FreeSol exclusive interview

FreeSol
FreeSol is a hip-hop/rock/soulband from Memphis, Tennessee. Shortly after seeing FreeSol perform at a jazz cafe in their hometown, Justin Timberlake signed them to his label Tennman Records. They’ve since signed a major deal with Interscope Records and are now set to release their debut album, ‘No Rules’. Read the exclusive interview on BandWeblogs.com.

FreeSol

FreeSol is a hip-hop/rock/soulband from Memphis, Tennessee. They’ve been together since 2003, playing the live band scene and winning competitions – like the Mid-South Grammy Showcase, Turner South’s My South Rocks competition, The Rock Boat’s Grand Championship show and the BMI Urban Music Showcase.

Shortly after seeing FreeSol perform at a jazz cafe in their hometown, Justin Timberlake signed them to his label Tennman Records. They’ve since signed a major deal with Interscope Records and are now set to release their debut album, No Rules. Producers involved include Cool & Dre (Lil’ Wayne, The Game), Jim Jonsin (Beyonce, Pitbull), Mike Elizondo (Dr. Dre, Eminem), Dave Tozer (Jay-Z, Kanye West), Rob Knox (T.I., Chris Brown), Justin Timberlake and Timbaland.

Members:
Free – Vocals/Lyricist
Premo D’Anger – Keyboards
Kickman Teddy – Drums
Elliott aka E Ives – Guitar/Vocals
Charlie White – DJ

I was interested to know more about the band. I’m looking forward to hearing their new album – from what I’ve heard online, this band rocks.

Exclusive: FreeSol interview onĀ BandWeblogs.com.

Jenny May: How did the band members meet to become FreeSol?

Free: I’ve always been FreeSol. Free was a nickname that stuck with me during my religious days and shortly after I added the Sol (spanish meaning the sun). When I met Teddy, our drummer, in a restaurant in Memphis, TN he immediately introduced me to Premo (the keys & bass). We quickly bonded because we shared the same dream, which was to start a hip hop band. A few months later we met Elliott working in a studio we were thinking about using. After a few other guitar players didn’t work, I called Elliott and the rest is history. Mouse (DJ Charlie White), the youngest and the newest member joined us two years ago after we met and signed with Justin Timberlake.

Did entering into and playing competitions help you as a band? Would you recommend them to other bands?

One of the first gigs we had as a band was a competition called battle of the bands created by a local radio station. We came in 1st place out of thousands of bands which gave us a strong feeling of destiny, at the very beginning. After that we were in 5 other competitions around the country and won all of those too! I always wonder if we hadn’t competed with other bands would we have believed in ourselves through the unexpected but incredibly difficult times ahead. I think all bands or artists should challenge themselves to compete with other bands and artist for two reasons: one, to know where you stand with your peers and Two, to build confidence and a bond between your band members like an athletic team in any sport. When you can step up and perform against the pressure TOGETHER then not only will the friendship get tighter but so will the music and performances.

You’ve been together since 2003. You must have quite a dedicated fanbase in Memphis. How have your longtime fans reacted to your continued success as a band, which includes playing festivals and shows around the country and signing to Justin Timberlake’s label, Tennman Records?

Man, our true fans have been increasingly excited as well as frustrated, along with us in the climb, fall, wait and climb journey we’ve been on these last 8, almost 9 years. We were forced to come off the road for two in a half years, for several reasons, which really hurt us with fans and finances. We finally found a sound in the studio that we and Tennman liked a couple of years ago and then after putting together some tunes began to hit the road again. I would say, its been difficult because when we stopped touring we were building a strong fan base but out of sight out of mind. It’s like we had to start all over. Now, it feels like we are building not only fans at home but around the world. I think, our dedicated fans are stoked to see us finally about to get our shot and our new fans are steadily growing and passionately supporting our new success.

How has Justin Timberlake’s involvement impacted the band?

Justin has been like a guru for us. At first it was difficult to make both the “boss” and ourselves happy. But one night in Miami, we all participated on a song called “Fast Car” and everything clicked. After that night, we all knew what sound FreeSol needed and our purpose became clear. JT has overseen the whole project. Some songs we completed and then he would add a few things that would take it up 10 notches, just like that. Others he contributed from the beginning. He is such a talented performer and song writer that it was easy to listen to him or follow his lead. Basically, it was like an 18 month class on music writing/production from arguably the biggest pop star of our generation.

