April 22, 2021

Read the full interview on Flaunt.com!

FRE$H has come a long way from the Young Money days, and he has no plan of stopping anytime soon. Exploding onto the scene with his own coined genre titled BARnB, the Houston native prides himself in his lyricism, with the ability and versatility to sing and create melody at the same time. Beyond that, he’s a huge lover of life with undeniable charm and charisma, spreading love and positivity any chance he can.

Changing his name from Short Dawg to FRE$H was a pivotal moment in his career, but the real celebration arrived in 2018 when he linked with 2 Chainz and 50 Cent on “Petty.” Since then, he’s been locked in the lab, creating and perfecting his craft, while enjoying the simple things in life such as traveling, smoking weed, and of course, staying fresh to death with his outfits.

Most recently Fre$h signed with Cinq Music for distribution, unleashing his dancehall-inspired EP titled #StillSummerSomewhere produced by Paperboy Fabe. The 5-track EP is spearheaded by lead single “Bottomless Mimosas,” as he reminds the masses life is way too short to do anything but live your best life.

Flaunt caught up with Fre$h in downtown Los Angeles to discuss how he travelled through the pandemic, Houston influences, what inspired the new project, artists he’s listening to, his positive energy, his drip, his detoxes, and more!

How you holding up with everything? Everything’s been crazy with the pandemic, all that.

Basically by traveling. Every chance I get, I leave the country. I’m going to Puerto Rico next.

Oh right, you’ve been jetsetting!

Might as well if there’s nothing going on. You gon’ find something to do. This is the best time to travel ‘cause when you’re too busy, you don’t have time to travel. Now that the world’s shut down and not fully open, I’m going to take advantage of it by seeing some places I’ve never been.

How was it traveling during COVID-19 though? 

Well the first place I went was Mexico. I went to Tulum when it first happened, my first time going out there. That was really cool because it was open. I went before it became a thing, so it wasn’t even a lot of people. It wasn’t a lot of tourists, really just the natives. It was super cool. After that, I went to Aruba. I spent Christmas in Aruba.

Do you be recording in these places?

When I went to Columbia I did. I worked with these dope producers, one named Electric and one named Maya. We did some dope stuff out there in Colombia. I’m supposed to go back too. I definitely try to work wherever I go, if possible. I don’t bring like a travel kit yet, I’m still getting my to-go studio together. I don’t have all the stuff yet.

Do you miss Houston at all? 

I go home enough to where I don’t have to. I really only go home for my family. My mom, my sister, they travel with me too. I don’t really get too homesick, I’m grown now.

Coming up, were you heavily inspired by the chopped and screwed?

Of course! You can’t be from Houston and not be a screw head, I mean in my era. S.U.C. (Screwed Up Click) was still making tapes, that was before I was rapping of course. I was too young to really be an MC at the time, but I was big on the Fat Pat and the Big Moe. The Big Pokey, I liked Lil O. I listened to all that. Flip! Growing up, that’s what was going on. I’m from the Southside, so I definitely was jamming screw. 

What’s the Southside of Houston like?

It’s the hood, it’s the foundation to me though. I’m from Sunny Side so that’s really all I know. I went to Northsde for a little bit, but I really didn’t vibe too well out there. The North side and South side is like the East Side, West Side Detroit. It’s a big rivalry that’s been going on before I existed. It’s one of those things, when you from the South Side, you rep that and stay there.

What inspired Still Summer Somewhere

When I first got the idea of it, I was in Aruba. Not this time, but the first time I was in Aruba. I was hearing a lot of tropical music, and it was older stuff. The Afrobeats sound. It was older songs, but this stuff plays everywhere. I’m like “I should make some stuff like this so it can live outside of the US. It just so happened my boy PaperBoyFabe said, “Bro, your voice would sound good on these Afrobeats. You should try it.” Shit I feel like I can do whatever, so I’m down. First day in the studio, we made “Bottomless Mimosas.” It went on from there.

What do you feel your day one fans love you for and keep coming back? 

Bars! They know I’m going to give them some bars. Day one fans want to hear me rap. They tolerate the singing and Afrobeats, but they want to hear me rap. Squalla’s one of my day one fans. He always tells me, “Bro, you know I like all that other stuff you be doing. But when you rap bro, it’s something about how you rap.” Alright bruh, I’ma rap. [laughs] 

Who do you listen to nowadays that inspires you?

