Recording artist Freddy Browne prepares to release new single and album that he hopes will put LIC on music map

Photo by Jenna Bagcal/QNS

Long Island City may be the next up-and-coming music hub, thanks to one man.

Freddy Browne, a recording artist, composer, producer and DJ from Long Island City, is coming out with a new single and album that he said is inspired by the Queens neighborhood. “Kiss the Sun” featuring vocalist YOBi is slated to come out July 6, and Browne said the entire album called “The LIC” will be released later in July 2018 under the music company SOON recordings/The Orchard/Sony Music.

“I realized that nobody has ever claimed Long Island City for music. People claimed Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens, Queensbridge, but nobody’s ever said Long Island City,” Browne said.

Prior to working on “The LIC” album, Browne said that he was working on a record called “OWTA,” which stood for “One World to Another.” He said that the concept of the album was to connect the world through music. Eventually, he realized that he wanted to go in a different direction with the entire project.

“Then it hit me like a ton of bricks; that’s why I came here. I realized when I moved here I didn’t know anybody, not a single person. And within three days, I was DJing at the Christmas party at the hottest restaurant in Long Island City here, SHI, and became friends with him [the owner] and everybody else in this neighborhood. So it was happening and everyone was supporting me, and the LIC thing just kinda came so strong to me,” he said.

“The LIC” will be Browne’s eighth album and second solo album since he began making music professionally in 2005. The artist said he writes the track beds using Reason by Propellerhead and then moves the track to Pro Tools for production and mixing.

Browne, whose real name is Rich Bennett, said he came up with his portmanteau by combining the name of his favorite athlete with one of his favorite funk musicians. Browne explained that Fred Brown, known as “Downtown Freddie Brown,” was a player for the now-defunct Seattle SuperSonics, and Jimmy Castor, a funk musician from the 1970s, was known for his album “E-Man Grooving.”

He shared that he befriended Castor after he spoke with him on the phone about how his music inspired him. He flew out to Nevada in 2005 and had dinner with Castor and his wife in their Las Vegas home.

“I took the ‘e’ from the E-Man, my friend Jimmy Castor who passed away, and I put the ‘e’ at the end of Brown so that he’s always with me everywhere I go and inspires me,” he said.

Browne’s first single from “The LIC” is entitled “Kiss the Sun,” with lyrics by his friend and vocalist YOBi. The two met while at a party in Long Island City for one of their mutual friends. Browne described YOBi as a “little sister” and said that their relationship comes from a “nurturing” place that is conducive to making music.

YOBi said that the lyrics of “Kiss the Sun” are about liking a guy and wanting to “hang out with him all night until the sun rises.” The single is produced by Browne in cooperation with YOBi’s vocal producer and composer Mario Abrams, who she cites as a “big part of the creative process.” “Kiss the Sun” features funk, R&B and hip-hop elements, combining the styles of Browne and YOBi into a carefree and fun track for the summer.

The singer, who likes to think of herself as “the underground voice of women” said that her lyrics come from a place of experience, but she also writes about things she wants to experience. She adds that she always wants her music to have some kind of meaning.

Browne said that the full “LIC” album is slated to come out in July 2018.

Story edited at 4:40 p.m. to reflect the change of the “Kiss the Sun” release date. A previous version of the story said that the single would be released on June 29.  

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