Freddie Bourne - 10 Questions Music Interview
Hailing from New Jersey, Freddie Bourn is a "consious house-pop" artist. Bourne describes his music as danceable while the lyrics are relatable. Bourne's new EP, The Troubled Boy at the Bonfire Disco is deep-house pop with a tribute to late 90's and early 00's pop music. After fronting bands in high-school and studying broadcasting in college, Bourne's solo career took off. He found early success opening for One Tree Hill’s Tyler Hilton, Dion Roy, and Mike Schavio. In 2013, he released the well-received album “Only Human” blending pop-rock, trip-hop, and acoustic stylings. In 2014, he performed at the Special Olympic Games, found success on YouTube, and started collaborating with other successful artists. But it wasn’t until the passing of his mother that Bourne decided to move forward with the music and message he wanted to make. He signed with The Latest Noise Records and released “I Wrote These Songs with Heavy Vibes and a Piano.” After the release, Bourne had a top 40 hit in the Netherlands, three more EPs, and a cross country tour.
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
I'm embarrassed to say, but when I first heard of Aaron Carter during his hype back in the 2000's is what motivated me to do something in the entertainment industry. I thought it was a really awesome thing to see someone around my age at the time making a living performing and I really was hooked on wanting to do it.
It wasn't until I was about 11 or so, when my mother sat me down to listen to Barry Manilow's "Mandy" and really absorb the lyrics and get a better understanding of the story that was being told. It was after about 8 different listen through's that my mother realized I was finally getting a better sense of songwriting. I find myself doing that with a lot of new music I hear and when helping other people with songwriting.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
Probably when I was starting out again, back in New York. I took about two years off music and public life after my mother passed away. I ended up getting into graduate school out in Hoboken and decided to perform for the first time at an open mic at this really established venue Maxwell's. And less than a month later, I was headlining a show, and then three months later having an EP release party at Maxwell's, a place where Nirvana played, Springsteen recorded music videos; it was just crazy that things took off so quickly after being gone for so long.
But in terms of just "odd" events that have occurred, I had a song years ago called "50th and 9th in Sao Paulo" that I wrote and recorded by a label out in Holland. Within two days of it being released, it cracked the top 40 in the Dutch charts, on the same chart with U2. Never imagined that would have ever happened.
What has been the high point of your music path?
Networking. And it sounds boring and a very weird answer. But I found that the more people I have met and worked with, the better my music has become and how much more my mind expanded to go beyond normal barriers and structures in music. I feel that it's always great to keep challenging yourself by surrounding yourself with new people to work with in order to use their inspiration and talents.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
I approach songwriting like a storyteller. I don't foresee being wrapped up with making many revisions in lyrics or worrying about a sonic pattern. I write what I feel, what I observe, and go for it as long as it's honest work. There's not much in terms of a routine I follow; it changes every project. But I find myself getting the ideas for songs mostly when listening to new music at the time, taking a bath, taking a walk, pretty mundane activities will turn the light-bulb on.
For the most recent project, it was a lot of sitting at home, eating take-out sushi, and going through old messages on social media that I wished I deleted.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
I feel that people tend to not know how to market themselves. I find that many folks will promote an event by either posting the event page online and simply saying "COME AND HANG WITH US". Hate to break it to you, but I don't think anyone's friend wants to spend a cover charge to hang out when they can do that any other day of the week where you can play in the backyard for no cost at all. I think artists need to remember that they are people to and not a product. It's hard to decipher but I feel that making relatable and personal promotion will draw people not only to be willing to come to your shows and listen to your music, but it gives insight to humanize the whole industry.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
Most likely Dan Fogelberg or Foo Fighters. Dan because of the songwriter he was, which was an influence on me. Foo Fighters, I mean - have you seen them? Dave performed with a broken leg. I would be insane not wanting to perform with people THAT dedicated to the craft.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
I'm honestly terrible at this. Thankfully I tend to have my material good to go on show days but I don't rehearse a whole lot. Anything can happen at a live show that is beyond your control. As long as I can remember my lyrics, I'm not too concerned. It's because I want the performances to be honest and not be too perfected. I rather see someone losing their voice and giving it their all than polish. However, if I have shows with the band, it tends to be one or two practices the week of the show, with give or take 3 to 4 hours of practice. I'm pretty big on sending the material to the band months ahead of time so that way it's not a huge adjustment going into the rehearsal space for the first time.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
"Howl" off my "I Wrote These Songs with Heavy Vibes and a Piano" EP. Heck, all of those songs were difficult to write but this one was about how I was not able to speak to my mother because she believed that when people passed on that they wouldn't care about what's happening to their loved ones that were still alive. So, there were moments of when writing it that if there was a point and if the song would be too concerning for people to listen to. However, it's one of my favorite songs I wrote.
What's coming up in the future?
Once Corona goes away, I would hope to play another tour! I lost 35 shows just in the span of two months alone! I have plans for an album to start in 2021! About 12 tracks. But I need a break; I've done four EPs in four years and it's time to breathe a little.
Tell us where fans can access your music?