Frederick just didn’t embody the persona he was after. It had to be something shorter, something cooler, something just a little more attention grabbing. So in an attempt to craft the perfect stage name, he decided to use Freddie, a nickname he had acquired growing up. But just calling himself Freddie still wasn’t enough. There was still another element missing, which led to him to look elsewhere for inspiration. Being that he was inspired by Big Sean, who at the time was his favorite rapper, he decided to search through his book of bigtionary, a dictionary of Detroit slang, and stopped on the word Foolay. In Detroit slang, Foolay is synonymous for anything that’s considered dope. It was at that moment that he knew he had found the missing puzzle piece. Thus at the young age of 14, Freddie Foolay was created.
Since then, he’s been on an artistic wave. From creating the company Live Out Ur Dreams, which serves as a record company and brand, to putting in the hours necessary for the release of his highly anticipated EP Will of Fortune, he’s been keeping busy. But if you let him tell it, his schedule has always been jam-packed. Perhaps, not long after he could articulate his first ever clear sentence, music has played an active role in his life. In an interview I had with him, via email, Foolay says, “I started performing when I was 3. My mom Joe Jacksoned two of my sisters and I; we had a group called DVC and I sang lead. I grew up listening to soul and R&B, I loved Motown. I started playing music in 3 grade and that lead me to attend the high school for Creative and Performing Arts and eventually to becoming a musician. For me, that’s where what I’m doing with my life now began. In that place and with that decision. I’d been accepted to some of the best high schools in Philly so the choice to go to CAPA to focus on music was pivotal.” And pivotal it was.
Over a period of six months, Foolay has been able to meticulously blend things like his overactive imagination and his experience at CAPA to deliver to his fans Will of Fortune. His music is his real life, and he’s poured a lot of himself into this project, in hopes it’ll be perceived the right way. This project is for the “creatives, hustlers, young people of color. My community my people. When they hear my music I want them to take my energy with them. Authentic energy. Everything in my music is my real life. Specifically on Will of Fortune I want them to understand that I'm not here to blend in. I’m a capable artist, writer, producer, musician and businessman and my ambition is to change things. I want them to feel like they can get behind someone like me because I’m gonna lead and set the bar,” he says. I haven’t heard the EP yet, but considering those who’ve served as an inspiration to his music like Hov, Ray Charles, and Frank Ocean, I expect it’ll be a composition of treats.
For the latest on what more Freddie Foolay had to say about his music, check out the rest of his interview below.
HYPEFRESH: What genre do you consider your music to fall under?
FREDDIE FOOLAY: What most ppl hear from me and identify right now is Hip Hop or rap but, what I'm actually doing is understanding, relating, and relaying what I learn on record. However that comes out is what you get. That might sound cliché but that’s what it is I don’t like to box myself.
HYPEFRESH: What qualities do you believe make an artist truly great? How do you adopt these philosophies to your lifestyle?
FREDDIE FOOLAY: Knowing and Studying what great artists come before you and finding what’s missing in the current climate of your artistic field and bringing that to the table. It takes dedication, consistent evolution, a desire to change, and willingness to be uncomfortable. You have to really know yourself and put yourself in a position to give all of who you are with no filter. I think that one is most important at least in ty journey right now so I’m just working on ways to shed my layers and be my raw self. it takes total transparency.
HYPEFRESH: Can you walk me through a typical day/night in the studio?
FREDDIE FOOLAY: I always try to go in with an idea in mind. normally I’m recording myself. I don’t normally work unless I’m inspired to. If I’m in project mode, I will lock in on my own or with beat makers and produce as many ideas as possible. sometimes I just sit and listen to them make beats. If I hear something i speak, give direction as best as I can or play it myself. It all depends. I’m normally in my home recording studio. It’s in my basement and in the winter it gets so cold that you have to wear a coat; I sometimes work until my toes go numb. For Will of fortune I did a minimum of 4 hour mixing sessions with my engineer per song, after each was done getting recorded. I blast demos throughout my crib so I can live in the music even when I’m not “in the studio”.
HYPEFRESH: In what ways does this new project contribute to your growth as an artist?
FREDDIE FOOLAY: This project taught me so much because I felt like I had so much to prove while making it. I had just formed my record company and I was hell bent on getting the project out and shitting on everyone that turned their back on me. I lost all of my closest friends at the time and I was in the worst space in my love life all because I started my record label on my own so, I was in a lot of pain throughout the process of getting the project together. It was probably the hardest time of my life. I just wanted to get a project out and I neglected so much of my process that I now know I should have cherished. Granted, I came out with some decent records but, I know that If I had focused on the music and not given a fuck about the negatives It would have been that much greater of an experience. I’m proud of the EP but, I was stressed while making it. On my future projects I plan to be more centered and to enjoy the process.
HYPEFRESH: Sometimes we fail to acknowledge ourselves as role models. What’s some authentic advice that you would share with someone following in your footsteps?
FREDDIE FOOLAY: Do not let winning, being successful, perfectionism or your desire to be the greatest stop you from being happy and having a good time. Don’t be too uptight, you’re allowed to wile out. Enjoy yourself as much as you can, be selective with the people you surround yourself by and allow yourself the privilege of love and great relationships. The memories with the people that are important to you make the personal accolades that much sweeter
For more on what this Philly artist has to bring, here’s his soundcloud link. https://soundcloud.com/freddiefoolay