It was a remake of Bobby Brown’s “Don’t Be Cruel” that first placed Louie Fresco under our radar last summer, but Fresco’s been making waves in the industry ever since. With releases out on No. 19, Defected and Neim Records, as well as the inception of his own record label, MEXA Records, 2011 was quite a big year for the Mexican DJ and producer.
In light of his most recent EP out on No. 19, So Good, we caught up with Louie to find out how he got his start at Jonny White’s label, how he got MEXA Records off the ground, and the state of the music scene in Mexico.
Preview the EP below and click here to buy it on Beaport!
We might say 2011 was a breakout year for you, and you’ve put out on a slew of different record labels. Do you see yourself calling one home?
No.19 of course. They’ve been really good to me since day one, and if I’m stuck with something they’re always there to help a brother out. I’m loyal to the number!
How did you even become a part of the No. 19 family?
I did an original track called “Cruel”, which was going to be released under my label MEXA Records. A couple of months after I finished that tune a friend of mine came down to my apartment and told me that Lee Foss uploaded a video of someone called “Modern Amusement” who was also using the same vocal sample as me. So I sent both Lee and Jonny a message asking them advice on what should I do with it. Jonny told me to wait some time and then release my version. It really bummed me out for a second, but after 20 minutes of putting my head around it, I saw a new message from Jonny telling me he wanted it for the Modern Amusement EP, and the rest is history.
Also, Lee did “Cold As Ice” a few months before I did “Cruel”. Neither of us had heard each other’s version.
So the Modern Amusement remix wasn’t initially made as a remix, but an original track? Where is the vocal from?
The remix I did of Lee’s “Cold As Ice” was indeed an original and the vocal is from Katy Perry’s… I’m just kidding! But seriously, you honestly don’t know where it’s from?
Hint: First name is Bobby, last name rhymes with “Clown”.
Your new EP, So Good, has gotten a lot of play in the last month or so. I know I was first exposed to it at The BPM Festival. What’s the concept behind it, and what was the production experience like?
I don’t think there was a concept to begin with, I just did a bunch of tunes that week and it seems that 80 percent of the time I tend to hit notes that sound kind of dark and creepy. Most times I pick up an acapella and loop something that grabs my attention.
That’s what I did with Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” acapella. Somehow I randomly looped that “Oooh, it’s so good, it’s so” part and tweaked it to what it is now. Then started adding everything on top of it.
“Owl Night” was around 70 percent done by the time I started working on “So Good” and I thought it could make a good B-side. I was really happy to find out that the guys at No.19 thought the same without me even telling them.
I think I finished three tunes that day: those two and another one that’s a bit more up-tempo and housey. I always try to do to have some sort of balance.
I’ve noticed that more and more hispanic artists are emerging on the scene. How was it like growing up in Mexico, and what was the scene like there? How did you break into the industry?
I think it’s going to be a good year, not only for me but also for many Latino acts. I’m really excited for everything that’s been happening these past few months and I hope and think it’ll only get better. What has gotten me really thrilled is that Mexico’s starting to show on everybody’s radar. This last BPM Festival, I made it my sole mission to meet every frontrunner of the EDM scene in Mexico, so I met all kinds of producers, DJs, and promoters (plus I had met a few on my earlier gigs). I can’t say much about it but we’re all teaming up to try and make a bigger bang.
I got my first break thanks to (this will come right out of left field) Justice. Somehow the French duo got their hands on a remix I did back in ’08 and decided to play it on their Essential Mix. I toured all over the world for almost three years thanks to that.
But I decided to switch gears, slow down the tempo, and add a bit more melody and soul into the mix. Now people like Jonny White and Nitin dug my music and gave me the opportunity to be part of an amazing family and a well-respected label.
How did Mexa Records come about, and what kind of sound are you going for? Who are some upcoming artists you’re trying to promote with the label?
It started as a project between my former roommate Jay Blakk (Climbers) and me to showcase some of the best talent in Mexico, and of course our music as well. We’ve been planning this for almost two years now and finally it’s all coming together.
Now we’re happy to say that we have a lot of support from many good friends in the industry and we’ve signed some amazing music from a different array of producers from all over the world. We’re just focusing on releasing what we like at the moment and what we think is going to be hot in the near future.
Right now we have the first EP ready to launch, which is a two-track EP by Lee Foss plus a really cool remix by Richy Ahmed. Then we have a bunch of amazing EPs and remixes by the likes of Lee M Kelsall, Matt Fear, Clinton Houlker, Volta Bureau, Rebel, Spacebyrdz, Kolombo, Delia Ros, Climbers, Jonny Cruz, Corey Baker, Wildkats, Alexis Raphael, Ashley Wild, Jaen, Thabo, Cubiq, Justin Baulé, Miguel Puente, Sishi Rosch, and yours truly.