The Ballard Talisman

Junior tells her story about releasing an original album

Student talks about the process of writing and sharing her songs with the world

Cover art created by Zoe Freeman for her new album,

Courtesy of Zoe Freeman

Cover art created by Zoe Freeman for her new album, "Lilacs." Freeman says "Lilacs" is her favorite son on the album.

Paige Anderson, Staff Reporter

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With the release of junior Zoe Freeman’s new album, “Lilacs,” people were more than surprised to hear her impassioned, original songs such as “Soul,” “Cold Blooded,” “Business” and many others.

The process of “Lilacs” started in spring of 2018 with the help of Camille Bloom and Logan Billingsley, co-producers of Silo Studio. It was Bloom who originally approached Freeman to make the album.

“The song ‘Lilacs’ is the reason why they offered to record me,” Freeman said, explaining why she loved the song so much.

           Freeman met Bloom through various music camps and lessons she took when she was in sixth grade. Even though music has always been relevant in Freeman’s life, the start of her music career didn’t begin until she started writing full songs with her first guitar when she was eleven.

“I always knew I loved music, but I didn’t know I loved to do it until I could write my own,” Freeman said.

When she got her first guitar and started taking lessons, she started producing music and hasn’t stopped. Her first song was written in 2013, called “Superhero.”

“My guitar teacher wanted to record it,” Freeman said. “My parents loved it because it was the first thing I’ve ever done.”

“Superhero” marks the beginning of Freeman’s constant songwriting. She gets inspiration from personal experiences or other people’s experiences all throughout her life.

“All the songs were written at completely different times about different things,” Freeman said when talking about her songs on the album. “I never intended for people to hear the songs when I wrote them.”

Freeman explained that she’s very private when it comes to her work and many people were surprised to hear she was going to release her album.

“Be willing to share your work with people,” Freeman said, giving advice to anyone who may want to produce music. “I’ve never really wanted to, I always like to keep my stuff pretty private.”

Although Freeman hasn’t received any negative feedback about her songs, she knows that criticism is more than common in the music industry.

“Taking criticism and advice is a really important thing to be able to do,” Freeman said. “But know that you don’t have to take it if you like what you do and you like the way it is.”

One thing Freeman has received, however, is support from her friends and family.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them,” Freeman said. “They’re excited about everything I do.”

Freeman’s mom, Nicole Ashford, is proud to have her daughter accomplish such a huge project.

“I was so surprised she had so many songs,” Ashford, said. “She’s so strong to be able to do this.”

Recording an album is a long process that includes writing the songs, finding a recording studio, making sure everything sounds right, actually releasing the album and so much more.

“It takes a lot of guts,” Ashford said. “It’s different singing for yourself than singing for other people.”

Junior Ava Alvord, who has been Freeman’s friend since they were three, has seen her improve on playing the guitar, the ukulele and writing songs.

“She’s always been really good but her songs have gotten much deeper,” Alvord said. “Her lyrics have gotten better, too.”

Since Alvord and Freeman are so close, she was able to listen to the album before it was released on Spotify and Apple Music.

“When I first heard it I was so pumped because I always love all of her songs,” Alvord said. “She doesn’t like to play her music for a lot of people.”

Although Freeman use to keep her music private, Alvord wasn’t surprised she was going to produce an album because she knew Freeman was going to do more with her talent. When Bloom contacted her because of the song “Lilacs,” Freeman took the opportunity.  

“I think my favorite song is “Lilacs” because it means the most to me,” Freeman said. “It’s the most “me” song.”

Being able to connect with her music and having people relate to her songs is something Freeman strives for and is a reason why she loves producing it.

“It’s so fun,” Freeman said when talking about her love for the art. “It’s a really good way to get whatever you’re feeling out in some form so that you can hold onto it forever.”

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Junior tells her story about releasing an original album