Backstage with Freddie Long at The Great Escape


Brighton’s own Freddie Long, armed with a genuinely unique and instantly recognisable gravelled vocal, has been tipped for big things over the coming months.

He is set to release his debut EP soon, and is also continuing to work on his first album which he hopes to release in the Summer of 2020. We caught up with Freddie at The Great Escape to get to know him a little better.

Freddie Long at The Great Escape 2019 / Credit: Jodie Brunning

What do you love the most about Brighton?

It’s gotta be the beach. It’s nice to have the beach so close but then there’s also a city vibe – you have The Lanes where there are so many cool bars and restaurants. In the summer it’s amazing, there’s always so much going on here.

Who else on The Great Escape line up are you rating?

Last year I came to see Joy Crookes who is awesome, that was a really cool gig over at Shooshh. The Great Escape is cool for finding new bands that you’ve never heard of.

What’s the inspiration behind your latest single ‘Known Better’?

The song is about being caught up in a toxic situation, whether it be a relationship or circumstance – you’ve got people around you that have warned you, but you chose to ignore it. That then develops into something bad, then you step away and there’s a moment of panic or regret – but after going through it you look back and realise, actually I’m in a better place now. It’s a bit uplifting in that sense as well, about focusing on the now.

Are all of your songs based on personal experience?

People can interpret my songs how they like, the lyrics are very relatable. I think with ‘Known Better’, it’s easy to assume that the song is based on a relationship; but it was more about a time of my life where I got into a bit of a rut. And looking back on that period, it was the support I had from people around me that made me realise I wasn’t in a good place; and I was able to get through it because of those people.

How does your song-writing process work?

I love to collaborate with producers because they can help me take my sound to another level. My influences are quite broad, I grew up listening to Jamiroquai. The ‘Space Cowboy’ album was the one for me. And then the Arctic Monkeys AM album came out, and I loved that. I also love where they have evolved with their latest album.

When did you first get into music?

I used to sing in the choir when I was at school, which is quite funny. But it wasn’t until I was 18 that I started to sit down and write. I bought a guitar and started to learn from YouTube.

What’s next for you?

I’ll be releasing my debut EP soon. I wanted the EP to have a flow to it, but I also wanted to experiment a little. There’s a ballad number on there which will be coming out soon. Then there’s a more uptempo track, where I wanted to explore the Jamiroquai influence.

Do you have a favourite festival memory?

I went to Bestival a couple of years ago and Prince was booked to play, but of course unfortunately he passed away that year – but they still played a tribute and it was very special. ‘Purple Rain’ was a moment.

Favourite festival snack?

Pizza. Always pizza.