Brooklyn-based producer, composer and DJ Frequency (a.k.a. Bryan Fryzel) started spinning in high school. Soon after, he partnered with MC 6th Sense and they formed the Understudies.
He went on to work with artists including Snoop Dogg, Eminem and Joell Ortiz—co-writing and producing Eminem’s 2013 smash “The Monster” featuring Rihanna. More recently he produced Republic Records’ indie pop outfit MisterWives’ Our Own House, which is carving substantial notches across various Billboard charts.
Frequency’s career achieved liftoff around 2004 when he sold his first beat to New York hip-hop artist Wordsworth for $200. “That’s the first time I realized I could make money from music,” the producer recalls. “It was also validating because somebody besides me thought that I was good at this. Then in 2006 I did Snoop Dogg’s album track, ‘Think About It.’ That was big for me. I flew out to L.A. to assist with the mix at Record Plant.”
Frequency works in one of two ways when producing. “One is working with songwriters and pitching songs,” he says, “the other is working with the artist, which I prefer. I get to know them and figure out what they think is important. What gets lost [in production] is the human element. I’m big on relationships and building a rapport before playing a note.
“A lot of tracks start with a drum idea,” he continues. “That gives me a groove, a tempo, a world to write the song in. Then add basic chords. That’ll be the skeleton and I’ll cut full vocals to it. I strive to leave the bed for the vocal because that’s the most important thing. Whatever else I do to the track is in support of that.”
The path to “The Monster” wasn’t as direct as some might imagine. “That was originally a song for Bebe Rexha,” Frequency recalls. “The initial demo wasn’t rap. It was verses, a bridge and a chorus. That whole thing was written in three hours. Later I played it at a party for Rigo Morales, a friend in A&R with [Eminem-founded] Shady Records. He liked it and said it would be great for Eminem. But it wasn’t a hip-hop production so we had to change it. I spent a week doing different versions to make it into something appropriate for him. It was going to be a good song no matter what. Most people don’t know that it was mixed by Dr. Dre.”
Early in his career, Frequency landed what seemed to be a dream collaboration with production team Trackmasters. But it didn’t pay immediate dividends. Looking back, it was a blessing. “Going through those challenges and low points helps prepare you for success,” he observes. “People who hit it big early aren’t prepared to take the work that comes after. They haven’t had enough experience and fizzle out. I took longer to get to where I am, but that all prepared me to operate on a higher level.”
Frequency’s favorite gear is the Stellar CM-6 mic. “Ninety-five percent of the time it’s the best vocal mic,” he asserts. “I use it on everything, and I’ve had it since I started. It’s a boutique piece that runs about $500.”
He continues to be busy with MisterWives—more singles and he estimates this will be a big year for the band—as well as a number of other projects. He works largely from Freq Show Studios in Brooklyn, NY.
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