Interview conducted by Alex Wen.
Giacomo Casanova, Italian adventurer and famed womanizer, may have lived a few hundred years before Save Money’s Brian Fresco, but their shared penchant for smooth-talking brings them together for Fresco’s latest, Casanova.
Coming off the heels of Chance’s Coloring Book and Vic Mensa’s There’s Alot Going On, Casanova’s blend of sentimental confessions with tropical dance tracks make for a fitting continuation to Save Money’s summer takeover.
We catch up with Brian Fresco to chat hybrids, McDonald’s WiFi and Michael Jordan.
You just had a live show? How was it?
It was fucking crazy.
Was it the first show you headlined?
It wasn’t the first show I headlined, but it’s the first show where I got the venue and everything.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: who you are, what do you do?
I feel like I’m a hybrid. I’m just in my own world. There’s not many people who have grown up the way I’ve grown up, overcome the things that I’ve overcome, yet still seeing things they were able to see and bond with the people that they were able to bond with. I don’t quite want to say best of both worlds. I came from the projects, and I could still go back and people would embrace me. And I can also go hang on the Northside with some of my friends that grew up in huge ass houses.
You described yourself as a hybrid, can you elaborate?
It’s so much culture I’ve experienced throughout these short 20 years of life. I’ve seen so many different cultures, and it leaks into the music. I don’t think many people expand on…most people stick to one culture or one way of thinking. I open my eyes and mind and be open to everything. I like a lot of different views and different cultures.
You mentioned before that women like the music you make, why do you think that might be?
I think women like the music I make because women like it when a man makes them feel special. That’s my goal with my music, making everyone feel special. Women love hearing music that makes them feel special, whether it’s me making them feel special or them thinking of someone else that makes them feel special. This album is a smooth charmer. It’s going to charm the shit out of women.
Can you expand on your music-making process?
Usually, I have a certain feeling. With a lot of the songs that were created for Casanova, started from scratch, from a feeling. Trevor and I were just trying to paint that picture. That’s why he’s the executive producer for my project. Him and I are going to be doing a lot more things in the future because he sees the visions and feelings that I have so well.
How would you compare Casanova to your other projects?
It was definitely a harder process. With Mafioso, we would record at the house, that’s how me and Chance recorded “Greenlight”. We drove to McDonald’s, got WiFi, and downloaded the beat because there was no WiFi in the crib. At that time, I was younger. I’m 23 now.
When I created Mafioso, I was 17. I’ve definitely grown. As far as SoulMoney, that was a more polished approach. It was a joint project with one producer. It kept me in a certain sound. With Casanova, I was able to take all the growth from Mafioso and my experience from my whole life–I have a child now. My child’s mother was pregnant when I was creating Mafioso. Now I have a child here; it’s different, I have bills, stuff like that. From Mafioso, to SoulMoney, to Casanova, it just all comes down to growth and me being older and more mature.
How’d you get into music?
Kami from Leather Corduroy, that’s been my friend since 2nd grade and we would rap some of the stuff in grammar school–kind of since forever. We started to hang with most of the homies that are now Save Money and we weren’t all rapping like that. The original start was all friendship, we were all friends. We were all individuals that wanted to do bad things and get away with it. We had a lot of fun. When Vic dropped Kids These Days, it was like stupid crazy. We had sold out shows at the Metro. We were in high school–going to a show on a Thursday, and coming into school with a hangover the next day. That had a lot of influence on everybody to seriously pursue rapping. Honestly, without meeting Victor [Vic Mensa] and Save Money, I probably would be somewhere in jail. Meeting him showed me there was something bigger out here in the world.
How do you see Save Money now?
Save Money is just going to move forward as Save Money. We’re the first Save Money. People expect us as a group or collective, like A$AP and how they did it. We’re not them. They came together and made that their business, but we didn’t make that our business. We’re a bunch of friends that make music and we make music together. My latest project has Chance in it, he doesn’t still have to do that with me, but he’s my homie. We’re not a handout group–just want to say that. People have to do what they have to do to make it. Everyone is still going to support everyone and have everyone’s back. At the end of the day, we are still all individuals. We’re like a team full of Jordans. There’s no Scottie, no Rodman, no Paxson. It’s full of people that want to make it to the top.
What do you have planned coming up?
We’re going to put together a few shows, I may do another show here before the summer is over. I’m just so happy this project is out. I’ve put blood, sweat, and tears into this. I want to spread this project and really get it heard. Once people are listening, it’s going to spread like wildfire. I know it’s going to take me places. I have a few tricks up my sleeve, a few secret weapons. I’m not going to name them, but there’s a few people in my corner that got my back and understand what I do is good. Between me and them, I feel like the rest of this year is going to be terrific, all the way to next year. We’re going to have a big 2017.
Any last words? Why should people check out Casanova?
I want people to listen to this project because it’s a breath of fresh air with all the nonsense going on in this city and in the world. It’s just something different, something original, something heartfelt, it’s something with heart in it. It’s something I made with love. If you listen to it, you’ll feel that.