Interview Freya Ridings: “It is surreal to hear a song on the radio you wrote when heartbroken and alone”

freya ridings

Freya Ridings made big steps in her career in 2018. The singer-songwriter had a top 10 hit in the UK with her heartbreaking single ‘Lost Without You’ after already releasing two live albums. A debut studio album is scheduled for release in 2019. Enough reason for A Bit of Pop Music to name her the most promising new artist for the new year! We had a chat with Freya about the success she experienced in 2018 and what we can expect in 2019.

You are our most promising artist for 2019! How do you feel about that and all the support for your music you have received recently?
“Honestly it is all really humbling. To hear a song you wrote on your own, at home feeling pretty heartbroken, being played on the radio is the most surreal and beautiful thing that has ever happened to me. I have played at open mic nights around London since I was 13 and now I have so much gratitude for every single person who comes to a show or supports my music. I truly can’t wait to give back as much as I can to the people who have supported me.”

2018 has been a big year for you thanks to ‘Lost Without You’. Can you take us back to the day you wrote that track?
“It was about 4 years ago now, but it still feels like yesterday. All of the songs I write come from personal experience, but ‘Lost Without You’ came from a place of real wilderness and heartbreak. It felt like it came straight from my subconscious, fully formed. I remember opening my eyes after singing it for the first time and wanting to cry while thinking: “I can never show this to anyone, it is way too emotional”. It is strange and beautiful how things can turn around from a single moment like that.”

What was the moment you realized how big that song had become?
“It felt like such a slow burner. When the song was featured on Love Island I was excited and grateful, but honestly had no idea the effect that would have on my life. The real moment something hit me was when my friend messaged me the number 9. Then it hit me that the song must have went into the Official Top 10. It took a while to sink in to be honest!”

What is the single thing you are most proud of over the past year?
“That is such a hard question to answer, because there were so many moments that made my year in 2018! Selling out and playing Shepherds Bush Empire last year was a true highlight. To perform a song you wrote on your own with 2000 people singing along in a confetti snow storm, felt like something out of a movie and I will never forget it.”

“To perform a song you wrote on your own with 2000 people singing along in a confetti snow storm, felt like something out of a movie and I will never forget it.”

You have released two live albums now. What can we expect from the sound of your studio debut?
“It is a natural progression. After playing live so much over the last year, I saw this debut album as an opportunity to bring some of the more acoustic songs to life in a cinematic way. Not long ago I could only have dreamt of string quartets and gospel choirs. I had to pinch myself in the studio when they were actually happening! Having written every song on the album and knowing most started with just me on the piano, it was a real honour to work with inspiring producers and musicians on these. There is a natural growth and progression in the production with more drums, strings and voices that I can’t wait to share.”

If you were to turn one of your songs into a duet, which one would it be?
‘Unconditional’ is one of my very few guitar based happy love songs. To me it has always always felt like a duet, because it shows the two sides of how unconditional love works in a relationship. The song talks about how both people can save each other, rather than a Cinderella myth. I would love to do more duets with artists I admire.”

2019 is going to be another big year in your career with the release of your album. What do you hope to achieve in the coming 12 months?
“Last year was the first year I have written a diary every single night and I feel like it anchored me to be present in that moment and day. It is easy to get overwhelmed, but I just like to give every day, show and moment all that I have. Hopefully at the end of 2019 we will all get to look back and feel as proud as we did last year.”

Last but not least, which of your favourite records of 2018 will you take with you into 2019?
“I was lucky enough to hear Florence + the Machine’s new record High As Hope at Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco, which was definitely a highlight of 2018. I also listen to Charlie Puth’s brilliant pop writing on Voicenotes a lot when I am on the road.”

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