Miss Freddye has been a mainstay in the Pittsburgh music scene for over two decades, keeping the blues alive with her dynamic performances and heartfelt music. She started singing in church as a child and was heavily influenced by her mother’s love for the blues. Miss Freddye’s influences include Koko Taylor, Etta James, Sarah Vaughn, and Big Mama Thornton, just to name a few.
Throughout her career, Miss Freddye has received numerous awards and nominations, including the 2016 Pittsburgh Music Awards for Best Blues Band and the 2018 Blues FoundationAwards, for Best Emerging Artist Album and the Koko Taylor Award for Traditional Blues Female. She has also won various local and regional blues competitions, including the 2008 West Virginia Blues Society for Best Blues Band and the 2012 Blues Society of Western PA for Best Duo/Solo.
Aside from her music, Miss Freddye is also dedicated to giving back to her community through annual charity work. She has performed at events for organizations such as the American Cancer Society, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and veteran support groups.
Miss Freddye recently released her new single, “Let It Burn,” and she was gracious enough to answer a few questions in this exclusive…
- Can you tell us a little bit about your new single, “Let It Burn,” and what inspired you to record it?
First let me say…..”I absolutely love this song!”. It written by my good friend and musican, Jesse Landers. Jesse was doing a zoom interview on me. We got to talking about music in general. He said he had a song he wrote. Asked me to listen to it. Well the first note, I knew I wanted to sing it! It is such a haunting love song! I asked him if I could sing live during my shows. Of course he said ok!! I told my bandmates I want to put our spin on it. Well, here we are, a torch love song, done my way!
- What do you hope listeners take away from your music?
I hope they will get a sense of what the song means. So far, audiences love that song! I heard some fans have said it is the perfect make up song! That’s is what people should get out of it, love, a sense of a song speaking for them when they don’t have the right words!
- You’ve been a mainstay in the Pittsburgh music scene for over two decades. How do you stay connected to your roots and keep the blues alive in your performances?
Blues Music has been apart of me since I was a child. It’s where I come from. I continue to listen to other artists who still sing/play blues music. That is important for me. The audiences I perform for love the blues. I tell stories with ¼ of the songs I sing. I tell audiences blues is what I know, what I feel. The audiences can feel it too!
- What has been the most challenging aspect of being a blues singer and how have you overcome it?
The biggest challenge was and still is my stagefright. As much I love to sing for audiences, I could not overcome the stagefright! A little over 10 years ago, I decided to overcome the stagefright. I adopted the motto, “What I do is not mine to keep!” I have to remember audiences are into what I sing and how I present it.
- Who are some of your biggest musical influences and how have they shaped your sound?
I have many influences. Koko Taylor, Billie Holiday, Big Mama Thornton, Etta James, Sarah Vaughn, and Bessie Smith. Each one had their own style of commanding the stage and the audiences. I still continue to watch videos of their singing, the way the bands follow them musically, and how they each deliver the songs they sing. I like delivering the songs I sing as classy, sassy, to the heart of matters, and add some storytelling to it all.
- Can you share a memorable moment or experience from your career as a blues singer?
I have alot of memorable moments. The one that stands out the most is my performances at our local Children’s Hospital. I love the way children light up and participate. I have seen the look on the parents faces when they see their children change!
- In addition to your music, you also dedicate time to charity work. Can you tell us about a cause that is particularly close to your heart?
The charity that is near and dear to my heart is Pink Day. It is annual event held in Leechburg, PA. This charity event raises money and awareness for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and being a breast cancer survivor twice and work as a surgical oncology nurse.
- You have won numerous awards and accolades for your music. How do you stay motivated and continue to push yourself as an artist?
I constantly remind myself that “what I do is not mine to keep!”
My fans are always motivating me to keep going, give them more music. That is motivation at its finest!
- What can fans expect from your upcoming projects and performances?
They can expect more original songs. I am currently in the studio working on 2 more singles and a roots/blues album.
My performances will be more engaging, more thought provoking.
- And finally, do you have any advice for aspiring blues singers or musicians trying to make a name for themselves in the music industry?
Absolutely surround yourself with musicians who share the same passion as you do. Keep building up on your craft. Most of all stay true to yourself! Also, never stop producing music. Learn to play an instrument or 2.