In 2015 the Irish music duo Stuart Leathem & Esther Trousdale quietly released a track called “Little Freddie Goes to School” featuring rare vocals by the iconic Queen frontman Freddie Mercury from his “Barcelona” sessions in 1988. The track vividly paints a picture of the young Freddie journeying to school alone in India and then developing into the global phenomenon he became in adulthood.
In early 2021 Stuart was feeling restless about the track and set about creating a definitive single mix for this, Freddie’s 75th year, which is set for release on December 1. Leathem goes on to say, “I got into dialogue with the talented producer and engineer Myles Clarke who had worked for Pete Townshend and The Who before going to be part of the incredible team at Dolby Atmos. We agreed that there was a lot of untapped potential in “Little Freddie” and went to work on it.
“Myles did a superb job re-working the original stems and I stripped other elements of the song back and re-recorded them to give it a more anthemic, live feel. In the end this is quite a different arrangement to the original. Special mention to the incredible folk at Abbey Road Studios who worked on Freddie and Esther’s vocals to give the impression they are in the same room at the same time on this duet. We were stunned by the final masters of the song and are thrilled to be able to release it for the world to hear. This new arrangement is the definitive version of the song!”
“It is the honor of a lifetime for Esther and I to bring this track to fruition and we are thrilled that every download of the song or video will help the work of the Mercury Phoenix Trust. A special mention too for my dear friend the late David Richards who was the catalyst for the initial work on this track. This song tells the story of an incredibly brave young man who believed in himself and, in spite of many improbabilities, became the most iconic vocalist in rock history. Freddie’s contributions to the song are powerful and unmistakably him. We have also collaborated with Animind Studio to create a hypnotic animated lyric video befitting the song.” The final result is a brand new digital single and animated video due for worldwide release on 1 December 2021, World AIDS Day.
Stuart Leathem and Esther Trousdale are a critically acclaimed composer and vocalist based in Northern Ireland. You can check out their back catalogue on all streaming services.