Freeze Flame Productions Inc

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Setbacks & Milestones: The Rizes and Falls

PART 10: Mini Biography Vol.2

A short side trip for a moment.... I thought I would make this Part 10.  This is a Short Biography relating to my Music industry experiences.  A huge Milestone in my life, in terms of accomplishing goals and making dreams a reality.  This Bio mainly covers, how an interest evolved into a real life business within the music industry....  Sky is the limit...   Just keep in mind, the next section may get a bit more graphic, as without any downfall, one may never rise above and overcome..... enjoy..

A Short Music Industry Biography:
Randy Freese, Managing Director
Freeze Flame Productions Inc.

Randy Freese was born in Edmonton, AB in 1979 to a young mother that wanted him to have a better life, so he was adopted by a couple from Toronto that had been living in the city for a time.  They ended up moving back to Toronto in the summer of 1986 due to economic conditions in Alberta at the time.

By the early 90's, Randy had found an interest in music, at that time was just an interest.  A couple years later he found out an old friend was actually in a band and had recorded an album, this sparked something inside Randy, possibilities and ideas mainly.  With this friend as well as others, Randy began helping build car audio sound systems and putting together an inventory of sound equipment in order to put on small parties in the neighborhood. 

In late 1995, a day or two after a large purchase of audio recording and sound equipment, Randy arrived home to find them missing and was later accused of a crime that sent him away at a crucial time  in his development.  He had to make some changes in his life and starting by planning a way to do so and by his release in 1997 he had a game plan to make these changes, but a severe lack of knowledge, understanding and funding to make things happen.

Randy's biggest idea was to use his experiences to tell a story however he could, but the main format he  modelled was Hip Hop Culture.  Turning a negative into a positive, doing something creative out of more or less nothing at all, except an idea and a concept.  In actual fact, Hip Hop sparked the necessary  changes within Randy Freese's mind set in order to accomplish what had now become an achievable goal.  Randy also tried his hand at freestyling and writing rhymes/poetry related to his own experiences, but found more inspiration in helping others find their voice and tell their own stories.    

By 1999, after suffering many set backs, and accomplishing many small milestones, Randy Freese graduated from High School at Western Technical Commercial School in Toronto.  After that, he was free to pursue everything that he had set his mind on.  One thing had been lingering on his mind for many years, his own adoption.  After receiving his diploma he set out to settle his mind and was determined to make contact with that mother who had given him up so many year before. It was in late 1999, when he found some information that would allow him to start writing letters to people whom he considered possible relatives.  It was a couple weeks before any responses, but one anonymous letter came in the mail with another list of possible relatives, so he again sat down and wrote each name on that list a letter and sent them all out.

In March 2000, one night the phone rang about a half dozen times, aunts and uncles called first to tell him that he had found what he was looking for, and later that night a call from his birth mother.  By the end of the conversation Randy had made plans to visit them all, in Western Canada – scattered from the southern prairies all the way up to Yukon Territory.

On July 4, 2000 Randy Freese left Toronto for the first time since arriving in 1986, bound for Western Canada on his Journey of Self-Discovery.  After finishing High school, Randy coincidentally had applied for a music training school called Trebass Institute, who happened to have a campus in Vancouver, BC.

Now out on the road, all by himself, Randy had time to make things happen for himself, and had to do it all alone, after meeting his birth family, in Alberta and Mother in Whitehorse, YT he set his sites on the City of Vancouver.  First, attending a meeting that was concluded with his acceptance into Trebass Institute, then to gain some more inspiration and possibly contacts within the industry, Randy began attending concerts and shows.  Unfortunately, Randy was unable to secure any funding to attend the schooling, but he was nevertheless determined.

After a couple years on the road, and living in Vancouver, Randy had began to accumulate an new inventory of equipment, and a number of low level contacts in the industry that included a couple local artists as well as some aspiring ones.  When 9/11 hit NYC in 2001, Randy was still in Vancouver, BC and although safe and sound, friends and family urged him to return home to Ontario, he did so with hesitation.  Upon returning, Randy found himself in a place where he had to completely start over again, in trying to do so, suffered a few more set backs along the way.

