Get to know The Free, and find out what he’ll be up to next!
- You won the Canadian Songwriting Competition Grand Prize for your song, Freedom Island. Can you tell us a little bit about this song and how it came to be?
Freedom Island was an appropriate response to all the pressure exerted by the outside world on an artist’s mind. Freedom Island is not a physical island but a utopia created by the mind where artists can be and grow.
I kept noticing how many artists i knew, suddenly stopped their individualistic flow and switched up to something that sounds uniform, Something you would hear in the radio, All for the sake of recognition. That triggered the song’s formation in my mind, along with the current divided state of our planet.
- What has been your experience thus far with the Canadian music industry?
It has been very welcoming to me and my sound. The industry here sort of embraces experimentation and supports its own. That’s shown by all the artistic grants being made available and the Canadian content requirements enforced on broadcasting. It might not be as big as the American industry but I really do feel like I’m on board of the fastest growing music industry in the world.
- What do you find most challenging about being an independent artist?
Like any entrepreneur and his business (and that is what you are as a rising musician/artist). The beginning is tough but the power these days is shifting towards the indie artist. The tools available today steadily at our disposable are revolutionary. The only challenging thing, to be honest, is when you’re coming up with new styles and approaches (which many new indie artists are doing these days) is the gatekeepers. Let’s leave it there.
- Can you name some artists whose careers you admire? Any Canadian artists?
I have a massive range of artists i look up to, I don’t think i can name them all but a few are,.Bob and Damien Marley always top my list always. Tracy Chapman, Bob Dylan, Lucky Dube, Enya, Celine Dion, Lauryn Hill, The Fugees, 2 Pac, Popcaan, Cheb Khaled. As for Canadians K’Naan and The Wknd of course, because in the end they’re just East African boys who came up here which personally inspires me to my limits.
- What is your writing process?
I have none, I am literally writing in my head and phone 24/7. Sometimes I would just hear a word with a nice ring to it. Turn it into a hook with a catchy melody, record it on my phone. Keep it for later. All while cooking some food up. It can be that random. Other times I just have something in my heart that needs to come out. So it comes out. On a paper or in a studio. never had and don’t advise on having a writing process. If you do, it becomes a ritual, it becomes something you do only at a certain time, It becomes a luxury. Luxuries can be taken away and rituals break. That is why you make your “writing process” part of your essence. An every day 24/7 thing. Just like breathing.
- What are you plans for the next year?
Dropping an album early July “The Vibe Of A Mango” look out for it! Shooting a few music videos! One of them back home in The Sudan. Planning a little tour in Europe and just keep putting out music to be honest!
- How can fans follow you online ?