Artist Interview: Yehuda Freeman
Tell us about yourself and your music
I was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in 1949, wrote my first poem when I was four, played guitar and sang in a dozen or so rock, folk, jazz, and blues bands before moving to New York in 1977 to embrace Orthodox Judaism through Chabad Lubavitch. While holding a nine-to-five for 20 years on Wall St. I formed a family band with my six kids that lasted for 14 years. Since then I’ve been doing a solo gig as a singer/song writer and composing music for my independent, zero budget, award winning films. (I got four films in six Festivals so far.)
Talk to us more about your latest release
My latest release is called “Peace Pieces,” a self produced, digitally downloadable collection of five songs that reflects my progress as a poet and composer over the last few years. It’s available here:
www.cdbaby.com/cd/yehudafreeman4 and here https://yehudafreeman.hearnow.com/
What inspired you to write this release?
The subject matter of the songs themselves are the sources of my inspiration. For example, “Awesome Kindness” is a song about G-d, “Dovid King of Israel” is a song about King David. In other words, I am basically inspired by my faith and whatever it leads me to. The thing is, I’m very serious about what I do and I don’t consider it “shlock” like a lot of Jewish things out there wherever. But, on the other hand, it doesn’t fit into any of the contemporary Jewish genres and because it’s essentially Jewish it doesn’t fit into any or the popular genres. So I stand alone.
Any plans to release a video?
I’ve already released a video, filmed by my ace film maker son, for one of the songs in my new release called “Trust in G-d (and our guns).” You may not agree with the politics or the radical nature of some of the shots, but like most of what I write it has different layers of meanings. To be blunt “trusting in your gun” means what it obviously means, but for someone opposed to “guns” it could mean “sticking to your guns” ie stand up for what you believe in.
Any plans to hit the road?
I just did a private thing in Morocco for some Royalty but at this point I like my summer gig at the Kasbah Deli on Broadway and 85th. I mostly prefer private gigs and staying out of the limelight because . . . I don’t know, maybe because I haven’t yet come up with the perfect sequined costume. Whatever. It’s all good.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
I’m still working on that. The competition and sheer number of people out there making music is overwhelming, so I’m happy with whatever comes my way. I mean I do play the guitar and the harp at the same time but even that isn’t so unique nowadays.
Who have you been listening to lately?
A lot of stuff. There’s so much to choose from. Prince blew my mind. I never got into him before. Charles Pasi is interesting. Haifa Wehbe is mezmorizing, Rachmananoff. Howard Levi. Jonhny Hiland.
Tell us about your passions
Learning Torah, Chassidus in particular. My grandchildren are cool. They just keep happening and there’s nothing I can do about it.
What else is happening next in your world?
Essentially I’m an activist promoting Moshiach and the Redemption of the Jewish people.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Yehuda!