Singer-songwriter FREEMAN premieres a new single, “Holding On,” ahead of sophomore album ‘Love.’
London-based FREEMAN’s third single in support of his upcoming album ‘Love’ celebrates self-love and self-belief through an uplifting chorus. After his 2018 debut album ‘Truth,’ Charlie Freeman’s eponymous project has returned with an album themed around the “free love” movement of the 1960s and 70s (with a modern edge). The retro-inspired musician has branched out into acting, with roles in Chinatown Cannon (produced by China’s version of Netflix, QIYI) and two short films. Get a first listen to “Holding On” and an exclusive interview with FREEMAN below.
How did you get started making music? What drew you to it?
It all began with collecting records. I just loved listening to music. I didn’t start playing guitar until I was 21. I fell in love with that very quick! “Music is Life, Life is Music.”
Your second record is coming out in a little more than a month. How was the process of making this album different than your first one?
We had longer. We wanted to make every decision, every part… Well, we wanted to take our time and give it our best. We chose studios in the middle of nowhere so we had no distractions.
Were there any particular inspirations for the sound of the new single, "Holding On"?
The sound is inspired by decadent 70s rock n roll, Britpop, and America. We like to create tunes that are both meaningful and catchy.
How did you get to be a BBC Featured artist? How has that experience been?
It started by BBC Introducing and our submissions lead to radio play, and then ‘Featured artist’ plus live sessions. Defo recommend BBC Intro to anyone upcoming!
“London Nights” (your most popular song, at least according to Spotify) has this very interesting lyrical contrast between the city and this feeling of loneliness. Did any particular experience inspire this song? How did you capture that feeling?
Yeah, I have always been fascinated by the concept of a city packed with millions of people, yet often you don’t even know your neighbour, catch eye contact, or mutter more than a few words to strangers. Despite being surrounded by people, cities can most certainly be deeply lonely. I have certainly felt that in London.
I’ve read that your first album, ‘Truth,’ was recorded with an analogue setup. How did that come about? Were there any difficulties with recording that way?
Not at all. They built stuff beautifully back then. The sound is so detailed, so warm. Just a shame that MP3, where majority of music is consumed, has such a low quality sound. One just isn’t getting the full impact of what goes down in the studio.
‘Love’ is inspired by the culture of the 60s and 70s. What about that time period drew you to it?
Yes, it’s an album inspired by idea of the love moment (prominent in the 60s mainly) and a desire to bring awareness of truth, love, freedom and connection (please see www.freemanfoundation.co.uk) to people via music. It’s also a commentary on the nature of relationships—the ups, the downs, the twists, the turns, the rock and the roll. The Freeman Foundation is focused on sharing information about spirituality and alternative health, as well as music and art.
What do you enjoy most about playing live shows, and what do you like the least? Do you have any upcoming shows?
I love everything about it. The nerves, the camaraderie with the band, the performance, the thrill, the people you meet, the new experiences… it’s just exciting. I love excitement. Yes, loads [of upcoming shows]; we are about to start a world tour. Please follow us on @freemanrocknroll!
What was it like to be in Chinatown Cannon on QIYI as well as a few short films? Do you find any similarities between acting and music?
I loved it! What a fortunate and wonderful experience. I’ve done enough now to get my first showreel together and hope to do more acting in the near future for sure!
What’s the least expected part of being a musician? Is there anything that would surprise people outside the music industry?
It’s not all champagne and skittles! (24 hour party people). Hey look, it’s bloody hard work - you gotta have a thick skin and keep going and going - filled with sharks and rejection etc, etc… but I’m not complaining a jot. I am so grateful to do something I love.
Finally, would you rather never put out another new song or never be able to play any songs you already have out, and why?
Never play any songs you already have. Music is about creating. The latest song I write is always my favorite.
FREEMAN is set to tour internationally throughout the fall, as well as releasing ‘Love’ on September 27. “Holding On,” the third single from the album, focuses on individual strength and believing in yourself, with lyrics like “I’ll chase the lights, I’ll chase them forever / I got my dreams, I’ll dream them, whatever.” Listen to “Holding On” now!
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