The DAD Mix series has already brought us an extremely wide range of artists. Artists with a flair for the progressive and those with a taste for bass. DJs who effortlessly mix range of styles to take us on journeys on the dancefloor and through the depths of our minds. Today we’ve got the 99th mix in our series from Toronto natives, Free n Losh. This duo has been gracing the interwebs with beats for at least two years, and they’ve been going through it and putting in their time. With ups and downs like every artist on their grind chasing a dream, these two have poured their heart and soul into their craft and have had to re-tool and re-shape. With this mix, the second installment in their Breakfast In Bed series (of which we premiered), the duo not only previews their next release, but take us on a journey through four-to-the-floor grooves, jersey club, hip-hop and what’s sure to be a taste of their live show. With that in mind, we caught up with the boys to get a few questions answered.
You guys have been pretty quiet on the release front, what’s the next drop?
Haha! We MAY or may not have a new song dropping on July 7 and it MAY or may not be the first song on this mix!!!
Right on, well I’m sure it’ll be dope as it always has been. That said, you guys have been known more for a sample-based hip-hop sort of style, but you’ve really taken your time to develop that and really try everything, with bits of heavy bass to chilled out jazz-influenced trap music to some house-ier cuts–what would you say is the direction you’re going in now?
We wanted to incorporate all of that into soulful original music. Sampling has been sort of a crutch for us, so we decided to challenge ourselves this year and start writing full songs, with recorded instruments and vocals.
How did you guys get started together as Free n Losh?
We met at the university of Guelph through our homie Dale AKA DJ Trey Anastasio. We shared a love for hip hop and some older music–jazz and classic rock, mostly–and decided to make some pretty bad music together. It eventually got better though [laughs].
It certainly has guys. I’ve watched it and heard it since the beginning. You mentioned that you’re starting to record with acoustic instruments again and just trying new stuff in the studio, what are you adding in now?
Glockenspiel! Glockenspiel is KEY!! And we’re both writing on keyboard and that’s new for us. We also have plans to dip into ukele, bass, and Losh has all his drum shit. But we’re really both amazing at glockenspiel! It lives deep within the soul! [laughs]
Right on then! Any other specific instrument types you’re trying to work in?
We definitely want to get into some different percussive stuff, like congas, djembes and just different culturally diverse stuff from around the world. A “worldly” sound if you will, but also doing so that reflects where we come from.
You guys are also traditionally not DJs. You guys are musicians who later learned to produce and while you have done DJ sets, you guys have been transitioning towards a live show. Talk to us about this transition.
Yeah we wanted to do something different and, honestly, we just want to have the most fun on stage as possible and we feel like that will translate to the crowd. Now basically we’ve produced a bunch of tracks that are good “future bass” songs that are crazy high energy stuff, but we don’t need to put that out because we want that to be really part of the live experience. We don’t want music we meant for our live show to be listened to at home in headphones when you’re bored. We want people to come out to our shows and feel a new energy they haven’t gotten from us before. Losh is going crazy on the drums and I’m mixing like crazy but it’ll be all about having the most fun possible when you’re coming out to a headlining Free n Losh show.
That sounds awesome and something like a bit of a change for a lot of electronic music acts and producer-centric music. I know you guys debuted the live show in your hometown of Toronto back in April to a sold out crowd. What was that experience like?
Sex! Hahah, it was pretty amazing–sold out too, like 400 people showed up. An amazing experience and looking forward to more of it.
Speaking of Toronto, you guys are part of a pretty vibrant scene there. Obviously Drake reps it pretty hard, but you’ve got the likes of Zeds Dead repping the bass music scene too pretty hard as well. Where does Free n Losh fit into this Toronto music equation? In what ways does being from Toronto shape your music and style?
Toronto is what we grew up on. You’re going to make music that sounds like your surroundings. Toronto is a very different place through the seasons though, so our winter music is usually different from the summer sound.
You guys also bring a certain classic rock aesthetic to your stuff and always have. Whether it’s one of your dope-ass Beatles and Led Zeppelin samples, or your Grateful Dead inspired EP Deadhead OG –you guys wear that affinity right out there on your sleeve. What is it about that era in music that you’re so drawn to?
Thank you for calling our music dope-ass [laughs]. We just love classic rock. The change from acoustic to electric guitar is similar to the one from electric to electronic thats happening in music today. It allowed for an incredible amount of freedom and creativity. They were just combining new sounds with old styles of music so that’s easy for us to relate to.
What’s your favorite spot to go see some live music in Toronto? A DJ set?
Massey Hall and Phoenix Concert Theatre are dope. Besides that, smaller bars.
What are your favorite classic rock bands that you’ve never sampled?
Man, that’s a tough question to answer off the bat but we’d say Pink Floyd, The Band, Tragically Hip, and Supertramp.
Niiiiice. Before we finish up, tell us more about this Breakfast in Bed series.
The first one was because we put it out after New Year’s as a hangover cure, and then we realized there’s a difference between a live show and making a mix. We love listening to mixes that are musical journeys–and it doesn’t have to be all high energy, just an adventure. We’re not playing this mix out to 400+ people, so “Breakfast In Bed” is us giving you music without having to think and it’s just like the title because you don’t have to listen to this, you don’t have to choose it yourself and we’re just serving it up for you. No mess, just tunes and that’s like getting Breakfast In Bed served to you.
Free n Losh – ????
Alex Adair – Make Me Feel Better
Chris Malinchak – Forever
Common – I Want You (Kaytranada Edition)
Disclosure – What’s In Your Head
Duke Dumont – I Got You (Bondax Remix)
Empire Of The Sun – Alive (Gold Fields Remix)
Thomas Jack – Symphony Feat. Adrian Symes
Bob Marley And The Wailers – Satisfy My Soul
Free n Losh – Babe I’m Gonna Leave You
The Weeknd – Live For Feat. Drake (The Ninetys x Hucci Remix)
Kendrick Lamar – Poetic Justice (LMC Remix)
Sevyn Streeter – It Won’t Stop (Alizzz Remix)
Panama – Destroyer (Cosmo’s Midnight Remix)
Kappa Kavi – Chokoreto Rabu
Mac Miller – Here We Go