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Freda

.....is a singer-songwriter hailing from the enchanting Shetland Islands, Scotland. Her diverse repertoire, ranging from folk tales inspired by Shetland's rich tapestry to soulful Americana compositions, showcases her dynamic musicality. Once part of the influential harmony group, 'Shoormal, Freda now takes centre stage as a solo artist and collaborator, infusing her work with a deep love for harmony drawn from authentic country, folk and gospel influences. 

 

Freda's recent originals, expertly produced by the acclaimed Kris Drever (Lau) and the talented Shetland-based Tim Matthew, are a treat for the ears. Explore these gems on Bandcamp and major music platforms, each accompanied by a visually stunning video on Freda's YouTube Channel.

'OLD MAN OF MADISON' is out now, released 19th April 2024. A great track inspried by a chance conversation.  

'WILDBIRD', released in June 2023, features an official video by Emmy- nominated Swiss filmmaker Nick Brandestini offering a captivating visual complement to the music. Dive into the heart of Freda's artistry with 'ANOTHER COAT OF BLACK,' a third popular release co-written with fellow-Shetlander Gina Paola Ritch. 'GHOST NOTES' the second in the series, graced the stage at The Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow as part of the Celtic Connections programme in 2022, sharing its nordic-inspired lyrics beneath the Scottish skies. 'MAGDALENE,' the initial single, has resonated globally, receiving airplay across Scotland, Canada, America and beyond.  

Currently performing with Shetland-based Seth Travins, David Boyter & Tim Matthew,  Freda forms part of this solid Americana-influenced group, with occasional diversions into crafting songs in her own Shetland dialect, she continues to deliver a varied compilation. 

          

             Photography by Alva Sim @icnewthings

 

 

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, often wrote in their own dialect, and wove intricate instrumental arrangements within their pieces. 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.

Freda's collaborations, have included: Appalachian Fiddler, Bruce Molsky, award-winning Scottish singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kris Drever, 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 supported top-class acts like Gretchen Peters, Kim Richey, The McCrary Sisters, Roddy Woomble, The Sojourners, Adam Holmes, Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards and British born Americana star, Yola. 

Immerse yourself in Freda's sonic universe, where each note tells a story and each melody paints a picture of her Shetland home and beyond. 

  

 

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