Since signing to a major label, how have things changed?

Man, I wouldn’t say many things have changed. The one major change is just the excitement level, I guess. You know millions of people dream of being signed to a major label like Interscope or to have someone like Justin Timberlake or Jimmy Iovine know your name and we achieved that. Many signed bands dream of a release that never happens but we are moments away from achieving that. Sometimes it just feels good to know I had a dream and followed it no matter what anyone said or did to stop me.

What was it like working with Timbaland? How many tracks did he produce on your debut album?

At this point, I haven’t actually “worked” with Timbaland. Justin had some songs Timbaland produced that were concepts but incomplete ideas. I immediately fell in love with them, probably cause they were Tim’s and it’s a dream to be in the lab with him, and we finished writing and then recorded three of the ideas. Now, I’m scheduled to actually work with the Master himself in August to revisit those ideas, hopefully in time to make the record release!

It must have been interesting working with a variety of producers on the album – did you record in many different locations? If so, where? How was it adjusting to each producer’s individual style when recording?

Man, we’ve been in studios from NYC, Philly (The Studio), Miami (Hit Factory), Atlanta, Memphis, Nashville, Austin, to Los Angeles (Jim Henson studios, Boom Boom room). We’ve met and worked with so many different producers with different styles. Honestly, it can be nerve-wracking at times. Everyone is different and sometimes it takes a while to make it click and sometimes it just doesn’t work. Sometimes you click immediately. For instance, I like to smoke weed when I work, as a matter of fact, it’s a must. So, if the producer doesn’t smoke weed or like to be around it then you know it’s probably going to be a difficult session. Not impossible, cause we’ve had some of those, but difficult.

Who have been some of your influences, music or otherwise?

Individually, I love Prince, 2Pac, Kanye West, Michael Jackson, U2, 30 Seconds To Mars, Big Sean, Rick Ross, Miles Davis, Sade, and so on! As a band, we all dig Outkast, Coldplay, Foo Fighters, and many more diverse bands and artists.

What makes for a great show for you? What do you want your fans to ‘take away with them’ after seeing you play?

A great show is fused with originality, intelligence, style, passion, and talent. I love when people perform and get into it. You can see them living each word or note, helping the audience believe and feel what they are playing. Swag is cool but it takes more than Swag to have a good show. You have to be committed! When people see us play I want them to walk away saying those motherf**kers are talented as hell and love what they do!

Your YouTube Channel has some short video clips – you guys are good on camera. Lovin’ the The K-Mart video. Have you started shooting music videos yet for your new album?

We have actually shot two videos, “Hoodies On, Hats Low”, and “Role Model”. Two songs that will be on the LP, No Rules. Both were directed by Justin Timberlake. I’m pretty excited about both of them. I think JT is going to blow people away with his directorial debut!

Who are five artists/bands that you’re listening to now, that you would recommend to a friend?

I gave you my list of my fav bands earlier but I’m probably playing Kanye, Pusha T, Big Sean, Rick Ross, Adele, and some old TuPac more then anything else in my car and Ipod.

Good questions.

Thanks!

Buy CDs, MP3s, more: FreeSol on Amazon.com

For information about the new release, tour dates, music and more, go to:

FreeSol Official Website
FreeSol Twitter
FreeSol YouTube

By: Jenny May

Rihanna – “Rehab” – featuring Justin Timberlake, Timbaland review + watch video

Rihanna - Rehab

Rihanna’s “Rehab”, featuring Justin Timberlake and Timbaland, is a pretty cool track, that lately, I can’t seem to get out of my head. The first time that I heard it was on digital radio…and the first thing that came to mind was “this sounds like a Timberlake/Timbaland production” …

Rihanna - Rehab

Rihanna’s “Rehab”, featuring Justin Timberlake and Timbaland, is a pretty cool track, that lately, I can’t seem to get out of my head.

