Special Feature: Freeman Young

Editor’s Note: In advance of Discorder’s Hip Hop Showcase & Fundraiser Friday, November 18 at the Media Club, we asked the performing artists for a little background…

Freeman Young is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and rapper, and producer of Jamaican descent from Surrey, British Columbia.


Discorder Magazine: Who is the biggest influence on your sound?

Freeman Young: To be honest, I can’t really pin-point a singular influence as ground zero for what I try to achieve sonically. I grew up around a lot so a lot has percolated to my subconscious. D’Angelo is God to me, Kings of Leon are a very close second. Caleb’s vocal honesty is something i can never get enough of. Jeff Buckley, Radiohead (I can write a book, seriously), Frank Ocean, Ye, Pharrell.. You know… the usual suspects. Pharrell and Tyler made me feel like it was safe to be myself as corny as that might sound. The shit I used to get made fun of, they made it cool. Cudi, Ye, and Odd Future carried the Pharrell torch to uncharted territory. I’ll never forget the feeling when I heard “You Can Do It Too” for the first time. I was like 15. But yeah, those guys shaped my “Aristry” the most.

DM: What is your favourite venue to perform at, or attend a concert at? 

FY: To perform, I’d have to say Fortune Soundclub and Alexander Gastown. I fuck with em heavy. The management shows nothing but love and they’re cool people in real life. They got the best sound personnel and some of my favourite DJs spin there too. Nobody’s too cool, it’s good vibes every time I perform there. My favourite venue to watch concerts is easily the Orpheum Theatre. I’ve seen James Blake, Moses Sumney, and Stromae there. The Orpheum Theatre is one of those venues where no one’s interpretation of it can do it justice, you just have to experience it for yourself. The acoustics and design fuck me up every time.

DM: As an emerging artist based in the Lower Mainland, what is the biggest obstacle for getting noticed nationally and internationally?

FY: I have faith in people’s taste. If you have what it takes, people will come to you eventually and your work will be recognized for what it’s worth. I think it just takes the right moment. I feel like it’s coming sooner than later for select artists here.

DM: Do you think the hip hop and rap produced in the Pacific Northwest has a distinct sound or style?

FY: The shitty kind does, unfortunately. I don’t think we have universally distinct sound like the UK, NY, Toronto, or Atlanta as of yet. The sonics are really eclectic, like our city is. We don’t have a strong “culture” like New Orleans, or Toronto, so it’ll take some time for that to materialize, if it ever does.

DM: If you could be featured on a track with any current breakout artist, who would you want to collaborate with?

FY: There are a bunch of current artists that I’m very keen on observing in a creative environment more so than collaborating cause I feel like that’ boils down to chemistry. I want the 3 Stacks and the D’Angelo feature at some point in my life though, BASEDGOD willing.

Freeman Young will be performing a the Local Hip Hop Showcase & Fundraiser Friday, November 18 at the Media Club. Doors at 8pm, show at 9. Additional performers include So Loki, Missy D, R.O.M.I. Something August, and Spotty Josif. Tickets are $10 in advance on brownpapertickets.com, or $15 at the door. This is a 19+ event.