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Freddie Cruger - The Diverse Boss

Author: Rezo
Wednesday, 30 January 2008
Fredrik Lager, aka Freddie Cruger, is the boss. He knows it too. He's been pushing the right buttons for many years. Most importantly, he's bringing his unique blend of music to Australia and you'd be well advised to see what all the fuss is about. This guy can rock it. 3D's Rezo speaks with him.

So tell us about how you got started in music- What was it about it that appealed to you-
I was buying a lot of hip hop around 1986 and just started to be like, 'What is that sound they are using to make the music-' The town where I grow up in had one second hand store which hade a couple of crates which I quickly cleaned out! There was the most amazing stuff in there and I heard music I had heard in other productions. I remember I found Trouble Man: The Soundtrack, which was and still is one of my favourite breaks records.
One thing led to another so in 1992 I bought my first sampler - an Ensoniq.  I had already decided in my head how I wanted to do my beats so that process was like a dream come true. And I still get the feeling doing that. Without a sampler, I would not have been making music at all.

Why the love of hip hop and soul, and not some other genre-
I can only say that there is something in hip hop and its elements - you never stop being like, 'Oh shit! That is some crazy beat!' or, 'I can't believe they did that!' I like all kinds of music but somehow it just has to have that thing whatever music it is. It has got some big props from some big names.

You've earned the respect. Do you feel like an ambassador for your music-
Yes, getting props from people that I looked up to growing up is crazy. Jazzy Jeff is one of the guys that used the Mr T sample that I talked about earlier on this track called a Touch of Jazz which made me start doing this. I think I have found my own style that mixes styles of music together - it has an old school sound but still sounds fresh and I think that's why people like that jazzy feeling of what I do because they can relate to it. I am an ambassador but only for my own music which I put out and that's cool with me.

Production-wise, you did the album last year. What else is on the agenda in the studio-
I am working on another album together with Linn that will be out this spring. I also have a 12-inch coming out in Feb called Rainy Days that is taken from a new album by me that is coming out in March. I hope to release it on my own Homegrown label too. It's more like my 3 Foot People album - more instrumental than vocal songs. I also just made an edit/remix on a Lee McDonald song called I Do Anything For You which will be released on a French label called Favorite Records. Otherwise, I am just in the studio having fun and trying to come up with new shit.

Who are your influences and inspirations-
Bob Marley for writing the best songs in history that will live forever and speak to people all over the world no matter what you are going through. I always loved Marley Marl for keeping things simple and powerful and still making dance floor music.

Tell us about the Australian tour - what can we expect from you-
Everything from my record collection hip hop, soul, reggae, funk, latin and boogie. Also some new productions from me. I will try them out on the Australian b-boys and girls.  I am looking forward to coming there and playing for the first time.

WHO: Freddie Cruger
WHAT: Plays Ruby Rabbit
WHEN: Friday 8 February