With its historical routes in Dance Music, Sheffield UK has once again been in the spotlight thanks to Lee Freeman. Bringing massive calibre acts such as Jamie Jones & Alan Fitzpatrick to the Northern City, we caught up with Lee for a chat to enlighten us on his journey so far. As you can see from the passion and energy in his answers, it’s clear to see why his nights are such a success and it was a pleasure speaking with him.
Hi Lee, firstly, thanks for taking the time to catch up with us, I know you’re a busy man! How are you and how have you found the last 18 months?
Not at all, thank you for taking the time to speak to me. Obviously it’s been tough but believe it or not, I really want to embrace the last 18 months & pull positives from it.
I feel lockdown has been great for many reasons, specifically in the music industry despite the financial losses as it’s allowed people to take much needed time out to reconnect with their families & reconnect musically. Some of the best new music I’ve heard has been created in lockdown.
Personally for me it’s been about focusing on what I can control & what I can do, rather than panicking or stressing about things that are outside of my control.
You’ve had massive success promoting and putting on events, as well as producing your own music and launching a label. What’s your favourite aspect of what you do and why?
It purely comes down to making people happy & making them smile; be it as a promoter, a DJ or a producer. For me, it’s an absolute privilege & a pleasure to make people happy through music and something I will always be truly grateful for.
Tell us a little bit about the journey over the last year or so? What have you been doing with the events coming to a standstill and how have you kept motivated?
As I said previously, I’ve focused on what I can control. We’ve been sharing music through podcasts & doing daily live streams to try and help people’s mental health through the positive power of music. I’ve also relaunched my solo career as Lee Freeman as well as launching my own label called ‘Find Yourself’ which has been my driving force throughout lockdown.
I’m also owner of a fitness, nutrition & mindset coaching brand, ‘Freeman Fitness’ whereby I use daily coaching to help people get in the best mental & physical shape of their lives. I always start my daily live coaching sessions with music to empower & fire clients up for the day ahead, there really is no greater way to spark joy than through music.
As events have started to open back up, you’ve booked some huge acts, including Jamie Jones. Tell us a little bit about the project and how it came about?
We’ve been attempting to book Jamie for quite some time, however with artists of that level, overseas gigs & festivals always seem to take priority. On this occasion however, we reached out & were lucky to drop on & get Jamie to play a unique & intimate gig, allowing Jamie’s fans to see him in a way they won’t have done before.
The scene is going through a really difficult stage in its life cycle at present. What are you doing to stay mentally upbeat and positive in your day to day?
The thing that I find helps me most with this is creating positive daily habits & routines. I firmly believe whatever we focus on we get more of so you can either water the flowers or the weeds! Either way more of water you water will grow. Every morning i walk for an hour as soon as the sun is up and listen to some personal development learning. Mental health needs physical support, i also eat a very healthy diet, stay hydrated and don’t drink. I never watch the news, read papers or spend more than 2 hours per day on my phone. Mind or Body if you put garbage in you get garbage out!
Outside of music, what do you like to do to relax?
I’m very much a person who finds it really difficult to relax and contrary to popular belief I actually find I’m happiest when busy, however outside of the daily grind, fun things I like to do include spending time with my fiancé Nat & 3 year old son Logan, coaching people on fitness, nutrition & mindset & going carp fishing!
Your event ‘Muzik’ and your new brand and label ‘Find Yourself’ has had huge success lately and your music has landed in some big playlists on Spotify, what’s next for you and your brands and where do you go from here?
My goal with both brands is very simply to continue bringing artists of a world class level to Code Warehouse in Sheffield & to continue putting a smile on peoples faces & connecting people through music.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists right now?
Always be true to what’s in your heart musically & in whatever you do, don’t keep adjusting your style, song choice or production to try & fit in with what you believe is popular & will advance your career the fastest. Stop giving a f**k about what other dj’s think too or worrying about your style, if you’re looking for validation from others you are already halfway to failing as that will hold you back from doing what’s in your heart. Don’t be afraid to change everything and start over, it’s better to be at the bottom of the right ladder than the top of the wrong one!
Lastly, anything else you are excited to share with us?
Yes absolutely! I have just confirmed one of, if not, the biggest artist in the world to ever play at in Sheffield at Code Warehouse, however, I haven’t signed the contract yet, so that story will have to wait for another day, watch this space…
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