Dean Friedman


Dean Friedman: “I think I was the first solo artist to crowdfund a record”

From signing a record deal whilst still a pre-teen, to getting involved in the video game industry and cinema, Dean Friedman’s musical road has been an unconventional one…

Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention, and it has proved for revitalised singer-songwriter Dean Friedman.

Friedman had huge hit records in the late 70s, charting with his debut release ‘Ariel’ and follow ups ‘Lucky Stars’, ‘Woman of Mine’ and ‘Lydia,’, before a critical mistake – releasing a key single referencing the brand McDonald’s – got the track banned from BBC radio stations, and was a huge contributing factor to his label dropping him.

Having been in music since he was first approached by a label at age nine, however, Friedman simply diversified, and looks back at the period with pride in the direction it led. “I’ve never had the chance to rest of my laurels,” he jokes. “My career hasn’t allowed for much rest, I’ve had to keep working.”

Friedman moved into producing early music-themed video games, as well as working on a heap of movies, writing children’s musicals, and producing the music for the British crime drama ‘Boon’.

Today, having reconnected with his old fanbase around the time the internet became a big resource for music, Friedman is back recording, touring heavily, and exploring what he calls “a natural affinity for storytelling.”

“I think I was the first solo artist – Marillion had done it a year earlier – to crowdfund a record,” Friedman explains. “I wrote out to my fans asking them to pre-order the album, via an email mailing list. I was a little worried people would tell me to get a real job. Some did say exactly that, but lots of others backed the idea. I was able to hire musicians and upgrade my studio.”

“This was a few years before the days of Indiegogo and Kickstarter. Since then, I’ve always had a great connection with my fans, and I’ve always done things that way. I never liked the aloof thing that musicians were supposed to do back then. My fans aren’t shy in telling me what they think, but as many of them are connected with what I’m doing now as songs from the 70s,” he says. “Lots will say their favourite album is one of the newer ones. It’s been a great journey.”