In our interview with Freddie Long, you’ll understand why his soulful voice, introspective lyrics, and compelling musicality make him an artist you need to keep your eye on. Hailing from Sussex before moving to London, Freddie began posting his music on social media, which led to a strong following. Cut to today, and you see an artist with his own record label, Banana Split Records, and a record deal with Sony Music.
Enter ‘In Your Arms’ by Freddie Long, his latest release. In a voice that drips with power and emotion, Freddie delivers vocals that make you feel. It’s like Lewis Capaldi with a little more edge, with the pop prowess of James Bay, topped off with Freddie’s distinctive flavor that’s all his own. We can’t help but want to blast this one as loud as our stereos will go! Plus, the single artwork features a unique custom look created by Freddie and fashion designer Charli Cohen. They crafted personal and exclusive pieces that feature touches of unique stitching and painting through the use of old military clothing.
Stream ‘In Your Arms’ here to set the mood while you read!
How did you get started? Have you always been into music?
Actually, I started music quite late. I think I was 16/17 when I bought my first guitar. I was at a mate’s party, and we had a few drinks. I started singing, and from then, they encouraged me to put music online. I started posting covers on Facebook and, from that, started to gain a following.
Your songs are so soulful and filled with emotion. What message do you most want to communicate through your music overall?
Music is definitely a place where I can connect with my emotions. If I’m happy, sad, excited, or any other feeling, music always allows me to connect with that feeling. I think that’s what drew me in from a younger age. So when writing a song, I like to put down how I’m feeling at that moment.
How did your collab with CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) to raise awareness around male suicide and mental health come about?
It’s something that’s pretty close to me. A close friend from school tried to take his life a few years ago, which was hard to deal with and understand why. When this opportunity came around, it opened my eyes to the issue and how frequently this is happening. I believe everyone has a purpose in this life, and no one should have to go through feeling like that. It was a great project to be involved in, and I hope to do more stuff with CALM later down the line.
How would you define your sound in a few words?
Who are some of your biggest influences?
To list a few – James Brown, Prince, Amy Winehouse, Arctic Monkeys, Linkin Park, Queen, and more. I wouldn’t say there’s anyone in particular.
Can you tell us about the concept of ‘In Your Arms’ and what the writing process was like?
Yes, I’m excited to share ‘In Your Arms.’ It’s been over a year since releasing the these darker days EP, and from that, I wanted to build on the sound and push it more towards the direction of what I’m going for. I knew going into the writing session I wanted to write a song that felt a sense of togetherness. The chorus acknowledges that person that helped you through hard times and is always that shoulder to lean on. With the verse, I wanted to keep true to myself and keep them a bit more moody and have some darker characteristics in them.
The vibe and sound of ‘In Your Arms’ is so rich. We love all the layers it has. What was creating the music like? What was it like to collab with Anders Hojer?
Thank you! It was something that I and Anders spent hours trying to get right. We wanted to add in a lot of characteristic layers. It was great working with Anders throughout the project, and I can’t wait to share what else we’ve been working on together.
We love your tie-dye merch! Do you have any fashion icons? How does fashion play into how you create the visual aesthetics of your music in terms of cover art, music videos, and style?
Thanks!! It was great fun making it…during the first lockdown. I have a few: Jerry Lorenzo, ASAP Rocky, and a few more. It’s something I really enjoy and feel it’s a different part of the musical journey. For me, fashion is a way to express yourself, and there’s no better way than putting that together with the music that shares your emotions and feelings.
You also did a collab with Levis, which is super cool. How is working on something like that different creatively in comparison to music?
It was a very surreal moment. It’s definitely different, but the overall approach was the same. I used inspiration to create mood boards, and then from that, I personalized it and came up with the final designs. Similar to music, I like to find keywords that trigger memories or stories and, from that, develop the song.
If you could collab with any artist, alive or dead, who would you choose and why?
Prince. I watched his Super Bowl set when it’s pouring, and he’s playing ‘Purple Rain’ a few hundred times. He brings a different kind of energy to the stage.
Congratulations on signing with Sony Music! How did that moment feel? What’s your next big goal as an artist?
Thank you! It felt very surreal, to be honest. I’ve been working towards this for 4 years, and it’s tough. A lot of ups and a lot of downs. So to get that gratification from such an established brand like Sony was a crazy feeling. I’m working on an album for next year, and then I’d love to tour around Europe, then eventually play across the world.
What are you most looking forward to as live music begins to come back? Are there any plans you have coming up that you can share with us?
There are a few things that I’m not allowed to share yet. However, we are currently working on a small tour in the UK in late summer.
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Featured Image Source: Andreea Fărcaș from the THP Graphics team