By 2002, Randy Freese begin the application process for Harris Institute for the Arts, which was much more a lengthy one than Trebass and a little more complicated for Randy himself having to obtain some references, his recent life had been in BC, so he was able to return to reconnect with some people briefly to do so.  And Again around Christmas, he headed up to Whitehorse, YT to share the news before starting his program in March 2003. 

From March 2003- March 2004, Randy was trained and skilled in the Music Business as a whole. An intense program of three semesters back to back, there was papers to write, and practical assignments to complete.  For the entire year, Randy Freese was completely immersed in the entertainment industry and the Toronto Music scene.  Some notable stand out achievements throughout this time for Randy Freese were of course, being able to pass all his classes on the first try; a Summer internship at Toronto's local aboriginal radio station, AVRN;  Being introduced to his first artist, in a management capacity, Jae Spillz, who he continues to work with to this day;  The formation of his Company, Red Brown Entertainment; a Marketing Plan, that sparked an interest in Marketing in a serious way,  for a Heavy Metal Publication called Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles; and the co-scripting & Final Editing of a Music Video for another independent artist.

After Graduating in March 2004, Red Brown Entertainment took on a small international presence, although Randy Freese regrettably stayed in Canada, he continued to assist his artist and their new producer while they were overseas, this was the first time Randy had done music management as a consultant/adviser.  During their year overseas, Randy Freese returned to Alberta with a hope of connecting with some indigenous talent from his home province, as well as do some more industry networking where ever possible. 

Upon the artists returning from overseas in 2005, Randy had also found a talented Metis singer and set up a collaborative recorded effort.  She was a country/gospel singer and he was a rapper/MC from very different cultural backgrounds and they did a song for the first mixtape that the company financed, which also gained some minor radio play on campus/community stations.  Although Randy had to return to Alberta to complete a contract at the time, he returned a few months later, where the artist, Randy and the Company was reunited.

In 2006, after a large purchase of equipment, meant to be the beginning of a constructed studio, Randy Freese decided to incorporate the Company; Red Brown Entertainment became Freeze Flame Productions Inc.  Thinking more about the long term, this was a slight set back in terms of the costs of incorporation.  Randy had to return to the networking in order to keep his name and the company's viable and in the industry's sights.  After completing a Writing course that summer, and getting a job at a night club, Randy began freelance writing to earn extra money and used the job to stay relevant, as well as meet artists, Djs, aspiring talent, etc.   

Again, in 2007, Randy Freese returned to school.  He attended a Business Administration program for which he graduated with Honours.  During that time, the newly incorporated Freeze Flame Productions Inc. Released its second in a series of CD Mixtapes, aptly named Crunch Time, and that's what it was definitely, time to rebuild, and build some more.  With a new business plan and model, Randy Freese's vision has come to life.

 By 2008, Freeze Flame Productions Inc. Had created a network of artists, 2 full functional recording studios with the capabilities to do most projects on our own.  Randy suffered a Workplace injury that left him unable to work, but also much more focused on the company and its business endeavours.

Since 2009, Randy Freese has created a publishing and a bookkeeping division to supplement both his own and the company's financial statements.  A newly refreshed business plan to use for grant applications, because funding is out there.  A small roster of artists, that either have music ready for release for are preparing for final product.  The next step in the plan is to gain funding to assist in the construction of a more professional workspace for the roster of talent, as well as future projects both in and outside the Freeze Flame team of artists, producers, etc.  The idea has come to life, and the next phase is beginning to take shape in the form of self sufficiency.

With a functional website and a fully integrated recording facility, Freeze Flame's Managing Director, Randy Freese, is well on his way to achieving what he set out to do from the start. 


Monday, August 9, 2010

Setbacks & Milestones: The Rizes and Falls

PART 9:  CHOICES Vol. 2, The Begging of the End

It was a cold dark winter in 1993, actually, I really don't remember it much.... Living in the Haze of intoxication that had somewhat worn off over the winter months through activity and sports.  I spent a big chunk of winter months indoors, or in arenas.  As the New Year rolled around, brought on new challenges, my first exams and not knowing what to expect.  A new year with new challenges and new choices to make, the choices I was faced with in my life at the time.... were choices regarding continuity of a lifestyle that I had been living already, as apposed to making a choice for change... I was torn in different directions within my reality, I was torn within my Life of Dreams.... It felt as if though I was actually living more than one life... 

