The MJ Cole X Freya Ridings Collaboration ‘Waking Up’ Is Something We All Needed

Thursday 20 December 2018

What does MJ Cole and Freya Ridings have in common? A brilliant new collab that is deep and soulful it will hypnotise listeners everywhere. The rising DJ love for music started at the young age of 5, playing the piano. Along the way he gravitated towards genres like Jungle and D n B fuelling his progression into producing. With heavy beats and the velvety-smooth vocals from Freya Ridings this track is definitely one worth listening to. We got to chat with the rising DJ MJ Cole and hear about how this link up came to be, his inspirations for the record, and more…

What sparked the inspiration for ‘Waking Up’?

Freya came up with the magical piano figure which opens the track. It conjured up images of awakening, the beginning of something. These ideas developed into the full track with a sense of growing and waking up as it progresses.

How did you go about recording this track?

Freya has a presence and aura which i could sense immediately and i’m glad we were able to capture it on this track. It was recorded at my studio at The Gin Factory in Clerkenwell and it was all very natural and easy. My beloved Yamaha upright piano features heavily on the recording. The action took place on just one day and we only recorded a couple of takes. It was a pleasure.

How did you both get into writing and creating music?

I have been performing and making music since i can remember. I was playing piano from the age of five and have never stopped. I was classically trained up to my late teens and then discovered Jungle and Drum n Bass in the 90’s which is when i began to produce by trying to replicate what i heard in the clubs.

Who are each of your biggest musical influences?

Prince, The Prodigy, Rachmaninov, Goldie, Radiohead. In no particular order.

How did you end up collaborating? 

I heard Blackout by Freya last year and knew immediately i’d like to make something with her. Her voice is stunning and she’s a brilliant writer.

How did you combine your musical styles on this track?

Easily! Freya has an incredible vocal ability so my focus was capturing that and from there it all fell in to place. We obviously come from different musical worlds so this track is the best of what she does and hopefully the best of what i do.

Was working together something that came naturally or were there certain habits that each of you had to get used too?

Unfortunately there’s no Oasis level post pub brawls involved in the making of this track. It was a very natural process from start to finish. We came in and figured out the concept of Waking Up and it came to life very quickly.

What do you both want achieve in 2019?

It’s lining up to be a very busy year for me. I have the EP coming out early next year. I’m also putting together a new live show and working on some projects for other artists that i can’t wait for the world to hear. 2019 is looking good.