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3 minute read

boiMAG.com "Ultra Nate"

"FREE - Ultra Nate"

"I fell into club culture in my first year at university in Baltimore," said Ultra. "During the week, I’d be in classes, studying medicine. At weekends, I’d be letting it all go in clubs to the sound of underground house. I met the DJ team the Basement Boys and when they found out I sang in church, we started writing songs. Things got pretty surreal when the first, It’s Over Now, was a hit in the UK, where club culture was driving the charts. One day I was in medical school; the next I was flying to London to do Top of the Pops."

"After a few more hits in Britain, the major UK label I was with relocated to the US. But the American end didn’t get underground house and dropped me. When I signed with Strictly Rhythm, an independent label in New York, they basically gave me a blank cheque. I teamed up with producers Mood II Swing and we discussed my comeback. I wanted guitars, because I was really into REM’s Losing My Religion. We wanted a rock song that would work in clubs, so the guitar line and the first verse (“Where did we lose our faith?”) pull at your heartstrings, then it erupts into a clubby anthem. It was intentionally very different from what was happening in dance music."

"Some people think Free is autobiographical, about me being “set free” by the major label, but it isn’t. We just needed a short phrase that would connect with everyone. Lem went: “It needs to be something like, ‘You’re free to do what you want to do.’ And everyone went, ‘That’s it!’”

Little Louie Vega was the first DJ to play one of our red vinyl promotional copies. It was 1997 and it blew up in the clubs. I had no idea it would be such a global hit. It even got to No 1 in Italy. To this day, if I didn’t sing it at my concerts, people wouldn’t let me leave."

LYRICS TO "FREE" by Ultra Nate:

Where did we go wrong? Where did we lose our faith? My brother is in need But can he depend on me Do you think if one of you tried Maybe you could find A better friend than any other? If you gave more than you took Life could be so good Come on and try Now’s the time

‘Cause you’re free To do what you want to do You’ve got to live your life Do what you want to do

Are we all strangers? Does anyone really care? Down we’re all the same Trying to hide our pain You think you can never trust another ‘Cause they’re all out to get ya We have to live in this world together If we open up our hearts Love can finally start Come on and try Now’s the time

‘Cause you’re free To do what you want to do You’ve got to live your life Do what you want to do

‘Cause you’re free To do what you want to do You’ve got to live your life Do what you want to do

When you’re down and you’re feeling bad Everybody has left you sad Feels like no one will pull you through It’s your life whatcha gonna do Make that change, let’s start today Get outta bed, get on your way Don’t be scared your dream’s right there You want it (you want it), reach for it

‘Cause you’re free To do what you want to do You’ve got to live your life

Do what you want to do(You’re free) Come on, you’ve got to live your life now Come on, you know that I want to do You’ve got to live your life and love your brother, yeah

Whatcha gonna do when it’s all over for you? You’ve got to live your life and think about