Freak Daddy is not here to be docile or demure despite what they may have been taught. The unveiling of their fresh music video is a clear indication that this electro indie newcomer will have an impactful career ahead. "Confetti” masquerades as a cabaret, a camp of dazzling domestication with precise timing by FD, whose charisma is on par with their strong songwriting skills. Hyper masculinity and femininity tense thru powerplay, providers in a plot of playing house, sizzling with psychosis. “Confetti” seems to comment on how hard-wired hetero cookie cutter roles are handfed to our assumed genders and the poison it creates in our interactions, how we relate and treat each other, and how we battle the genders within ourselves, all at once.
As the first release under the moniker, though active spanning many years prior, FD has had a close relationship with music since a young age, as one can easily ascertain from the slick and solid structure of the debut. Involved with a completely different community than the collective they thrive authentically and unapologetically within today, a huge wave of change revolutionized their life once they began to speak their truth. “After trying to come out since I was 18 years old, I decided that posting on Facebook would be the best way to rip the bandaid off to my conservative family and friends,” FD recalls. “Did I mention I also renounced Christianity in the same post? Spoiler alert: it was not well received.”
As a genderfluid Nashvillian whose sound can be described as a mixture of industrial and EDM with a touch of hip hop, you would be surprised to connect the same person to traditional religion. Unfortunately for many queer people, sex-positive feminists or even those simply embracing alternate spirituality in the Southeast, FD’s story is a common struggle for many. Their YouTube channel sheds light on these experiences, speaking with equal parts strength and vulnerability in an apt expression of the trauma the Church brought about. Accounts of “deconversion”, non-binary identity and shadow work are in many ways acts of activism. “The goal of my art, whether it's music, my paintings, or the motivational videos I post on Instagram, is to create a safe space for people to fall back in love with themselves,” FD explains. Raised in Birmingham, AL, their only support systems as a child hinged on a strict upbringing that discouraged self-exploration.
“Being different was not something my hometown celebrated and despite getting a development deal and moving to Nashville at age 15, the liberal nature of a music city was overridden by the Christian music world I was initially immersed in,” FD laments. “I spent years under the weight of purity culture (shame culture) hiding my body because I was made to believe my sexuality was dangerous. I also, in turn, hid my creative nature out of fear that it too would be deemed 'too much' or subversive.” FD swore off music when they lost their development deal at 17, sick of feeling like a disposable engine for profit by a vampiric industry of capitalists who prey off talent. They soon got back into the mode of teaching themself how to produce, spending late hours building beats, slowly actualizing a self-sufficient musical project.
Then, sometime last year, at 4am on their brother’s air mattress in San Diego, CA, an update to their IG handle as well as distancing from their dead name, a simple but liberating act, carved out a clear path to freedom: “I made the choice to stop hiding my true self out of fear. I started dressing more flamboyantly and felt so incredibly happy to be creatively expressing without self-judgment. The announcement of my gender identity had a domino effect bringing like-minded friends and artists into my life that opened doors and created a safe space for me to share the music I had been making in secret for years, something many people didn't know about me or had simply forgotten.”
Nashville is by no means as queer accessible as larger cities, but a small group of folx have been working to create and support the few and far between queer spaces. “The queer community in Nashville is still very disconnected and I want to work to help change that in any way I can. I have thought about moving to bigger cities over the years but I feel like there is an opportunity here for queers to make an impact on the community in a big way,” FD says of their city. Their show series HIVEMIND is working to be a welcomed safe space for queers and allies and the FDC (Freak Daddy Cult) dress to the nines basking in the kindredship of these electric environments. Mixers like Pronoun Party, dance night BitchFit and FEMME mag seem to signal a growth for queer Nashville.
“Confetti” is a testimonial to challenging the roots of brainwashing and a brilliant display of a bright beginning for this thoughtful exuberant artist. “Releasing ‘Confetti’ was an act of radical self-love. I wanted to show what it was like inside my mind, the struggle between genders and the external societal narratives that shaped my understanding of myself,” FD explains. “I wanted to have a video that represented the non-binary struggle I felt but rarely ever see personified in art. I also wanted the chance to finally personally finance something and have complete creative control.” During Pride month, Freak Daddy’s vision for the production formed flawlessly in a one day shoot at Stormlight Pictures, directed by Logen Christopher. The cast and crew buzzed with enthusiasm and the final video has us wow-ed. We can’t wait to see what Freak Daddy does next, but in the meantime “Confetti” keeps us bopping with no signs of stopping.
Wardrobe: Andrea Kay
Creative Direction: Haley Noelle
MUA \ Hair \ Extra: Lauren Martinez
Choreographer \ Dancer: Jackson Thrive
Dancer: Kris Koon
Key Assistant: Ash Grier
Model \ Extra: Bliss
Model \ Extra: Taylor Jensen
Suits provided by: Eric Adler
Dress \ Accessories by: Molly Green