Born and raised in Chicago, COFRESI pushes the boundaries of production and live electronic performance. Whether it’s his creative approach to rhythms and percussion or his energetic live sets, COFRESI never ceases to impress and captivate his audience.
Since making his official release debut in 2017, he has gone on to perform his unique live/electronic hybrid set at a myriad of globally-renowned festivals, including Electric Forest, North Coast, Same Same But Different, EDC Mexico, SXSW, and Hulaween. His music, oozing with originality and versatility, has found a home on a string of labels, such as Gravitas, TooFuture, AltVision, Epitaph, Bonafyde, and Westwood Records, to name a few, as well as garnered support from a diverse list of leading figures in electronic music, including the likes of Autograf, Polo & Pan, Mr. Carmack, So Down, Disco Biscits, and NGHTMRE.
The multifaceted producer recently returned with a stunning 5-track EP, AGENDA, which explores different house subgenres and sees him experiment with sounds outside of his bass comfort zone. Breathing new life into the world of hybrid instrumentalist producers, the AGENDA EP sees COFRESI usher in a fresh and innovative style of recording by incorporating a range of styles and influences from bass to house to electronica. Spanning five electrifying tracks, this highly energetic collection is a testament to his ever-evolving creative vision and boundless musical talent. DMCWORLD dives in…
How did you get started in music production, and what inspired you to pursue this career path?
I started playing the drums at a very early age and was a drummer in bands in my early years as an adult. I actually got into production late at age 23. In a recording session with one of those bands, my drums didn’t sound great, the producer couldn’t fix them to my liking, so I went into the next room and got Logic on my computer, immediately.. The rest is history. As far as this career path- I wanted to pursue something I loved unconditionally and music was an easy choice for me when asking myself what I wanted to do with my life.
Are you still making the same style of music from when you started producing?
I would say my roots are still in tact but my style has matured alongside me. As I grow and gain new perspectives and experiences, the music naturally changes too. It is important to keep a signature throughout as I evolve. However, If you stay true to making music for you, it feels natural to keep the signature vibe consistent. I try not to put too many limitations on myself whenever I’m feeling like experimenting.
Your music incorporates a wide range of genres and influences. How do you go about blending these different sounds together in your productions? And how do you balance the live and recorded elements in your compositions?
The way I blend is by giving each sound its own place and frequency space to exist in. I try to find where the right pocket is for each sound. They all have their special place where they belong. Finding where that’s at is always fun but challenging. What happens when I sit down to balance the live and recorded elements is; I think about how it will feel and sound on stage, and how it will be listened to by people’s ears, then I take that and try to emulate it in the track itself. The end result is ideally a track that’s both captivating on stage and in people’s eardrums.
What is your creative process like when you’re producing a new track or album? Do you start with a particular melody, beat, or idea, or does it vary from project to project?
Being a drummer I usually like to start with the percussion. Nothing drives a song like the drums. From there I like to look at it like I’m still in a band; I start to trickle in melodies, and textures through a variety of instruments and sounds. Eventually getting to the detailing phase where I like to really polish up how all of the elements play around with each other.
How do you approach collaboration, and what do you think makes for a successful partnership? What was it like working with Jason Leech on “Make U”?
The cool thing about collaborations is they are different every time. It’s like each person is a unique recipe of ingredients; and we have to find how we mesh, given our individual skills and assets. If we are having fun together and the skill level is right, it seems to work out most times. Working with Jason was special. We have had an admiration for each other’s craft for some time. I really was impressed with his ability on the keys and had to have him on the EP. It turned out to be one of my favorite tracks and videos from the bunch.
Make U feat. Jason Leech [Official Music Video]
What are your plans for the future in terms of music production and performance?
I’m really looking forward to utilizing some full live-stage production in the future. On a visual front, I can’t wait to create a more immersive experience to go along with my live performances. Additionally, the collabs I have been working on have me inspired to work more with a wider range of musicians. These are some things you can expect from me in the future.
What advice do you have for up-and-coming producers who are trying to break into the industry and find their own unique sound?
Don’t be afraid to be an outsider. Find what sound is true to you and run with it. If it catches an existing wave, cool; but if it catches its own wave and exists in its own lane, even better. Be bold and focus on improving your sound, always remain teachable. It’s healthy to know what’s going on in your musical ecosystem but it’s also healthy to have a degree of tunnel vision on what’s authentic to you. These are some of the best realizations I’ve had as I’ve grown and progressed in my career.
What message do you want to convey through your art?
I want to convey the concept that you can take a whole variety of ideas, genres, and sounds and make them cohesive together. The beauty of music today is we have such a wide pallet to draw from. Music provides a sense of freedom to both the listener and the creator. So why not blend freely? That’s what I want my art to demonstrate.
COFRESI - Follow [Official Music Video]
One of the standout tracks is “Follow”, can you tell me about the inspiration for this one and how the live instrumentation built upon the initial idea?
Follow was a great experiment on the utilization of percussion in a nonconventional way, I wanted to create percussive elements through the synths and basses. I think the song ended up accomplishing that well.
Do you consider your new EP, AGENDA, a departure from your past works or do you think its sound aligns with your past releases?
As me and my team have grown to look at it – now putting it in the mix between my music of the last ten years and the music I have coming out in the next year; The EP is a beautiful bridge between what I’ve made in the past and what I am making now and releasing in the future. The next works have a little bit of old me, Agenda, and some new tricks I picked up along the way. I think my next releases will really put into full context what the evolution truly looks like, so stay tuned!
Why did you choose to release “I’m Not” as the first single for this EP?
My management, and all the other people involved in its release unanimously felt it had the best vibe for a lead in the EP. What was great was that we all had different reasons for loving it but somehow we all had a connection with it. We felt that if we felt like that, then my listeners might also. All the love for the track has been beyond my expectations and I’m thankful its being received so well.
Do you have a favorite track from AGENDA?
My favorite track is personally is “AGENDA.” I really love the song and felt it was also a great name which ended up sticking as the title of the EP.
If you took a break from producing music, what would you spend your free time doing?
I would love to travel to some cool spots and enjoy time playing all the new video games coming out. The tech is getting so impressive, I would love to have more time to explore the physical and digital world. I’ve recently also gotten into climbing and would love to do more in my free time.