Andrew Freed has got it going on. The 25-year-old Reisterstown native is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist who plays in one of Baltimore’s rising bands, is starting another band, teaches music and is a social-media phenom on YouTube and Facebook, where some of his videos have earned millions of views.
Freed attended all the Franklins — elementary, middle and high schools — during which he began playing guitar, electric bass and upright bass. That might not come as a surprise, given Freed’s mom and dad met while playing in the local 1980s rock band Mars. He was bar mitzvahed at Har Sinai Congregation and attended Maccabi Artsfest rock band camps, where he played with musicians from around the world. Later, he attended Towson University as a jazz performance major.
Now, gleefully supporting himself with his music, Freed recently moved with his girlfriend to Lutherville, where he is currently perfecting a music recording studio in his basement.
When did you start playing?
Early middle school, around 6th grade is when I started playing bass and guitar, because instruments were always laying around my house with my parents being musicians. They showed me a lot of good bands and I was always surrounded by music. And it kind of instantly became my thing.
Who were early influences?
A lot of classic rock. The Beatles, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin. Those are definitely the big three that started off my life with music before it evolved into different phases.
Which instruments do you play?
My main instrument is bass and guitar closely follows that. And I played the upright bass throughout all of middle school and high school. But as I grew up in a musical family, I also am able to play the drums, piano and the flute.
Do you support yourself with music?
Absolutely. I teach at Mike’s Music in Ellicott City as well as private lessons. Forty to 50 students a week, five times a week at the store. When I’m not in the store I’m at people’s houses, or people come to me. Or online lessons via Skype. I’ve taught people out of the country before.
What is Andrew Freed Music?
I grew up playing orchestral and classical music in school. So I took these classical songs and I turned them into rock. So, that’s the Andrew Freed Music thing. The covers, the dressing up and the split screens. My Facebook page is where I’ve had the most success.
How did you get so popular?
It all happened so fast. It wasn’t planned. Out of all the projects I’ve done, I would love for this to be the one that takes off, because I am my own boss, my own band. It’s completely a blast to be able to do it all from my home. For the longest time all I wanted to do was get better at my craft. I didn’t pay attention to the things I now advise the younger generation to learn, and that’s how to record and videotape yourself. My Harry Potter cover had 2.9 million views and almost 40,000 shares. And the classical music medley, “Would Beethoven Have Jammed With This Guy?” that got 1.2 million views, so those are my two biggest ones.
How did you get into J Pope and the HearNow?
I knew the drummer and they had a keyboard/bass player that had moved away, and I started jamming with them. The musicianship in that band is very, very impressive. It’s complex music as well. I love the balance between hip-hop and jazz and funk. This was a good balance and a very healthy variety to add to my mix. It’s a band that has some pretty intense compositions and keeps my chops up.
When I’m not teaching I’m in J Pope. When I’m not gigging I’m rehearsing with my new band and when I’m not doing that I’m working in my home studio putting out content for the world on social media for my Andrew Freed Music project. The ultimate dream would be to be in a touring band or a big social-media presence, something where people are looking forward to the things you’re going to do. Whether that be coming to their town to play a show. Or your next video.