5 minute read
Interview: Sam // Words: Ollie
“You just have to keep going, enjoy it & have fun…”
Brighton born singer-songwriter Freddie Long talks his late start in music, ups, downs & future.
Freddie continues, “There will be moments of self-doubt in whatever you do, but the more you work hard & the more people you meet, the likelihood is you will grow into your profession”.
Unleashing His Musical Capability. //
Freddie offers insight into his music background: “It sounds really cliché but growing up I was consistently hooked on music. I had headphones in every single moment I can remember, however it wasn’t until I was 16 when I picked up a guitar & started writing songs. I was super into Indie music back then, so bands like Blink-182 influenced me to start doing something”.
Despite having this passion, it was not a straightforward path to take this onwards: “I went through a bit of a party phase, the pinnacle of which was ending up in A&E at 4am with a broken leg after jumping out of an attic in fancy dress during a house party. I was a normal teenager doing stupid things, but this silliness was a blessing in disguise as it helped me realise, I needed to sort myself out”.
Explaining what happened next & his breakthrough, the musician tells: “I dropped out of university, moved to London & started doing open mics around the city. That is how I first got myself out there. Dropping out of uni really forced me to think about what I want to do. Although I had passion for music, I never really took it seriously, but obviously dropping out meant I needed something serious to focus on, so I learned the guitar better & just ensured I was getting out as much as possible to play”.
Open Mic To Studio. //
“You can network a lot in open mics, there were always lots of connections to managers, producers, other emerging musicians at these places, even in the small venues. My career really grew from there” Freddie says.
After eventually meeting his current management team through his open mic performances, Freddie articulates the learning process & song writing development he has since undertaken: “My creative style is always changing. When I am in the studio with different people, I am constantly learning which is great. I love collaborating with other writers; with music, more heads is usually better than one. My songs come from blogs or magazines that I am into as well as my own emotions…I try & find inspiration from a lot of sources. There are key words that I jot down on my phone notes which trigger memories or feelings, then when I come to write at the studio, I just flick through what I have written. I like to have some idea going into a studio what I want to write about, but never anything too solid, just key words”.
The Hardships, Positives & Looking Ahead. //
“I don’t think it will ever get old, the experience of people listening to music I have been fortunate enough to release to them. Having people sing your songs back to you at live shows is pretty nuts!” says Freddie.
Asked about the low moments to date, Freddie replies: “Quitting university was tough, because it came out of the blue. I never did music at school, so the people around me didn’t necessarily fully understand. However, since I worked in pubs & did the open mics, people realised I was serious & became more supportive”.
He continues, “Being creative, I go through a lot of emotions quite often. I weirdly kind of need the lows to create, as a lot of my music is quite personal. The lows are just part of life, you must acknowledge them, but for me looking past it helps as the positives always outweigh the negatives in the long run. Also, creating is a great way to get stuff off your mind!”.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, Freddie talks happy moments, “Studio is great, but I prefer performing as sometimes you are in a room with no windows for 10 hours straight trying to think of one line to end the song. It can be frustrating fighting writer’s block. However, performing live you cannot beat it…the energy & adrenaline is insane”
When pressed to define a specific joyous moment or moments, he lists a few, “I always get a buzz from playing shows & making music, but playing The Great Escape was a brilliant moment for me. I am from Brighton, so it was a cool experience to play in your own area. Playing the Sundown festival was also good, as was getting my first EP out. To be honest, I wouldn’t classify what I do as work because it’s what I want to do & when you do something you love, it gives you a buzz anyway”.
On the future, aside from saying he would love to play at The Roundhouse & talking his new upcoming EP (‘White Water’, recently released is a feature track), Freddie is coy on the long-term detail, but states, “Right now, my focus is just on what is happening in the present, but I plan to continue releasing music, play in more countries & do more shows”.
Closing the interview, Freddie offers a brief piece of advice upon request: “It’s easier said than done but putting lots of pressure on yourself is not healthy, it breeds negativity. You should be sure to work hard, but do not let your work drain you”.
With an ever-expanding repertoire of songs & experience growing, Freddie Long should for sure be on your ‘one to watch’ list, with many writers tipping the artist for big things in 2020 & beyond.
Freddie Long’s new single ‘Fade’ is out now
Follow Freddie Long @freddielongmusic