INTERVIEW: Freddie Long at Universal's Spinnup | First Ever Full-Band Live Show
Freddie Long performed his first ever live show with a full band at this year’s The Great Escape festival, in his hometown of Brighton. Freddie is primarily an indie guitar artist, with a touch of pop peaking through. The switch from acoustic to full band that this gig signified for him an important moment: “It was always something I envisioned and always wanted, and I think it just makes me want it more now, playing like that with a band. It’s different now.”
Not following the traditional path of most artists, Freddie describes how his life started out being focused on playing rugby as a student. But upon moving to London at age 18, he and rugby parted ways as realised where his long term passion lay, and picked up his guitar and started writing. To now be playing as a festival he grew up in is something that left Freddie humbled by the full circle he has accomplished, reflecting back, “Every time I came, I always look at the bands playing, and it was like…’Shit, I’d love to be in there.’ This year fortunately I got to be in there and do it!” The experience was only augmented by seeing a crowd overflowing the Tempest Venue, comprised of his school friends and brand new fans.
The showcase was for Universal Music backed project ‘Spinnup,’ an innovative platform created by the conglomerate for independent artists to be able to distribute through the major label whilst retaining all royalties. The venue layout was so that Freddie was invisible to the plenty packed crowd – but the music was enough to feel the emotional impact. It’s in these moments where the quality of Freddie’s songwriting were actually able to stand out more.
This is no surprise as his band is also made of his long term writing collaborators, where he wrote brand new song released just that weekend, ‘Known Better,’ with his guitarist. He explains his songwriting process to be about “vibing out the person” whom he is writing with. “Normally, we’ll start jamming with an instrument, like a guitar or piano, and then I come up with the concept. Then together, we’ll just chat and come up with the melodies and work out which one we like. I like to write with people because more heads on something is better. I tend to stay away from digging in to my emotions at the time and writing about it, as I find myself writing better when I can see a story. And then subconsciously, it might come out.”
Freddie hones in on the idea of a narrative through his tracks, explaining a narrative focused album release is something he would like to work towards. “It makes it much more of a creative piece together. I really enjoy different sounds together too. Jimaroquai was a massive inspiration for me, but then also Artic Monkeys, but also Lewis Capaldi’s stuff at the moment is amazing. His voice is just awesome. So if I could incorporate all of that somehow, that would be quite sweet.”
However, despite the Universal platform he describes as an honour to be a part of for The Great Escape, he is not in any rush to sign a major deal yet. He cites the importance his managers have had in enabling him not to rush in to anything and just supporting his vision. With this, Freddie describes his focus on “enjoying the journey” as he prepares fans for the numerous singles and festival appearances to come this summer, followed by an EP release due in just a couple of months, and all before the big moment for his album release in 2020.
Make sure you’re well acquainted with Freddie in time for this by listening to new track ‘Known Better’ here:
New Artists Freddie Recommends: Drusila, Lucy Lu
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