I’ve been listening to a lot of Griselda lately because they give me that feeling when I first started rapping. I first started rapping ‘cause I heard a Jadakiss album. Yo, these guys are saying something I like to hear. I want to rap like that. If I’ma rap, I’ma rap like that. Listening to Griselda, they give me that old classic New York vibe. I’m still listening to my Maroon 5’s and Bruno’s, Anderson Paak, and The Fray, an onslaught of different artists.

The Fray! I forgot about them. Have they been putting out new music?

You crazy, how you forget about The Fray? Come on now. I listen to old classics, “Over My Head (Cable Car)” and all that. I stay where I’m at, what I know.

Talk about the positive vibes you come with and how important that is especially during this time. 

I’m always a glass half-full person anyway. Even before the pandemic, optimism is my thing. You gotta believe in something. You gotta have that positive energy around you. You gotta really produce it, in order to keep going in this world. There’s so much shit going on. You can look up and find something to be mad and angry about, why not find something to be happy about?

What do you do for self-care?

Solitude. I like to spend a lot of time by myself. I definitely take time to be by myself. I gotta process, I gotta decompress, all that. You take on so much. From the time you wake up, you go on your phone and look on an app. You gon’ have some of the most extreme emotions. You go from seeing a mass murder like, then you see this beautiful kid doing dance moves. You went from “oh my god!” to “aw” that fast. You gotta take time to yourself to breathe.

Talk about the detoxes you be doing, I know there’s 30 day, 60 day, 90 day.

I gotta do that. I’m a Don Juligan! We drink like frat boys. It’s necessary I take 30 days, 60 days, 90 days to make sure I’m not beating my body up too much. Because with all this stuff  accessible, you can really get into anything. Living life at this level, everything’s at your fingertips. I try not to overindulge in nothing. Make sure the things I do indulge in, I have that balance to where I take time away from it.

You changed your name from Short Dawg to Fre$h. How would you describe your drip? 

I dress like a playa. I don’t try to do too much, I do just enough for you to know that I’m having. I keep it cool. People like to say I stay matching, but I came up in the era where you’re supposed to match. I remember my boy Trell told me one time I looked like the tile section in Walmart. [laughs] I thought that was hilarious, shout out to my boy King Trell.

You do be matching though, low key!

I do, I got to. That’s where I feeI most comfortable.

 What are your favorite brands?

I definitely like Bape and Supreme. I’m still on the skater vibe, I like the skater stuff. I like purple jeans. I’m still skater vibes man. Anything that looks cool with it. Japanese denim and that little cool cut on it, I could rock that.

Talk about your chains around your neck, is that Barney? 

Yea, that’s Barney with two styrofoam cups right there. That’s one of my first pieces that I got from Johnny Dang. This chain might be 15 years old, just the piece.

And it still looks that good? Wild.

I take care of my stuff, I’m a Capricorn. You know how meticulous and OCD we are about stuff. I got the little Cuban, got the fresh piece. I got some more jewelry, but I don’t try to wear it all at the same time. I don’t believe in wearing all your jewelry. Squalla’s the first person trying to make me wear all my jewelry. He said “Bro, wear all that shit!” Every time you see me, I had one on and another one. He’s like “How many chains you got?” When he seen them all, he said “Bro, you need to put all that shit on!” At one point I started wearing them all at the same time because Squalla said “wear all your jewelry.” I was wearing all my chains, walking around. [cling cling cling] I couldn’t be too hyper, they all cross up. Now, I try to keep it to where they’re all sequenced neatly.

What can we expect next?

Beezy about to drop an album. We still finalizing the Don Juligans project. Squalla about to come with his album, he’s dropping new music every 3 weeks. We want to build his brand up and get ready to when they do open up, so we can be coming to a city near you. Disrupting your town.

Real quick, talk about your dogs too.

I got two Frenchies, Loke and Freshy, they’re 5 months and 9 months. I love them, I became a dog breeder now. I have a girl dog too, she gave birth to all of them. She’s pregnant right now, she has a couple Isabella mixed with Brindle’s. They really hyper, but I love them though. They bad as hell, but I love them.

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