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Freya Ridings

If one had thought ADELE and FLORENCE (+ The Machine) had cornered the plaintive Brit-ballad market, then fellow London-born singer-songwriter/pianist FREYA RIDINGS proved this rationale to be way off the mark. And a favourite with Smooth Radio, English rose Freya was a long-held secret until she soared into the Top 10 with `Lost Without You’, in summer 2018; the song’s exposure on reality TV show Love Island helped win her a whole new audience.
Previously, only very limited-editions of unofficial concert sets, “Live At St Pancras Old Church” (2017) and “Live At Omeara” (2018), had surfaced from Good Soldier Records for promotional purposes while she toured support to TEARS FOR FEARS, TASH SULTANA and LEWIS CAPALDI. Many of these impressive, incandescent tracks – but not her version of YEAH YEAH YEAHS’ `Maps’ – were duly converted into studio equivalents for release in the summer of 2019 when her eponymous FREYA RIDINGS {*7} set hit Top 3 status, by which time she’d amassed another major hit in `Castles’. Only in austere America had the Capitol Records-endorsed album been ignored, but maybe that was a temporary situation. As it turned out, the gifted star-in-the-making explored themes of self-doubt, regret and vulnerability as she unleashed her vibrato vocals on non-singles (so far) such as `Poison’ (think RADIOHEAD), `Love Is Fire’, `Unconditional’, and a long-overdue version of her debut download from May 2017, `Blackout’.
It was a long way from her roots (born 19 April 1994) as Palmers Green, north London lass, where she was raised by her mother Cathy-Jansen-Ridings and her actor/musician father Richard Ridings; trivia tells us he was the voice of “Daddy Pig” for the short film of Peppa Pig: The Golden Boots. From leaving school in Letchworth to attending the BRIT School in Croydon, and then on to working with Irish singer-songwriter Gavin James, Freya, it seemed, had made all the right moves in her path to glory.
© MC Strong/MCS Aug2019

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