(TORONTO, ON) – Khari Wendell McClelland is set to release the Freedom Singer album this Friday, February 2. A true celebration of black history, the album is a collection of rare and forgotten songs that McClelland interprets through the many styles and genres that helped to shape him.
Using folk, gospel, country, hip hop, and soul to reinvigorate these songs and build a bridge from the 1800s to the present, the album was produced by John Raham and Khari Wendell McClelland.
Freedom Singer will be available through Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify, and through the online store of McClelland’s label, COAX Records.
Freedom Singer asks intelligent, open-ended questions and balances them with emotional musical moments and McClelland’s indisputable musical talent. – Globe and Mail
The Freedom Singer album is a culmination of a research project that started for Khari over two years ago, when he met the Governor General-awarded writer Karolyn Smardz Frost. Through reading her work he was sparked by the childhood stories of his great-great-great grandmother Kizzy who escaped US slavery through The Underground Railroad, coming to Canada in the mid 1800s. This prompted Khari to start a journey of researching the songs that might have accompanied her on her journey and the family history surrounding her.
Freedom Singer’s musical journey hits powerful notes. – Georgia Straight
Originally from Detroit, McClelland has become a darling on the Canadian music scene with reviewers lauding his performances as a clever mix of soul and gospel. His songwriting crosses genres and generations, joyfully invoking the spirit of his ancestors who straddled the US-Canadian border in efforts to escape slavery and discrimination.