May 12th, 2017
Finding freedom during orientation week
It’s not surprising that Chapman students make new friends during freshman Orientation week. But not many get a new band out of it.
Meet the Freedoms. They pride themselves on being free from restrictions in genre, lyrics or anything else.
Matt Owens, a business administration major, Brooke Harmon, a piano performance major and Zachary Salem-Mackall, a communications studies major officially debuted their band Freedoms during the first Moonlight Mic at the Masson Beach Club on March 2.
However, the band has been together since Orientation Week, after meeting at some of the more unofficial orientation week events, like the fraternity parties that are commonly attempted to be kept under wraps.
Freshman digital arts major and manager of Freedoms Remi Lord seems to be the glue that keeps the band together. He was the mutual friend that introduced keyboardist and singer Harmon to bass player Owens.
“Remi has been there every single time we’ve jammed,” Harmon said. “He’s just part of the process.”
The name Freedoms came after heavy debate and firm disapproval from Owens on the tentative name “Pizza Dogs.” Guitarist Salem-Mackall added an “s” to freedom to give the band a unique twist. Harmon said the name represents their unwillingness to stick to any one genre, and wanting to communicate freedom with their music.
“We’re kind of R&B, Soul, jazz, and hopefully soon we’ll include more hip hop and electronic influence. We’ll get there,” Owens said.
The band is known for their continuous performances at Moonlight Mics, various parties, and more recently even paid performances.
After their performance at a 1970’s themed Phi Delta Theta party, Lord made their Facebook page and shared videos he’s taken of performances.
The Freedom’s Facebook page has more than 200 likes and continues to grow; Ssome videos have hit 1000 views.
“The amount of positive feedback I get from random people is so uplifting. It’s crazy,” said Harmon. “I never imagined getting this much attention for music. It’s kind of wild.”
The band members have all been passionate about music since they were little. Owens and Salem-Mackall have been playing their instruments since the fifth grade. Harmon has been playing the piano since she was just four years old. They all began writing their own music in high school. Some of that music became the earliest songs the band wrote.
“I never really wrote lyrics to my stuff but I already had so many songs written,” Owens said.
Writing songs has always been a group effort for the entire band, but everyone agrees that Harmon is the lyricist of the group.
“I wrote this really weird chord progression the other day, and she just closed her eyes and started singing,” Salem-Mackall said.
While bringing in some of her old lyrics, Harmon tends to be inspired by her emotions and life that’s going on around her.
The band’s plans are to get into studios and start recording, as well as make a presence on websites like Soundcloud and Bandcamp. They’ve also been communicating with students in Dodge College about making music videos.
While Owens, Lord, and Salem-Mackall are not pursuing degrees in music, they’d be all in if Freedoms became incredibly popular.
“I definitely need to graduate, but that being said, of course I’d pursue (Freedoms),” Salem-Mackall said.
The band agrees that making music together has given them a really strong bond and friendship.
“We all have a really crazy connection,” Harmon said. “I truly believe that we were all brought here to make music together.”