Up Close With Frank Freeman in Bloem

Frank Freeman in Bloemfontein:

Frank Freeman just got back from Dubai with Van Coke Kartel and I got hold of him in the buzzing metropolis of Bloemfontein before his gig tonight. Figured we could have a chat about some stuff from boxing to music!

Richard Chemaly (RC): Welcome back to South Africa. Tell us how the Van Coke tour up to Dubai went.

Frank Freeman (FF): The Francois van Coke tour to Dubai was cool man. It felt like playing in Pretoria in the middle east with all of the South Africans there. It was a good time. And ridiculously hot. It was my first 2 man tour with Francois as well. I got to play a bunch of Fokof songs with him which was a bonus.

RC: You’ve recently dropped your first major Afrikaans project. How did you come about and coming from Bloemfontein, what does it mean to you?

FF: I’ve focused on working with other artists as a musician for the past few years and when I decided to release something of my own again I immediately thought of doing it in my home language which is Afrikaans. I feel there’s room for some fresh in Afrikaans music and there’s an audience for it. In a way, it’s my contribution to my culture as well. People can expect a variety of music from me, but for now, I’ve got Afrikaans music at the top of my to-do list.

RC: With your extensive touring and performing, what makes a great show for you?

FF: A great show for me as far as music goes, gives me something to feel and something to think about. It’s entertainment yes, but it’s also art. At least that’s the ideal.

RC: We’ve heard you’ve taken up boxing. Has your music become more violent as a result?

Photo Credit: Jaco “Snakehead” Venter

FF: *laughs* Yes I fell in love with the sport of boxing man. I love it. It hasn’t really changed the music though no. My first new single is more of a ballad, but there are some bangers coming soon.

RC: Once I had a request and you shouted back, “I’m not a jukebox”. How often do you prep your comebacks and must you rehearse them as much as your music?

FF: My comebacks are mostly stolen from somewhere, but I have my moments. When it comes to request I maintain that policy. You don’t tell a stand-up comedian what jokes to tell. I’m busy with a show here. Of course, I don’t really mind it that much unless they’re requesting a David Guerra song or some shit. That doesn’t fly.

RC: Speaking of rehearsal, as a solo artist, what do you do to maintain the discipline to rehearse?

FF: It’s interesting coming from the session musician background. Prepping your own show is a lot different than playing someone else’s. But I love it. This new show is very much in the beginning phase, but I’m excited to see where it goes. It’s going to be one of the coolest Afrikaans live shows out there very soon.

RC: Looking forward to that and your gig tonight. Check you there!

FF: Lekker. Thanks for having me. See you at the gig.