top of page

Freda

.......is an alt-country and folk singer /songwriter from the musical islands of Shetland, Scotland. Her material varies from folk songs inspired by the Shetland environment and history, often using the rich Shetland dialect, to compositions with a more rootsy, americana style. 

Freda is currently releasing her own original songs produced by well-known, award-winning, Scottish singer/song and multi-instrumentalist Kris Drever and the amazingly talented Tim Matthew. 

The country-tinged 'Wildbird,' the most recent release features beautiful steel guitar accompaniment by another well-known Shetland talent, Jack Robertson.   

This song and 3 earlier tracks 'Magdalene' and 'Ghost Notes' & 'Another Coat of Black'  are available as digital singles from Bandcamp: https://fredaleask.bandcamp.com/   & can also be streamed from other digital platforms. Accompanying music videos can be seen on YouTube at Freda Leask Music 

Freda has performed locally and beyond both as an individual and in various collaborations and line-ups.

Growing up listening to classic country music, she made her early stage appearances in her local community from the age of 8. From 11 years old she was singing regularly around the islands, establishing strong musical links on the local scene.

Later she began to play guitar which led to an interest in songwriting and in collaborating with other musicians, singers and songwriters. 

Freda became involved in gospel music during her 20s and, with a keen interest in vocal harmonies, this contributed greatly to her later work with the Shetland folk group ‘Shoormal.’   

She established ‘Shoormal’ in 1997. A Shetland dialect word  for 'where the shore meets the sea’ - a place of constant change. Members of ‘Shoormal’ ebbed and flowed' over the years - all were native to Shetland and came from a variety of musical eras and influences. The band had a strong focus on vocal harmony and intricate instrumental arrangement and, within a decade, they had produced 3 albums of original material. 'Indigo Skies' (2000),  on their own label, which earned them a nomination for Best Newcomer 2001 on Mike Harding's Folk on 2. Migrant (2003) and Turning Tide (2006) were released under the Scottish Folk label 'Greentrax.' Since then ‘Shoormal’ has had extensive airplay and received international recognition, touring briefly and taking part in the Folk Alliance Conference in Austin, Texas.

Collaborations, have included: Appalachian Fiddler, Bruce Molsky, award-winning Orcadian singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kris Drever (Lau), the Shetland fiddle super-group Fiddler's Bid, fantastic Shetland guitarists Brian Nicholson, Arthur Nicholson, Norman Goudie, (Girsie) and Trevor Smith.

She has made frequent appearances with well-known Shetland singers Jenny Keldie and Sheila Henderson and has supporting top-class acts like Gretchen Peters, Kim Richey, Roddy Woomble, Yola, The Sojourners and Adam Holmes. 

(Shorter Bios available under 'EPK')

© 2022 Freda Leask.

bottom of page