Word on the street: Freeds
Written by admin on October 25, 2018
My whole thing is making music that conveys all the emotions and helps people understand it’s okay to be sad, or scared, or whatever it may be, and just being able to confront those feelings and not shy away from them.
Sometimes, you hear a tune that just hits you, with a hook or a beat that gets stuck in your head and under your skin from the moment you hear it. You don’t come across them too often, so when you do, you can’t keep it to yourself.
So, we caught up with Sydney-based artist Freeds, to chat about his latest single Ice Cold, his ideas for the industry and what’s next on his journey – apart from starring in your summer playlist of course.
You can tell from the moment the guitar riff starts in Ice Cold that Freeds owns the sounds that he’s crafting, and you’d be forgiven for thinking he’s been punching out jazzy sounds with a boom-bap style for years.
He didn’t always know he’d be a rapper but he admits that he was always intrigued by writing and the creative expression. He caught the performing bug early though, saying that “one of my proudest moments was being awarded best comical act at the year 6 talent show… I’ve always loved entertaining and my passion for writing/story telling eventually evolved into something I wanted to make a profession.”
What followed just seemed like the natural progression of things, including finding his stage name – although he insists that there’s no crazy story about how he got it. It’s just a name that’s followed him around for years, because his
last name is Fridman, but everyone would always pronounce it ‘Freedman’, and this turned into Freeds… people have called me Freeds since I was a kid.
Even though his stage name is something that’s like a second skin to him and has been for years, his production and writing process is constantly evolving. His process started in a pretty typical way because
it used to only be a ‘get a beat and write to it’ type thing. And I still write songs this way because I love how a beat can spark a feeling or concept you may not have otherwise thought of, and I love being able to tailor flow/tone/melody to every beat.
But he’s discovered that over the past couple of years his process has grown with him as he’s gravitated towards a more soulful bluesy sound.
His goal is to blend the timelessness of old-school vibes with current styles, and his creative process has even involved to
writing entire songs to just a guitar loop or a piano chord progression…other times I may already have lyrics written and make something around that. I don’t think there’s any one way to make a song so it’s just about whatever works in the moment,
because like with everything in life, it’s all about making sure there’s a balance.
You can hear the modern/timeless fusion he’s going for in his latest single, Ice Cold, and even in older songs like My Friend.
Now, Ice Cold has a bit of a story behind it, spanning a couple of years, he admits. It all started with Freeds, his friend Wayne, a piano sample and some saxophone. A cool hook was written but nothing came of it.
It then sat around, forgotten about until a few months ago.
The story goes Wayne ended up texting him a voice memo of the same track,
but he had sped up the sample and the song had turned into something completely new. It went from being heartfelt and gloomy to quirky and happy.
But, while he’s doing a pretty solid job at promoting Coca-Cola through the song, unfortunately they
have not yet paid me for the promo
He won’t let that get him down though, because if you can’t half tell from his music, he’s got an easy-going attitude to complement his chill beats – and that’s been getting him plenty of attention ever since he played his first actual show.
It was in the country town of Shepparton of all places…which was organised through a close friend who was doing a headline and asked me to support. I always remember doubting if I’d ever be able to do my own show… it’s all a bit of a blur and I’m sure I was ridiculous amounts of nervous, but I guess it all worked out. The feeling was truly liberating, and I got a response from the crowd even though I was probably awkwardly screaming into the microphone.
It all seemed to work out how it was supposed to, though and he’s played some pretty interesting gigs since. Take his set at Moomba Festival in Melbourne,
there were all these little kids loving the show, so I invited them on stage and gave them all Freeds shirts to wear, so they were dancing on the stage in these ridiculously oversized shirts and it was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.
Moving forward, he’s got some big ideas about what he can do to help change some issues in Aussie music industry. When he pressed, he explains that
one of the big stigmas in hip-hop in general is that it’s not cool to be vulnerable or sensitive. Some artists feel like they have to be confident, happy, braggadocious….all the time.
It’s all about getting that balance and he wants to help people remember that that’s important, because he thinks
there is a stigma around mental health in hip-hop and as somebody with anxiety and who struggles with mental health, I want to help try to change that.
From a Shepparton stage to supporting Illy on his east coast regional tour, Freeds is all about taking it as it comes, and one thing you’ll learn about him is that he’s all about spreading the good vibes to whoever will listen.
While he doesn’t have any shows lined up just yet, you’ll want to keep an ear out for the release of his impending EP. For now, he’s focusing on letting his music do the talking, bringing his unique perspective and big heart to the radio-waves.
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Words by Alyna Malyniak