Quise Free with the power soundtrack we didn’t know we needed this summer.
The one thing about Quise Free’s music, is that it will never get you down. He doesn’t sugar coat life, but instead finds strength in celebrating human perseverance through times of loss, failure, and even tragedy.
Marquise T. Freeman hails from West Philly, an Overbrook H.S. alum, the youngest of three sons to Tyrone and Sonya Freeman. Family life could be hard, as Sonya suffered for 20 years with sarcoidosis, a rare genetic inflammatory disease that stressed the Freeman’s emotional and financial resources. But Quise was always close to his mom, who inspired him to believe in himself and never settle. When she passed in 2020, Quise turned to music as a way to process his deep grief, and also to honor her incredible spirit of resilience and pride.
As we head into the home stretch of 2022, it’s hard not to look back on all the dumpster fires still burning and feel hopeless. Negativity can be alluring, it’s the siren call of giving up, of freedom from caring and all the hurt that entails in these difficult times. There’s a seductive comfort in losing faith, in breaking clean from the expectation of disappointment. But it’s a trap!
For Quise, the best rewards in life come from being tested, and staying true to all you know. His music expresses the universal hunger inside all of us, that dares to dream of a better world — and rise up in it.
On his music:
If I had to describe my music in three words, it’d be Motivating, Powerful, and Relatable. It’s like medicine for me, that I want to deliver to listeners. That’s why my first album’s called The Cure. I released it in the thick of COVID, when there was so much stress, depression, fear, anxiety, you know, negativity and uncertainty all around.
So I represent the flip side to that with my music, where I rap sly rhymes about self-confidence and community, to gritty hip-hop hooks created to be played at maximum volume.
On his message:
Every song is a story I tell about finding your strength no matter who you are, no matter what your situation. Big or small, we all have something good to share with the world. We all have value and purpose.
There are choices we can make to survive, and even thrive, in any environment. It all starts with connecting to that voice inside that knows you can do it. I try to be that voice out loud. I try to model that mindset, and the dedication it takes to achieve your goals. The struggle is real! But so are the rewards. Not only as individuals but as a part of a bigger whole. Our success can generate change, we all have the power to make a difference.
On manifesting your dreams:
Before I started producing songs, I founded Team Ghostly LLC, a grassroots motivational platform. We have merchandise, speaking engagements and even a podcast on youtube.
Music has only recently become a tool for me to reach people. I like it because it’s so universal, that anyone can hear a piece and instantly connect with the vibe even if they don’t understand a word of it. It’s a powerful way to make my presence felt. And that’s what Team Ghostly is about: “Make Your Presence Felt,” that’s the brand, you know, the motto.
We all have great power to share the best of ourselves, and make our mark on the world. Defiantly, if needed. If certain people don’t want to see who we are, or hear what we have to say, OK, but they’ll still feel us. We’ll still be here, reaching for our due. We have a right to fight for our dreams. Team Ghostly is leading the charge (my music is like the score).
If there’s one thing I want readers to get from this interview, it’s that everything I say in my music, I stand by 100%. This is who I am. I hope you feel me. And I hope you’ll be inspired to make your own presence felt.
THE QUISE CANON
We asked Quise to pick a song from each of his three albums, which summarized with our favorite lyrics. Don’t take our middle-aged ears for it, though: hear for yourself in this playlist.
#1 Dream Big, The Cure (2020)
Bouncy and full of swagger, with throwback 90’s grooves.
I don’t care what the dream is, dream big.
Tell yourself you gonna do it and believe it.
When the odds are improbable
Anything is possible
Stay up on the right grind,
You gonna let your light shine.
#2 Keep Working, 0131 (2021)
An intense, visceral anthem to determination – you can literally hear the grit in his jaw as he churns out the infectious chorus.
Just keep working, just keep working
I know this shit’s hard, just keep working
I say we’re gonna get far, just keep working
Hard work and dedication,
That’s my reputation,
Generate my own buzz to build my name up,
Learning as I go, I’m trynna step my game up
So when that happens please don’t ask me how I came up,
Cause I just kept working and never gave up.
#3 Wanna Be Free, The One (2022)
Dreamy yet driven, with thrilling percussion like a marching band, drumming home his words.
Failure’s not an option, keep it moving, find the answer to your problems.
I be stayin out the way, I’m just trynna do me.
I ain’t trynna be nobody, I’m just trynna be free.
HONORABLE MENTION: Double It Up 0131 (2021)
A lively, playful song with an irresistible chorus that will stick in your head in the best possible way. And omg, this video!
Let’s go for a ride, you comin or what?
In due time we’ll be runnin it up
When we get paid there’s no fuckin it up
Three, four times just double it up.
Are you feeling this, or what? 🙌💖🎤 We’re always glad to highlight local artists who are striving to uplift their communities. If you know someone who deserves some Local love, let us know in the comments below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.