Fred Again wows Zane Lowe with his NI Maschine skills and says that mentor Brian Eno has a “childish, wide-eyed fascination with things”

Whether he’s producing for other artists (Ed Sheeran, Eminem, Stormy) or making music on his own, Fred Again (Fred Gibson) is hitting the mark with impressive regularity right now.

As he promotes his new album, Actual Life 3 (January 1 - September 9 2022), he’s been speaking to Apple Music 1’s Zane Lowe about his creative process, approach to live performance and relationship with “mentor” Brian Eno.

Perhaps the standout moment of the interview, though, comes when Fred stops talking and picks up his Native Instruments’ Maschine. After a brief explanation of what it is and how it works - “So it's like an MPC but a modern one… Essentially it's 16 drum pads. You can put anything on it” - he starts to play, and his skills render Lowe pretty much speechless (which might actually be a first).

Elsewhere in the interview, Fred touches on his relationship with Brian Eno, who he’s known since he was just 16 years old.

“When I met him, the way in which his mind works, I don't think a 16-year-old is primed to fully appreciate,” Fred admits. “I mean, that's why I say I'm just increasingly, increasingly, increasingly grateful for his genius. But essentially I think, and I've said this to Brian, it's meant entirely as a compliment. But I think, in one word, it's because he's a kid and in a way that is just so rare and so admirable, he's retained just this childish, wide-eyed fascination with things.”

Coincidentally, Eno also spoke to Zane Lowe recently, and he explained that, when it comes to learning new things, his relationship with Fred is far from one-sided.

“I think of Fred as my mentor as well,” says Eno. “I learnt so much about contemporary music from watching him working."

Elsewhere in Lowe's interview with Fred, the producer also reveals that he’s currently enjoying a house swap with Skrillex - “This is the home of one of my best friends, so it's so much nicer than just being in some anonymous hotel on West Hollywood…” - and why he enjoys working with Ed Sheeran.

“We were very sort of twins from the beginning,” he reveals. “We have a very similar taste and upbringing in music. So it was very natural and effortless. And we both like to write quickly.”

Actual Life 3 (January 1 - September 9 2022) is available now via Atlantic Records

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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