Get familiar with Norwich-based neo-soul/jazz artist and producer, Freya Roy, whose year of 2019 is set to be a big one.
After a 5 year hiatus from releasing music, Freya steps back into the spotlight with the forthcoming release of her crowdfunded-debut album AHLKE as well as sharing her new track ‘Midnight Train’. It has definitely been a long, long journey for Freya who has patiently honed her craft and listening to this debut single she certainly didn’t waste the intervening time.
Freya looks set to make up for lost time in 2019 having crowd-funded over £1,000 to help launch AHLKE as well as being one of twenty talented artists to receive support and round two funding from the MOBOs Help Musicians Fund. With this debut single 'Midnight Train', it's easy to understand why she's receiving support from both inside and outside of the industry. Featuring Submotion Orchestra's Simon Beddoe on Flugel Horn, 'Midnight Train' is an enchanting journey through a landscape of shimmering Neo Soul, Hip Hop and Jazz that first came to life during Freya's time spent in the thriving Leeds Jazz scene.
With a sound that was constantly developing throughout her studies, Freya took a hiatus from releasing music with the mission to refine her sound and writing: “I was always creating new music but I felt that there was still more I could do to everything I made. I needed the time to experiment and develop my writing and thankfully being in the college-bubble enabled me to safely create and do just that. I decided to take down all my previous releases and start afresh as an artist. I was lucky enough to be tutored by Abstract Orchestra’s musical director, Rob Mitchell, and he gave me the space to really explore the hip-hop and contemporary R&B elements of my sound, whilst maintaining a strong focus on melody and jazz harmony. During the very beginning of this journey, I did, however, experience trauma to my wrist and had to take time out from studying, playing and everything in between. So for a good few years, I pretty much went silent on the music front and people thought I had given up on the idea. I am back on track now, but unfortunately, I have had to take a step away from the physical intensities of jazz guitar training, putting my energy into other creative spots such as my production and my label, FCR Music. It’s not until now that I have found a balance between all of these things, whilst still feeling creatively fulfilled, enabling myself to move towards getting this whole album project off the ground – something I didn’t think would be possible a few years ago. I really do think this whole process has been nurturing and has played a huge role in shaping and developing my sound and as an artist.”
Not happy stopping at crowd-funding campaigns, producing music, playing jazz guitar and singing, Freya is releasing the album under FCR Music, an independent label she founded in 2012 to help change the perception and visibility of women and minorities in the creative industries. Her most recent documentary project ‘FCR Music Presents: Women & The Creative Industry’ is being released on social platforms on International Women’s Day 2019, involving the likes of Marie Dahlstrom, Carmody and Scott Quinn, discussing gender roles and representation in the creative industries.
Freya's second single is set to drop at the end of March, with a music video collaboration with UK-renowned dancer, Salome Pressac, followed by the full album in April. Freya will also be touring her new material in the UK as both solo and with her band, with dates confirmed in Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester and Suffolk, with a headline London show at Servant Jazz Quarters on May 23rd to conclude the Tour.