when you’ve got that kind of public-mindedness amongst the young?

Thanks guys...

To subscribe to Fresh Produce or simply to have a listen, go to

If you’ve downloaded the podcast to your iPod, hit the centre button four times while playing to see the tracklisting

To get new FP mixes automatically downloaded to your iPod when they’re posted, just click on the “Add to iTunes” icon on their homepage

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