DJ Frosty is probably best known for his longstanding allegiance with the LDZ gang, but more recently he has come to the fore thanks to his role in the new Chapsville project, alongside Dabbla. I had a quick chat with him about his early days, the birth of LDZ, crate digging and supporting Rag N Bone Man.
G: Can you give us a little breakdown of your career so far, for those people who might not be too familiar.
F: I grafted for a whole summer back in ‘94 and bought my first decks – Soundlab DLP1s – at 12 years old & started buying jungle/DnB. Then I taught myself to scratch, after listening to people like Hype, Danny Breaks and Slipmatt. At 15 I met Sumgii, who was the local don DJ and he used to bring me in on his gigs, I used to just jump on and do some quick cuts. They were my first play outs. At 18 I started playing pirate stations like Flex, Ruud Awakening, Life and Freeze FM. Worked at D’vinyl Records for four years as DnB manager – big up Move & Atom! Used to play up and coming rooms at One Nation, Jungle Fever and various others nights. I was also resident at legendary night Source in Oxford – big up JayJay.
In 2004 I got nominated for best radio show at the Accelerated Culture Drum n Bass Awards and that was actually the year I stopped playing drum n bass and concentrated more on the Zoo stuff and Hip hop in general. In 2015 I got to the final of the Red Bull DJ championships, but couldn’t actually make the final! I was fuming! More recently, obviously there’s Chapsville, cuts for Dabbla, SonnyJim, Piff Gang, Morriarchi, Philly B, Illaman, Dubbledge, Karnate, 12 Dirty Bullets and something forthcoming on Bang On’s new bit. I’ve also played VIP parties at concerts for Jay Z, Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Rihanna, Fleetwood Mac and a few others.
G: I first heard of you when London Zoo first emerged. How did you get involved with the other guys? Had you all known each other a long time before?
F: Yeah man we’ve all grown up together really, we all lived real close to each other. Dabbla we met a little later through Pierre Green. Those two met at uni and thought up London Zoo and I guess when they came back to London, that’s when things really started happening. I was still playing drum n bass at the time but obviously always took time to do the Zoo cuts and our early shows, so I guess I’ve been there from the start of it.
G: I know you’re a big vinyl fiend. Where’s the best place you’ve been digging?
F: Digging abroad is always cool. I’m looking forward to checking out some spots this summer – I’m hitting 19 different European cities so I’ll let you know! But I’d have to say a local shop called Past & Present Records, which is now closed, but before they did I bought their entire Motown section and a bunch of other 45s – 6,000 in total – for £150! And in actual fact a few Zoo tunes have come out of that lot so… my house is good for digging! Other than that I quite like Lucky 7 in Stoke Newington, but you have to have time on your hands! Three floors of chaos! Obviously I check every charity shop I pass and I usually strike gold at boot sales.
G: And what’s the best record you’ve ever dug up?
F: I remember finding an original promo of Atlantis by LTJ Bukem and a Krust remix of a Bjork track called Broken, which I was after for years. Don’t get me wrong I love digging for old gems, but coming from a drum n bass background, I was always more interested in cutting plates and getting TPs/ promos and I’d say I still get more excited finding new music.
G: You’ve been involved with a lot of releases over the years, but you’re playing more of an active role with the Chapsville project. Is that something that you would like to continue in the future?
F: Yeah of course. We got another project coming later this year which I’m putting together, plus it’s nice being more involved in the live show; I have to be now we’re getting more hour long bookings! But it was definitely cool to have more time to show my personality on Chapsville and I’m looking forward to putting out my own project, so people can check out the sort of stuff I play in my solo sets.
G: Did you ever have a desire to get into music production, or was mixing always your passion?
F: DJing and sampling have always been my passion, but mate I’d love to and need to start making beats! I’m surrounded by genius and I need to take advantage of that! I try watching Sumgii, but he’s too quick with it. I’m moving to Switzerland end of the year with Pierre Green, so I’d imagine that will be when I finally learn. I fancy one of those SP 404s!
G: How would you best describe Chapsville? It’s somewhere between a mixtape and an album right?
F: If you’re a fan of Dabbla’s album then it’s a bit of you! 40 minutes of bangers, a couple you might have heard, but it’s 80% brand new music from some of your favourite don producers, Dabbla on his A-game and myself gluing it all together. For me personally, Chapsville is seven weeks of no sleep and talking to Dabbla 60 times a day! But I’m real proud of it and I’d urge you to have a butchers.
G: I know you guys have all been touring recently, including a spot supporting Rag N Bone Man for the War Child gig. I bet that was quite a mad experience?
F: Yeah the Rag’s thing was unbelievable, just to be asked to do it – what a geezer! He could have had anyone, so we all really appreciated that, plus it was fucking cool to watch him do his thing and have a catch up. Set wise, I think it went well. It took a couple of tunes to warm them up, but by the end of it I reckon we won them over. Plus Rags came out and done a 16 on our set, which he’s done at a few of our shows and obviously that went down well.
G: What’s next for you once the Chapsville hype has died down?
F: Next up will be the new LDZ project, then hopefully by the end of the year my solo project, Immaculate Growler, plus shows in the meantime. We’ve got the High Focus 7th birthday at Electric Brixton, which I’m really happy to be a part of. I’m playing a few VIP parties for Bruno Mars in April, then we’ve got Greece and Belgium coming up, as well as Hereford. Also we’re doing another Rag n Bone man show in Cornwall, alongside Baxter & Sammy this time, so looking forward to that. I’m away with Guns n Roses for a couple of months too, so you may see Sumgii, Pierre Green or Johnny K filling in with Dabbla at some of the summer shows.
G: Any final words or shout outs?
F: All my immediates, the grafters, the ravers and the shavers. Keep your nose clean and your pants dry! And thank YOU for the questions!