SIMshows EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: DJ Fresko
by Stephen Mann

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There’s a beat on the horizon ready to drive REV mad, and he goes by the name of DJ Fresko. Hailing from Mexico City, Hugo Escudero is notorious for his Latin-bouncing talent.  Dance floors are given a fresh-aired twist; it’s not just the beauty of one continent they get to experience. A musical love for cultural roots spreads into a passion for house, and further intertwines into ghetto and techno. What’s more, this daunting talent isn’t only recent; DJ Fresko holds weight and responsibly for expanding Minneapolis’ past and present music scene.

Such success can only be further highlighted by local and international recognition. In 2012, DJ Fresko was named Minnesota’s Twin City Night Club DJ of the Year. Soon after, Hugo Escudero went on to win a coveted Latin Grammy by the Univision Network. A career highlight nonetheless, for this award’s weight carries heavy momentum in the international music industry.

Stepping aside for a break from work, DJ Fresko took the moment to catch up with SIMshows:

SIM: As you were born and raised in Mexico City, Latin music and a social night life culture go hand-in-hand. What were your earliest exposures to music, whether it be through people or events, and how did these experiences shape your early passion for music?

FRESKO: My earliest memory when I was expos[ed] to music was living in Mexico City at the age of 5yrs old; I remember watching break dancers on a random corner listening to music out of a boom box. [A] few years later, my brothers got involved in DJing at parties around the neighbor hood and he would tag me along from time to time.

SIM: It’s been cited on your Soundcloud that your diverse love for music really began to expand at the age of fourteen. How did you find yourself stumbling upon electronic music, and how did that process begin to combine with your love for Latin music, House, Ghetto and Techno?

FRESKO: Yes, around 14yrs old I realized that I loved music; my search of sounds began. I started going to DP’s (ditch parties) in San Diego, CA. They were underground Latino parties that played various styles of music and I felt at the point that I needed to find more places like that. House Music were played 80% of the time at DP’s; it didn’t matter if it was ghetto, techno, acid, etc; at the end of the day it was all HOUSE MUSIC.

SIM: When DJs are asked about their past transition from audience member to headliner, the answers vary across the spectrum. Some individuals remember finding themselves increasingly engrossed in new music, and others remember picking up the headphones at parties, looking to be in charge of the dance floor’s pulse. When did you begin to notice the shift in role from audience member to dance floor leader?

FRESKO: I have always been an audience member, [and still are] until this day; I think [it] is because of witnessing break dancing first haha. The shifting began when my older brother bought me my first DJ set up in attempt to keep me of the streets. It went from a hobby to having friends over, which turn into basement parties. During these sessions we often tough of bigger venues :).

SIM: When asked about their first-time gig, some individuals immediately remember the time and place; for them, their first time DJing publically is monumental enough to shock them into their eventual career. For others, a first-time gig may be important, but only memorable in its weight as a stepping-stone to bigger things. Which route do you believe your passion for DJing followed, and what gig left you hungry for a professional DJ career?

FRESKO: Oh boy, my first gig was memorable just because it was held at First Ave night club. It was at SNP (Sunday Night Party) but that night I had [a] few technical difficulties so they re-schedule me. I gotta say that it was my 2nd time playing at First Ave that made me hungry to pursue the DJ career.

SIM: You hail from Mexico City, yet you currently reside in Minneapolis. How did changing locations impact your musical taste? Was it hard to adjust for the change of location and music, or did you take the experience as it was and tried to grow from it?

FRESKO: I feel overall that changing is great in all aspects, especially when it come to music; living in Mexico and moving to the States wasn’t hard because they are similar in a lot of things, one of them music. For me, [it] has never been hard to adjust anywhere when it comes to music; it feels natural.

SIM: In the long run, how did changing locations influence your understanding of unfamiliar crowds in different cities?

FRESKO: Changing locations has been a great tool for me because I have experienced many different styles and flavors; [they] keep helping me please unfamiliar crows in different cities.

SIM: You currently run a radio show on 1530am Minneapolis called, “Los Lokos Del Techno”. How did you find yourself stepping into radio? What’s more, what did you realize audiences needed to experience differently in terms of music, and how did you try to incorporate that into your remixes?

FRESKO: During an interview on radio La Picosa 1530am  I was offered an opportunity to host my own show. I accepted feeling the Latino audience was in need of being informed of the Twin Cities Electronic Music Scene. My main focus was on educating the audience and highlight local talent, not [focusing] on my remixes.

SIM:  Many DJs want their audience to walk away remembering their set at a show. Besides an incredible experience, what else do you hope to bring to REV’s dance floor the night of Pleasurekraft?

FRESKO: My mission every time I play anywhere else is to have everyone Dancing and feeling great and that is not exception for REV!!!!!

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Tickets are STILL available online here for Pleasurekraft with Fresko and Bryan Gerrard this Friday 3/20/2015.

Interviewed By: Annette Lucero