Hailing from Chelmsford, Essex, FREAK (real name Connar Ridd), has proved that the DIY approach to music works. Ridd has gone from making music in his bedroom, to opening for FIDLAR, touring with Sundara Karma and playing some of the UK’s biggest festivals, all in the space of just over a year. FREAK is definitely one to watch in 2017.
Here’s what he had to say when Elly Bailey recently caught up with him:
So, there is some confusion over whether you are a solo act or a band, please can you clarify this once and for all for us?
I write, record and produce all of the music. Live my two BFF's join me on bass guitar and drums to make for a mental show and also playing all three instruments live would be hard to do by myself!
It kind of seems like you suddenly came out of nowhere in 2016 and started playing some huge shows and festivals, how long has it actually taken you to get to this point?
I started writing tracks for FREAK in November 2015 and released my first EP February 2016. Everything has happened really quickly and I can't wait to see how 2017 goes, I'm super excited.
There seems to be a lot of different styles in your music, how would you personally describe it?
Motown Blues with just a dash of 80's synth pop. It's pretty aggressive though.
You released your debut EP 'What Happened’ in 2016, which features some pretty dark songs, such as "Someone Help Me," will your upcoming music follow this same path?
Definitely. Writing about personal and real life stuff is something I love and that happens naturally and fits the style of my songs but, I'm also writing about a lot of other things that interest me too.
Would you say where you’re from has had a big impact on your music?
Yeah of course. I've lived in Chelmsford all of my life and where I'm from and what I see plays a huge part in the lyrics of songs.
In July you were the warm up act for garage punk band FIDLAR, did you get to meet the band, and if so, what were they like?
The guys in FIDLAR are wicked. They loved the music and were total legends to hang around with and made us feel really comfortable for our first proper show. We'd love to play with them again soon!
What can we expect from you in 2017?
New song releases, tours, music videos and a lot more. It's going to be mad.
As an up and coming musician are there any other up and coming acts that you would recommend?