HAVE MERCY:A Conversation with Grammy Winner Micki Free

Posted By PowWows.com November 4th, 2013 Last Updated on: November 4th, 2013

Micki Free is a Grammy Award Winner and a true musical Superstar. The Five Time Native American Music Award Winner shared his perspective on music and life with me, recently. Dynamic and intriguing, Free is proud to be Native and pleased to be performing.

DK: Have Mercy!!! I'm so excited to have a chance to visit with you. I haven't seen you since we were both at the NAMMYS one year, so I'm happy we can visit!

So, if you had to write your own bio and put it in a time capsule for future generations, what would you want to make ABSOLUTELY sure they knew about you?

FREE: That I was just a regular guy wanting to make a positive difference in the world and lives of Native peoples. I would love to change the world…but people would just screw it up again.

DK: What would you tell them that might surprise people?

FREE: That I am very affable and approachable and respect you as you would respect me.

DK: Okay, so you're famous. Like Mega-Famous! Is being famous as much fun as it's cracked up to be?

I was “noticed” in the “rock and roll” world because of Gene Simmons and Diana Ross even before I became famous in Shalamar…I guess after the Dave Chappell skit I really became famous or really “infamous” playing basketball with Prince, Charley and Eddie Murphy. Is it fun…yes! With Fame come a lot of perks…it also has a down side as well, stalkers and invasion of privacy, but thats the price you pay.

DK: Is being famous ever hard work? How so?

FREE: Yes, it is hard work if you care about your image and your fellow human beings. Setting a good example for the youth is very important to me. I travel around the world speaking as a Key Note speaker, as well as performing as a Grammy Award Winning Musician.

DK: What would it take to tempt you to give up music? Is there another talent or passion that you'd like to pursue?

FREE: I have a Tattoo on my arm that says; “Music Is My Addiction”….Music is my destiny, be it big or small…it is the air that I breath and the positiveness that I listen to when Im feeling down or negative. Not ALL music mind you, but GOOD music TO ME in general.

DK: Hmmm…let's say you could assemble your “dream team” and play with any musicians you want to…past or present…who would you choose? Why?

FREE: The list would be way to big but here are a few that have inspired me through my career; Jimi Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell, Tommy Bolan, Duane Almond, Muddy Waters,….the list goes on of exceptional musicians that have left us.

DK Who would you want to choose YOU for THEIR “dream team” band?

powwows.comFREE: I don't really know…I feel anyone that strives for purity and fan connection would understand and respect me as a musician and team player. I just want to make people happy through my musical talents and be happy within myself. Music is The Medicine, little sister.

DK: You're so versatile! Which genre of music is your favorite? Which one would be like a punishment to have to perform all the time?

FREE: “Blues Based Rock” is my all time favorite ala ZZ TOP etc…Classic Rock. I grew up in Europe listening to the English bands and them turning me on to music;Jimi Hendrix The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Cream, The Who, Stevie Windwood, Bad Company etc…..I really love ALL types of music if it can reach that part of my being that turns my mind on and relates to the message and or sounds and vibes of the piece. I really dig a lot of HIP HOP and the KILLER girl singers we have in the business today.

I could never be punished by playing music, I WOULD find a way to connect and find my happy space.

DK: Your Native heritage…tell us what it means to you? How does it influence your music?

FREE: Being in the music business in “the real world”, and jamming with Bill Wyman of The Rolling Stones, Prince, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS, Carlos Santana, Billy Gibbons of ZZ TOP, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad, Carmine Appice drummer of Rod Stewart fame and CindyBlackman Santana, my band mate in Americn Horse to name a few, being Native American never came out or was an issue. They all looked at me and knew it but I was a musician first, the color of your skin was never an issue if you could bring it baby….

Being Native is your DNA and destiny, that is whom we are…nothing special really, but a step ahead to the Creator in out thinking and awareness of our mother earth….Compassion and pride runs through our veins and we CARE about our fellow human beings. With this being said I have meet some Natives that aren't quite like these words I've written here, but those shall someday get their just rewards as it is written.

Video: Jimi Hendrix Classic Voodoo Chile ROCKED by Micki Free at Hyde Park London Featuring Pow Wow Dancers

DK: How does being Native impact your life? How does it shape your perspective?

FREE: Again…it's a feeling of connection and respect to my fellow human beings and connection to our earth mother. No hidden message and we can all do it; “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”….”Don't start none, Won't be none”….and last but not least my very favorite; “Don't hate the player, hate the game”….Period.

DK: If there was no such thing as music, what would you be doing?

FREE: I dont know because there IS music….if there was no air what would YOU be breathing…;-)

DK: What are you looking forward to right now? What's coming up in your musical career?

FREE: I have a new group project on the horizon with super star players; drummer Carmine Appice/Rod Stewart, singer Jean Beauvoir/Plasmatics,bassist Tony Franklin/Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin and yours truly on guitar. It truly will be a “super group” with this line up and talent. We will hit the road in 2014 starting in the UK and Europe.

I will also be touring in 2014 with my band American Horse featuring CindyBlackman-Santana(wife of Carlos Santana) and David Santos of John Fogertyfame.

DK: Everybody starts somewhere. Who helped you most when you were starting out?

FREE: That's an easy one and well documented; Gene Simmons of KISS discovered me and was my mentor for over twenty plus years. He also managed me along with Diana Ross and Paul Stanley also of KISS.

DK: Who do you hope to inspire through your life and music?

FREE: Native Youth in particular….Drugs are for Losers, Education is Power. If I can do it so can you!….PERIOD!

DK: I just won my first Native American Music Award. I'd be so honored if you'd give me some of your wisdom! What advice would you give other artists?

FREE: Congratulations!….Follow your heart and dreams. Its not easy in this day and age but if you strive to excel you might find your destiny….get a good Education and NO drugs or Alcohol. and one more thing…keep your Day Gig, Rock & Roll is NOT forever.

DK: So many artists are shooting stars. Now you see 'em, now you don't. Yet, your popularity endures and grows. What's the secret to longevity in the music business?

FREE: Some are lucky some are not… its designed that way…just because you're VERY good and talented does not make you a star and guarantee you will be successful…if you can grab a pice of that destiny ride it out!…at the same time seeking other distractions around you; grow, learn and survive… The game is NOT the same anymore…the music business as we knew it is GONE. EDUCATION is the alternative….because its POWER! Knowledge is the future and the future is Education…my Native brothers & sisters; “Git Some”!

DK: If you had to make your whole music career into a music video, what highlights would it show? What would be the song playing in it? Why?

FREE: “Wounded Knee” off my American Horse CD..it tells of the massacre of Native people there, but reminds me of day to day struggles in my life I have to overcome to play this game…

DK: Gratitude is the only attitude worth having. Any shoutouts or thanks you'd like to give?

FREE: Nicely said DK!….Shout out to ALL my fans and family who support and have belived in me from the beginning to present day…we are family! Have Mercy! as you all know is my motto….and my other famous words; Brown Git Down”…HFM!

DK: Fans love you! Where can fans connect with you? Purchase your music? See you perform?

FREE: And darlin', I love my fans too!; www.facebook.com/therealmickifree / www.mickifree.com / www.facebook.com/officialmickifree /[email protected]twitter.com / www.youtube.com/mickifreetv

DK: Thanks so much!!! Let's all connect with Micki Free at
Web Contact:[email protected]
Business Contact: [email protected]

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