By Joy Ramirez
FRESHM3N III Keeping It Real In L.A.
Fresh from their win at the SESAC 2014 Pop Awards, the talented men who make up the production team of FRESHM3N III are celebrating their accomplishments but keeping things real in their adopted city of Los Angeles. The SESAC Award recognized their work on “Love More,” the Chris Brown club favorite featuring Nicki Minaj, which climbed up the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
“It’s crazy to be an artist in L.A.,” says Shaun J. Spearman, speaking for the group he formed with brothers Darrell “Keyz” and Howard “Haydock” Eversley 10 years ago in Atlanta. “But if you’re behind the scenes like we are, no one notices you,” he says, laughing. He appreciates the ability to be incognito while still being major players in the music industry. Prior to the success of “Love More,” the trio produced instrumentation for songs recorded by some of the biggest names in the business, including will.i.am and Britney Spears. They also worked with hit songwriter Esther Dean on the track “We Are” for the 20th Century Fox film Ice Age Continental Drift.
Speaking of the SESAC award, Spearman says, “It’s huge,” acknowledging that producing a hit radio single made them feel they had finally arrived. However, they enjoy working with newcomers and artists who are not yet mainstream, such as Eric Bellinger and Sevyn Streeter. “Of course we’d like to work with the Rihannas and Katy Perrys,” he says, “but the new folks have an energy like they’re having fun, like it’s more about the music and connecting (with fans) than (it is about) the business for them. It’s like you’re growing with the artist.”
This unassumingly novice approach to the business seems fitting for a group of friends who taught themselves to create music digitally as college freshmen (Howard Eversley was a freshman in high school.). Although Spearman admits to being exposed to a lot of music through his DJ father, none of them were musicians. “We were computer nerds,” he admits. The three dabbled with music creation software before teaching themselves to play piano.
Spearman credits hard work and persistence to unlocking their current success, which took eight years, he says. The belief of influential people helps too, as will.i.am has been a key mentor and collaborator.
Now one of the group’s goals is to have one of the biggest records of the year. No doubt FRESHM3N III is on its way to reaching its next goal.