“Just Don’t Give Up!” Freddie Dredd Interviewed

Backstage at Rolling Loud LA...

Freddie Dredd is a veteran of the underground, an individual fiercely set on blurring the boundaries between horrorcore, trap, and punk rock.

The Canadian rapper, producer, and songwriter rose to the fore in 2017, trialling his future-facing sound across DIY streaming platforms. Merging eerie instrumentals with distorted vocals, and film samples, the current day sees Dredd straddling between his cult following and viral success. With breakthrough track ‘Opaul’ sat on over 83 million streams, the artist inches towards a mainstream impact, re-defining the next wave of post-rap. 

Presenter duo Sophie Beeching and Don’t Be Mike head over to Rolling Loud LA to delve deeper into the world of Freddie Dredd. Fresh from a stellar performance at the world’s biggest hip-hop festival, they discuss dream collaborations, live performance and the advice he’d hand his younger self – throwing in some dark humour and chaos at every turn.

Rolling Loud Day 1 – how’s life? You feeling happy? 

Yeah, I’m happy. I’m on tour right now, so this is just another show to do, I guess. 

How’s the tour going? 

Fantastic. We just sold out this whole tour.

What’s been your favourite location? 

Ohio, believe it or not. There was that shit going on with the train explosion, it was like three hours away but still, it was a great time and they turned out for that shit.

What’s the weirdest thing that’s happened on tour so far? 

We played in Oakland not too long ago, and some kid at the end of the fucking set jumped up on stage, unplugged the DJ set, and then got spear-tackled off the fucking stage. It was like a wrestling match at my show. It was amazing. 

What’s coming up for you this year?

After this tour, I’m going to be retiring from touring till 2024. Then I’ve got one more album to do.

Are you going to come to London?

A hundred percent. 

So where’d you get your inspiration from, music and fashion wise…?

My inspiration for fashion… I went to a store one time and I was just like, ‘wow I dress like shit’ so I just bought all these clothes recently. Musically, I listened to a lot of metal music growing up, so I tried to go with the heaviness of my bass, my drums and stuff. 

My favourite band is Meshuggah, they’re a Swedish metal band, very unique, 

Metal shows are a whole different thing, a whole different vibe. That’s why I was trying to go for but I have social anxiety and I’m not good in a band, so it’s like, why not rap? It’s a one-man-band kind of thing. But yeah, I try to emulate metal music a lot, a lot of Memphis rap music too.

Step by step, what do you put into the recording process? 

I just lyrically… God I just talk about killing people. It’s not deep or anything. And then the beats, I just got to find a melody. It’s easy. Get a keyboard and then just make it sound like shit, you know? Gritty it up.

Any particular artist you dream about working with? 

Slowthai.

Do you have a piece of advice for people that want to be like you, who aspire to do things that they might have not had the opportunity, what would you say to them? 

Keep going. Find that unique sound. It’s always okay to be inspired by a certain artist, but everybody needs their own sound. Just keep going at it. I found mine just by making music. I never stopped. It took me a year to find that Freddie Dredd sound. I just kept trying different shit and something will click in your brain when you just don’t give up. 

Words: Sophie Beeching

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