The first time that I heard it was on digital radio…and the first thing that came to mind was “this sounds like a Timberlake/Timbaland production”. Sure enough, the DJ came on and announced that is was. “Rehab” was written by Justin Timberlake, Timbaland and Hannon Lane, with Timberlake and Timbaland contributing backing vocals.

At times, the lyrics in the verses, believe it or not, are quite challenging to sing along to – they’re very rhythmic and the vocal placement is unexpected, which I like a lot.

Watch “Rehab” video:

The sexy video that goes along with the single stars Rihanna and Justin Timberlake.

Continue reading “Rihanna – “Rehab” – featuring Justin Timberlake, Timbaland review + watch video”

Justin Timberlake FutureSex/LoveShow review

Justin Timberlake

For some, it’s not cool to like Justin Timberlake. For others, he’s the one. The Prince of Pop. The ‘it’ guy. The more singles that Justin Timberlake releases, the more he’s growing on me. His voice, the harmonies, the feel of the mix and the production on his songs are quality …

Justin Timberlake

For some, it’s not cool to like Justin Timberlake. For others, he’s the one. The Prince of Pop. The ‘it’ guy.

The more singles that Justin Timberlake releases, the more he’s growing on me. His voice, the harmonies, the feel of the mix and the production on his songs are quality. When I first heard “Cry Me A River” I thought, “What is this?” It’s got to be one of the best pop songs that I’ve heard so far in the 21st century.

Also, people want to work with him. His collaborations with other singers, producers and musicians confirms to me that there is ‘something there’ when it comes to not only his music, but his character as well. Established names in the music industry like 50 Cent, Missy Elliott, Beyonce, Nelly Furtado, Timbaland, Rick Rubin, Reba McEntire, Duran Duran and Snoop Dog are just a few of the names that he’s already worked with.

On November 25th, 2007 Channel 4 in England aired FutureSex/LoveShow, Justin Timberlake’s August 2007 concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City. I just happened to turn on the TV just a few minutes into the 2-hour show. I didn’t plan on watching the whole thing, but that’s what I ended up doing.

I can’t recall ever seeing live footage of a Justin Timberlake concert like the FutureSex/LoveShow before. I was impressed. The concert came across as a great party atmosphere that included a spectacular light show with songs from the ‘FutureSex/LoveSounds’ album and more. The dancers were fun to watch – dressed in casual clothes most of the time – with the exception of the strippers/dancers for one of the songs!

At times Justin would dance on his own, which takes some nerve and a lot of confidence. The backup singers sounded and looked good. Timbaland made a guest appearance and for some songs, Justin played the piano/keyboard. His voice sounded great when he was dancing and he seems to be at the top of his game.

The word Future in both the title of his show and his album seems appropriate. With all that he’s done so far, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for Justin Timberlake. It seems for him, the sky is the limit.

The FutureSex/LoveShow that aired on TV didn’t include all that is available on the DVD that has just been released. It mainly showed the live performances with just some backstage footage.

Here’s a track listing that I found for the Australian DVD release…not sure if this is the same track listing for the US and UK release:

(Unconfirmed Track Listing)

Disk 1
1. DVD1: Opening Conversation
2. FutureSex/LoveSounds
3. Like I Love You
4. My Love
5. Senorita
6. Sexy Ladies
7. Until The End Of Time
8. What Goes Around…/…COMES Around
9. Chop Me Up
10. Intermission – Jt & Timbaland
11. Rock Your Body
12. Gone
13. Take It From Here
14. Last Night
15. Damn Girl
16. Summer Love
17. Losing My Way
18. Cry Me A River
19. Lovestoned / I Think She Knows
20. Sexyback
21. (Another Song) All Over Again
22. Goodnights & Credits

Disk 2
1. DVD2: 1 On 1 With Jt
2. The Making Of FutureSex/LoveShow
3. Open Mic
4. Under The Stage
5. Lovestoned/I Think She Knows (Justice Remix)

Futuresex/Loveshow – Live from Madison Square Garden DVD on amazon.com

FutureSex/LoveShow DVD on amazon.co.uk

For more information go to:

Justin Timberlake Official Website

By: Jenny May – Band Weblogs