Artist Of The Week #0087 - Freda James
This week’s Artist Of The Week is dark pop artist Freda James, who has just released her debut EP ‘A Woman Alone’. She took a moment to talk to us about the release.
Where was the EP recorded? Any behind the scenes stories from the recording process?
The EP was recorded in different spaces throughout Brooklyn and LA. Ideas sprouted from things I was going through at the time. I remember going to The Knocks’ studio downtown to write with Andy from Not No, and he had a raw instrumental idea that I just jumped on and freestyled to, birthing my song “Horrified.” I was seeing this emotionally manipulative musician at the time and I felt addicted to his destruction. “losing you was such a rush, letting go of pain hurt the most.” That line in my song is me acknowledging I was addicted to the pain of unrequited love.
Why is the EP called ‘A Woman Alone’?
I was reading Fear Of Flying by Erica Jong, and the phrase “a woman alone” came up, stating the stigma that it’s not common nor safe for women to walk alone at night etc. At the time of reading the book, I was handling my entire music project by myself, and it felt lonely, scary, but ultimately empowering. I wanted to embrace the phrase and infuse power in it, rather than associating it with loneliness.
The EP is a collection of diary entries, do you still keep one? What do you write about?
I write in a journal in the morning to get chaotic thoughts out, to clear space for the day. I’m trying to be more consistent with it because it really does help. I write about nonsense until a creative idea begins to take place. I figure going into it knowing that what you write will be annoying lessens the expectation and perfection in it all. That is when the sweetness comes though, when you are least expecting.
What would you say are the main inspirations behind the songs for the EP?
I would say love. We use the word love so much, yet our concept is wrapped in unobtainable visions we’ve been bombarded with since youth. I remember asking a friend some years back, what is self-love? I truly was confused why every relationship I tried to enter would just dissipate quickly. I was constantly being fed sadness and would feel the cathartic rush from singing and writing about it. I finally felt the depth of self-love when I took the time to review myself honestly. I felt it when I moved to LA and opened up space for the first time in my life, when I realized the guy I was seeing at the time was emotionally unavailable and so was I. I was just attracting fleeting situations because I was to afraid to embrace someone actually seeing me. The awareness of that all helped me to get rid of it…however slowly.
Now the EP is out now, what next? What are your plans for the next few months?
I’m ready to get going on the next one! But first I’m headed to Europe for a bit to travel and get inspired. I’ll be back in LA late August and will start planning a show for September. It will be my first show with my band in LA after the EP release, and I can’t wait to play with my girls Priscilla and Andrea.