There was light at the end of the tunnel known as winter, Spring was on the horizon, but the winter weather was still present... It was March 1994, and a fresh heavy snow hand hit and continued for a couple days... There was a group of us walking to school one morning, I fell behind for some reason by a couple blocks....  I was trying to catch up but the snow was making it hard to keep a steady pace.  My group of friends came across another group, all of us knew each other from house league Football.  To say the least, A snowball fight ensued and one of their guys ended up under a pile of snow and had mild frost bite by the time he got to school...

This incident, was the beginning of the end for me, I was in my second period Science class when the police walked in and escorted me out the door...  I spent the rest of the day in the office being questioned by the police as well as office staff and principals.  I was later suspended from school, the second last day before spring break... so I got 2 weeks off instead of just one, but I was also charged by the police for Assault.  This was my first offense, well.... sort of anyway...

This was my first trip to the courthouse, and I learned a lot about the process.  Only myself and one of the other guys were charged, so I had a co-accused... Not sure exactly why they only charged us, but it really didn't matter.  I was stuck to deal with it on my own anyway.  My mother worked for a lawyer, and was able to get him to help out.  At that time we didn't know about legal aid.

This was the beginning of the end, in more than one way... I chose then, that I knew from what I learned in the courthouse and court room, that I really couldn't trust too many people in life, and just how shady the justice system can be as well.  It didn't give me a lot of hope.  It wasn't where I wanted to be and I knew that it wasn't going to do me any good having a record either.... Little did I know, that once your name is in the system, the lengths that cops will go to to keep you in the system...

Although, I made the choice to cut down and eventually stop the criminal activity that I was involved in.... it proved much more difficult than perceived.  It was the beginning of police contact on a daily basis, subject to searches in the streets and constant harassment... I think the police wanted to catch us in the act of a crime, but I believe that they more so wanted to stir a reaction, so they could take any of us in on charges of their own making....

The court process was a long one, it took most of the year after all the delays and setting dates for trials, etc...  The Crown attorney(Prosecutor), eventually offered a deal to us both to which we had to agrees to plead guilty and were given a complete discharge.  I really didn't understand what that meant at the time, I just knew I didn't have to go to jail... what it meant for me was that the police were in my face, each and every day.  But I did my best to not give them any reason to charge me again, I had made my decision and had gradually been making progress on my choices.    

However, my choice to curb my criminal activity did not seem to curb anything else... My drug and alcohol use escalated, and my reality stayed in a constant haze...  Instead of committing the crimes, I began recruiting people to do them... not the best choice I ever made, but the petty crime stopped and changed into ways of making money.  Not much money, but I was making money that was helpful to me, it fed me and bought me clothes..   I basically still had a ways to go to achieve my true potential.

Karma wasn't something I really ever thought about back then, I thought by not getting caught, I was keeping myself out of trouble.  I was still brought home by the police many times, mainly for being out late at night in places where I shouldn't have been.  I was constantly in their sites and there was really no way out, except to stop.  I turned my focuses to my interest in music in any way I could... at the time that wasn't much, but it helped me make some better choices.  It convinced me that staying out of trouble meant much more than just not getting caught. 

I ended up spending my full two weeks off, working in a shop. A former employee of my dad's and a old family friend.  I was pretty much washing windows and doing odd jobs around the shop, they couldn't really give me any real work to do, and didn't have enough time to teach me.  They did a lot of work with Mississauga transit, so I got to visit their garages got my hands on a book of transfers....  I made use of them that night, I think I rode every route in the city, end to end...  It was also the first time I did acid by myself, so I had to stay occupied without getting into a lot of trouble.... So I took the bus... all of them, as far as I could tell.

At this time in my life, it seemed the more I tried to change my ways, the more my environment kept trying to prevent that from happening...Karma was definitely a bitch, in terms of facing my reality and making changes...  when I look back at my life nowadays, I believe that the karmic consequences were playing their hand early on....