on 19 October 2012
It was Friedrich Nietzsche who once so perfectly wrote: "Without music, life would be a mistake." And with that, it most certainly would be less without the sublime chanteuse that is Princess Freesia.
Yes, I am unashamedly (why would I be anything else) and so most vocally a huge fan of her work. I am unable to say which one of her offerings it was that first washed over me, as at that point I just dived right into the warming pool of her creation and swam deep in its splendour, and have been doing so ever since. These include the prequel album `The Hoxxy Demos', fourteen soul-soaring tracks that you really need to go and discover, and her highly acclaimed concept masterpiece `The Lapdancer' (produced in a dining room with a Macbook and immense talent).
Here upon us now then, at last, is her album release - `The Rainbow Ride', and so the joy continues, only to be magnified tenfold. I shan't wax lyrical about each individual track, as I believe it best to let the music within, and her intoxicating charisma, speak for itself. But be assured, this is rare groove with distinction; music to dance to, to bathe in and love-up with, and to be done abundantly so. Her music is an undeniably uplifting experience. When she talks about it, the joy she gets from being able to do what she does emanates out with every word and it is infectious. Here, that magnetic personality carries on through a symphony of sumptuous vocals, accomplished lyrics and sublime production that, whilst undeniably retro, is unquestionably today.
I asked what her first music influences were, and akin to many of us it was whatever her parents put on the record player, along with the cassettes of her older sister... namely a lot of ABBA, Wham and Whitney, soul/pop abounding.
The inaugural record to her own collection was by an Australian band known as `The Rockmelons" (with the lovely Deni Hines) and this undoubtedly began to solidify her own distinctive musical tastes. As is often the way with musical connoisseurs, this led her not only to other artists in a similar vein but then on to the origins of Rare Groove, Soul, Jazz, Funk and Fusion et al. Though she is not adverse to later decades, it is very much these influences from circa 74 to 87 that she draws upon, or as she says "anything with sexy Rhodes, warm analogue drum sounds, a wubby bass line, etheric synthaholics and kitten purring vocals...". In short, keeping the finest sounds very much alive, with a fresh Freesian touch.
The music business is a notoriously tough one (as is any creative endeavour until big commercial success comes to soften circumstances), and her tenacity and faith is commendable in the face of austere financial times. There is no comfort zone of a giant label here, though I often think that only serves to limit a great artist. It is with assured diligence and not inconsiderable blood, sweat and tears to hone her exceptional talents that has brought her to this point. She has the wisdom and the blessing to surround herself with the right people; working alongside such luminaries as Leon Ware and Jean Care, and is now currently in production with (Dame) Jocelyn Brown (that woman is a National Treasure in my eyes) and her long standing collaborator, the brilliant Soulpersona.
So after years-in-the-making, at last, `The Rainbow Ride' has arrived. And I urge you to trip the light fantastic upon it. This lady deserves much recognition and success, and you owe it to yourself to be embraced by what she has to offer you.