There’s something special in Freddie Dickson’s music that feels like you’re drinking a warm cup of coffee on a rainy day. Whether it’s his beautiful soulful voice or the stunning yet simplistic production, Freddie’s music is otherworldly. If you’re a fan of Yoke Lore, Harrison Storm, or Portishead, try giving Freddie’s music a spin. The artist just released a single called “Blood Street” which sounds like it could be a classic rock song. We had the chance to chat with the artist about his upcoming album “Blood Street,” production style, and his new home in Berlin.
Femme Riot: Blood Street is the third single of the upcoming second LP “Blood Street”, how has your songwriting developed compared to your first album?
Freddie Dickson: I think that the older I have become the willingness to let go has definitely increased. I would say that my songwriting has become much more honest in dealing with issues that I would not normally have discussed in the past such as mental health, sexual harassment, political unrest. Learning to loosen the filter on my writing I think has helped me write better songs.
The singles tell quite a dark, melancholic story so far – what is the main story you want to tell through your new LP “Blood Street”?
Blood Street represents my relationship with my hometown of London and the constant changes I felt were happening to the detriment of the culture. With rent prices rising, music venues closing and artists leaving I felt I was slowly falling out of love with the city. There are a lot of stories regarding change and a longing to step out of my comfort zone. I guess Blood Street also represents the slight fear and mystery of the unknown.
What have been the biggest influences for this storytelling direction? Any specific movies, experiences that led to such narrative?
I was really inspired by the film Taxi Driver and the dark romance withinScorsese’s depiction of underground urban life. I loved the seediness to it all and that this aesthetic really suited the image of Blood Streetin my head.
You mentioned you also admired the production style of Portishead, how would you describe that specific style and how can we hear that as an influence on the record?
I have always loved the rawness of their production and the way that Beth Gibbons voice really gets under your skin. With this record I wanted the songs and my voice to stand out the most so I tried to keep the production quite sparse. Sonically there is a lot more space on this album.
Moving from your home in London to Berlin, Germany seems quite a big step. How does Berlin compare to London? How do the creative scenes differ?
As I mentioned before, I felt the appreciation of the arts was slowly dying in London, not from the people but more from the higher powers. I have found the creative scene to be incredibly welcoming here and feel there is a slightly less judgemental approach.
We can also notice you are pretty busy, not only preparing your own release and tour, but also being part of various projects – what do these different playgrounds mean to you as a person and how do they shape the original Freddie Dickson sound in the end?
Yes I have three other side projects which I love. Finding wonderfully talented people that you connect with on a musical level is a really magical thing. I guess they helped shape the sound in lots of different ways. I’m constantly learning the more I collaborate and am inspired by each project in different ways.
Favourite lyric from the new album?
“You’re just a pig in a parlour of guilt and crime, as the front pages slit your eyes, this ain’t something money can hide.” -Bunny Man
Mental health is something that is really important to us at Femme Riot and we love hearing about how others maintain balance in their lives. As a busy musician, what practices do you implement into your routine to ensure your health and well-being are taken care of?
That’s so wonderful to hear. I actually do a lot of running which I find helps a lot to clear my head. I also love to cook. I find it very therapeutic and relaxing.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Come and say hello at one of the shows!