Freddy Rule Talks About Changes In His Sound & Advice For Emerging Artists
Colorado native Freddy Rule has devoted his practice, patience and persistence to the nourishment of the Denver House scene. As he strives to bridge the gap between the underground and commercialized realms of electronic music, he hopes to unify and spread awareness between two- often opposing- sides.
iEDM: Tell us a little bit about your background.
FR: I was born in Colorado and I moved away to Missouri when I was five. Then, I went to college in Illinois, grad school in Arizona and made my way back to Colorado in 2010. I've been a big fan of electronic music my entire life but I didn't even start making music until I was 31.
iEDM: What is your first memory of music?
FR: I would say It was at the St Louis Fair and I saw Red, which is a pretty cool rock band. My sister was pretty dope so they pulled us backstage and we got to hang out with the band. I was the annoying little brother.
But that was my first concert I ever went to and that was a good memory.
iEDM: As a Colorado native, how do you feel about the progression in the Denver music scene? What improvements would you like to see?
FR: The scene has gotten really rich. You know, we have so many shows going on all the time. If you go to any other market, they are going to have the same types of shows that we have, which means that we're coming into a big city- which is good.
The only negative thing I would put in there is that we don't necessarily do a great job at developing local artists into touring artist, you know?
And so, it would be nice if that was made a priority because without the local talent, there wouldn't be anything. If there weren't people doing what we do, it would be very hard to have support for everything.
iEDM: What advice do you have for local artists wanting to break out of that mold into a touring artist?
FR: So I would say that there's three key parts to the job and it doesn't mean you can't be successful if you aren't on all three, just easier if you are on all three.
Number one is, be a good DJ and what I mean by be a good DJ is, I put you in a room with five people or 5,000 people, you know how to play to the crowd. You don't make mistakes or if you do make mistakes, you're good enough that you recover before anyone knows. Everybody makes mistakes. Best advice I was ever given as a DJ was by Billy Kenny. He said to me, "We all make mistakes but the faster that you recover is what makes a good DJ a great DJ."
The number two is, be a good producer. You know, you can be a phenomenal DJ but it's really hard to breakthrough unless you're making music that people connect with.
The third one is where a lot of people fail and that is being really good at networking and marketing. So, I always say go out and support the scene. Go to every show that you possibly can, go thank the promoters, go thank the door guys. After every single show, I go and say, "Thank you," to the lighting guys, the sound guys. People remember that stuff because most people forget to do that.
And when you're out there and you're doing that, not necessarily trying to get something out of it, you're just doing it because you care about the scene and the people that are working behind the scenes- people notice that.
iEDM: How do you feel that your music has contributed to the Denver music scene?
FR: So there's a huge divide between the underground house and techno scene and commercial EDM scene. The underground people typically don't like commercial music and the commercial people think house and techno are boring.
So, I like to think that my style of house music is dead center between both sides. That allows me to go out and play underground shows and I can still make them happy but more importantly is, when I play a big show like Parade of Lasers or Decadence or something like that, kids that don't necessarily connect with house music can hear what I do and it brings them into a genre that they don't necessarily know anything about. So, I like to think that my music is a bridge between the two sides.
And that's something that's really important to me.
iEDM: What's in store for Freddy fans in 2019? Any new music to look out for
FR: Yeah, piggybacking on that last thing I said, I'm going to be doing a little bit of, I wouldn't say rebranding but a touch up. I've decided to move more into heavier bass house because I want to be able to flow in and out of genres. So, if I want to dip in and play some drum and bass or some breaks or any other genre that I want to dip into or if I want to play hip hop or a dubstep track, it all will flow cohesively with my sound - I'm trying to move more in that direction. So production wise, I've been in the studio a lot making that kind of music and I've also been making some more mid-tempo stuff. I released a mid-tempo track last year that was pretty big called, Love Child.
And people really love that track but it's my only mid-tempo track so, it makes it hard to play. I'm not necessarily changing it too much, it's more that I'm trying to play less of the underground shows. And it's not that I don't love that scene. I love it to death, that's where I got my start. I just, I want to play a specific type of show.
I want to be booked at Red Rocks, I want to be playing a big stage at Global Dance. And it's just not where I'm gonna be if I stay on the underground side and I love the underground side, it's just not where I want to be. Plus like I said earlier, I want to show a completely different fan base how good house music actually is.
iEDM: Tell us more about the evolution of your sound.
FR: You know, I started in TheHundred and I was playing pretty underground deep house and tech house to start and then I just fell in love with old school Billy Kenny which it was kind of like bass house but it was dark, grimy bass house.
And then Dirty Bird started to get really popular so, I kind of gravitated towards that and then Night Bass started to get really popular and I started to gravitate towards that. Confession came out and got really popular so my sound just gradually came up to more of like the bass house/ future house side and at the end of the day, we have a lot of people that play that Dirtybird side and what not.
I'm trying to move up into a little bit of the heavier stuff.
iEDM: Anything else you would like to share?
FR: Just that the scene is really important and there's some big changes that are happening right now with Beta closing down. It's going to get a little muddy right now, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it's good to mix things up.
But I'm really interested to see what's gonna happen. I personally, moving into 2019, am not taking any shows unless it is with my residencies. With TheHundred or at Temple or big shows with AG, Live Nation, venue type shows- anything that would be at like a theater or Red Rocks or something like that.
And then focus on getting booked on shows outside of Colorado. So that's the primary goal. And by playing less shows, that allows me to spend a lot more time in the studio.
Follow Freddy Rule in his journey of bridging gaps and pushing envelopes. Listen to his work HERE.
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