Who, What, Why

Laeeqa Frederick: How Music Made Me

13th May 2021

As part of our Music Made Us campaign, Laeeqa Fredrick, who studies Music Business and Vocals in Manchester, explores her musical journey. Laeeqa discusses her experiences, her musical family, femme strength and Ms Lauryn Hill.

Most of my inspiration comes from those around me, my friends, my family, those memorable moments. Growing up, I took a lot of influence from my mother. She started as a singer-songwriter herself. She has a jazzy-blues tone, which I’m sure is where I get my raspiness from. Seeing her practically living in the studio and how much enjoyment she found in music made me fall in love with it from a young age. My mother is a beautiful songwriter, very talented.

“That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do in my music: have that rawness, that realness.”

Those who know me, know how much I love Lauryn Hill and her music. It’s so powerful. It’s meaningful. It speaks the truth. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do in my music: have that rawness, that realness. Her art has helped me do precisely that, whilst not caring about what anyone thinks because this is my art.

It’s funny, actually. My mother used to sing ‘Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill’ whilst she was pregnant with me. Now, she’s one of my all-time favourite artists, and she’s a favourite of my mum’s too; I guess it was always meant to be.

My brother is a rapper and producer. He has helped produce a couple of my songs, such as ‘She Said’ and ‘Light’. We have a beautiful connection when creating music, and he has helped influence my journey and shown me not to give up. He is so dedicated to his music, and the time he spends on expanding his knowledge is very influential and motivational.

My Experiences at BIMM

Before coming to BIMM, I had very little knowledge of what they could bring to the table, their resources and connections. I wasn’t even that confident I would enjoy university just because education has never been my forte. However, since being here and changing courses within a year and a half, I feel I have found myself.

“BIMM has helped shape me into the artist I’ve been trying to find.”

I have always been quite a confident person with performing, and since being at BIMM, I have learned so much more than just standing there and singing. BIMM has helped shape me into the artist I’ve been trying to find, with the help of gigs and me putting myself out there at any given opportunity. Most of these opportunities do come from the use of BIMM connections and my name being talked around! Even the direct support from specific lecturers – giving me motivational talks and one-to-one tutorials – has helped boost my confidence that I may have lacked in music.

I would have never released music before attending BIMM. But since being here, I have released four singles, which have had such great responses and opened doors for me to help excel my career! It has been crazy, and I am so grateful for the support and belief they put into you.

Female Energy and Underrated Artists in Today’s Music Industry

I am proud of all the female energy shining through! It’s lovely to see more female DJs, producers, engineers, videographers and photographers coming through and killing the game locally and beyond! I feel that over the years, the UK music industry has changed massively, and you don’t find as many authentic and genuine artists as much as you used to.

I am most proud of all the underrated and talented artists who don’t get enough credit for how much they are smashing the scene. I absolutely love how many UK artists are popping up at the moment, from Leeds (my hometown) to Manchester, Birmingham and even Sheffield. These are areas that have been notoriously hard to break out from over the years, but in this day and age, breaking those barriers and making sure we are being heard is so essential! I appreciate the dedication, motivation, and hard work people are putting in. It shows how much music and art are still genuinely cared for and that finding success is an achievable goal. We’ve proven that.

Going forward, I would like to see more original, authentic artists coming through who are not afraid to show their art and to be free in it. I would love to see more collaborations within the UK and people helping one another excel and create beautiful music together. Hopefully, when we get back to some normality, more events will be put on for independent artists (like myself) and underrated artists who want to be heard and push the scene.

“We are smashing it, and it’s about time we took over!”

I 100% want to see more females getting involved and being more known. There are so many talented females out there who may hide behind the scenes or are not confident enough to be in the spotlight. DO IT! We are smashing it, and it’s about time we took over! I love the women empowerment journey we are all on, and it’s only excelling.

“All females on the top right now portray inspiring attitudes.”

I feel that being in a more male-centric music industry makes it a bit tougher. However, I think over the past couple of years, female empowerment has been taking over and shining through. All females on the top right now portray inspiring attitudes, and up-and-coming artists such as myself help show that you can do it.

Recent female music has made a massive impact on the whole country. Artists such as Billie Eilish, Kehlani, Jorja Smith, Arlo Parks, Cardi B, Megan The Stallion, Summer Walker, HER, SZA, and many more have released bangers that have taken over the charts and the world! I have so much belief and strength in us as a union. We are very powerful and strong-willed that the thought of being known as a man-over-women industry doesn’t cross my mind. It’s more like it’s my turn, and I’m ready to achieve all my goals, regardless of the industry people carve it out to be.


Our Music Made Us campaign is told through the students, graduates, journalists, experts and passionate people who have been shaped by music. Discover their stories here.

Author

Matt Leppier

Matt Leppier is one of BIMM's newest marketing recruits. Alongside this, he works for Off Licence Magazine as a music editor, writer and photographer, as well as hosting several radio shows on Balamii and Platform B. You can usually find him DJing for hip-hop acts around the UK.