Miss Freddye: Lady Of The Blues Goes Gospel
As Pittsburgh’s “Lady Of The Blues,” Miss Freddye keeps the blues alive in her hometown. Miss Freddye began singing in church at a young age. The influences of church and her mother’s love of blues music, gave Miss Freddye the foundation to venture in the world of blues music in 1996. She joined BMW (Blues Music Works) under the direction Of “Big” Al Leavitt.
In 2002, Miss Freddye went on to form Blue Faze and several years later, Miss Freddye started two bands, Miss Freddye’s Blues Band (electric blues) and Miss Freddye’s Homecookin Band, (acoustic blues, classic rock, gospel.) Miss Freddye’s influences include Koko Taylor, Etta James, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, Big Mama Thornton, Bessie Smith, and “Big” Al Leavitt.
HELLO MISS FREDDYE, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US! WHAT DREW YOU TO THE MUSIC INDUSTRY?
It started when I joined my first ever band. It was a blues band. My mentor, who was also the bandleader, kept encouraging me to keep going. It never said it be easy, but, if I truly embrace it, it will become easy.
WHO ARE YOU INSPIRED BY?
“Big Al” Leavitt was my inspiration. My mentor, who guided me. He talked of his days when he traveled the US- he had many stories. I was so intrigued by his stories, they were inspiring, giving self-worth and purpose.
Then, I started listening to Koko Taylor. She commanded the stage, the studio. She believed in what she did. To me, that is inspiring.
PLEASE EXPLAIN YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS
Music I listen to, conversations are how I get started. I take that and develop a theme. I make sure I have all the ideas, the thoughts written down. I use my knack for writing poetry, and the creativity of an original song begins.
WHAT’S AN AVERAGE DAY FOR YOU LIKE?
I work five days a week as a nurse, in the out-patient setting. Ninety percent of my job is on the telephone. I take public transportation. Sometimes, I can get ideas just from all alks of life. As a mom, once I am home, I set aside time for my family. Then, I take some time to go over any music I woud need to go over.
I talk, text, or email family and friends.
That’s my day, on average.
IS THERE A HIDDEN MEANING IN ANY OF YOUR MUSIC?
There is. I choose songs that people can relate to. Each time after a performance, someone comes up to me and tell me how the music I do, they can relate to or they can feel the passion, the fire.
DO YOU COLLABORATE WITH OTHERS? WHAT IS THE PROCESS?
I do collaborate. A lot of my songs have been written by other musicians who “get me”. They hear how I sing, and they fit the originals they have for me.
PLEASE DISCUSS HOW YOU INTERACT WITH AND RESPOND TO FANS
I relate to my fans with life experiences and how I have dealt with them. some fans tell me of their life experiences. I take those experiences, find the songs that fit with them. This could be an original or cover songs.
I can not get every single fan, but, I make sure I hear everyone I come in contact with and listen, not just hearing them.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THIS LINE? YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
My favorite part of this is interacting with other musicians, fans. It makes it all worthwhile. The reaction and actions are always positive for me.
My least favorite is not being able to perform live, since the pandemic started. I love the vibe of musicians and the fans. It is the action that gives a great reaction.
HAVE YOU DEALT WITH PERFORMANCE ANXIETY?
Yes, I have! I still have stage fright, but not like I did when I first started performing. I say to myself, it is not about me, it’s about the audience who came out to hear the music I do, to have a place to feel good, to interact, to feel like they are part of.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE PERFORMANCE VENUES
I have a lot of fav venues! I love La Casa Narcisi Winery, Moondogs(I did both of my CD release parties at Moondogs), Elwoods Pub, it’s so intimate, The Blind Pig, Steamworks Creative, it too has that listening room intimacy. There was a place in Elkins, WV called the Jabberwock, which has been closed down a few years now.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE FOR SOMEONE WANTING TO FOLLOW IN YOUR FOOTSTEPS?
Make sure this is what you want to do. surround yourself with musicians that have the chemistry, the same ideas. stay true to yourself, don’t give up so easily. It won’t be easy, but remember, it’s your passion and your life drive. Stay with it. and…..if you’re like me……PRAY!