‘Runnin’ is the name of the fourth track taken off Fred Fredas’ latest EP, “In the Search for Love”. The song was produced by Spacey Blak and features K the Infinite and Aminita Francis. The song touches on family and the importance of being there for each other.
Fred Fredas is a 23-year-old musician and songwriter from South London who has recently released the music video for his song ‘Runnin’. This song details Fred’s family as he speaks honestly and candidly about family relationships and being a man. ‘Runnin’ is the fourth track of Fred’s latest EP, ‘In the Search For Love’. The song was produced by Spacey Blak whilst featuring vocals from K the Infinite and Aminita Francis and the video was co-directed by Aaron Imuere and Postcarltonfilm.
The song / video detail a very prominent issue for today’s society, the idea of being told to ‘man-up’. People are becoming more aware of the issue surrounding male mental health and the rise in male suicides. Suicide is the most common cause of death for men aged between 20-49 years old which is what Fredas is tackling here with his song and video.
Regarding the topic of the video, Fredas said:
“I believe we are at a time where mental health has become a trending topic. I am not an expert on mental health however I believe one aspect that has been missing from the conversation is the direct impact that our support network including our family and the church for example can have on our mental health.
We all know that having a support network plays an important part in helping us to get through the difficult times, but when your support network is not secure who do you turn to? From the conversations that I have had with people and my own personal life I know that this is something that a lot of people can relate to. The video touches on these things.”
The video shows the journey of a boy called John who is going through a period of depression and experiencing suicidal thoughts. John tries to open up to friends and family about how he feels, first of all his mother who brushes off his feeling as he has nothing to be stressed about. Once Fredas verse begins, the viewer can see the direct relation from John’s story to the lyrics ‘same household, none of us listen, living two separate lives’ and ‘it’s like I’m coming home to fight more battles, you want to lead with your rage’. As the video continues, we see John confide in a friend and his pastor, both of whom carry the same ‘man-up’ sentiment. Because of this, in the video John never seeks professional help for his depression which leads to his mental health deteriorating until he takes his own life.
“I want to highlight the importance of seeking help. Particularly within young black men, there’s a lot of daily pressures we go through that we don’t talk about, sometimes we are not comfortable to express ourselves therefore we end up keeping things bottled up. Through this short film I want people to know there is nothing embarrassing about seeking help and it is better to do so before things get worse. “
The video ends with John taking his own life, and we see his mother mourning him afterwards constantly clutching his old clothes. The suicide was foreshadowed from the beginning of the video as the camera rolls around John’s messy room, we see a red bottle of pills which he then uses to take his own life.
Fredas’s lyrics relate to the video in some aspects, but are more centred around him speaking honestly about his own family environment. His lyrics about his own brother acknowledge that they aren’t likely to speak again, but are sung with a hopeful tone leaving the listener to think that there is room for potential reconciliation in the future and would be there if he ever needed him.
Fredas is making a name for himself for his hard-hitting and thought-provoking lyrics alongside soulful instrumentals with his music.
“Music is the only way that I can fully express myself, writing music for me is almost like therapy; things begin to make sense when I put my pen to the pad – without music a lot of things in my life wouldn’t make sense.”
To carry on the feeling of hope and resolution through the song verses, Aminita Francis captures this essence in the powerful chorus. The second verse of the song comes from K the Infinite which is the narrative of someone’s abusive experience and behaviour displayed as a cry for help. K’s delivery is similar to Fred’s in the sense that it is also delivered candidly and self-reflectively.
The instrumental’s going alongside the video and song are minimalist and simplistic without being boring or sounding lacklustre. There are only soft piano keys and chords alongside a drum pattern. This is done well as it allows the heavy hitting lyrics to be heard by viewers and listeners without being distracting. If the music was anything other than simplistic then I personally don’t think it would match the tone of the video, as it is designed to be hard-hitting.
Fred Fredas captures an important topic in a respectful and tasteful manner, and as he states himself:
“I like to make music which takes the listener on a journey – living through my stories.”