Yoann FreeJay (Fréget) has been a dedicated full time singer since his early childhood. His musical goals came into focus at the tender age of 15 when he discovered American gospel music. It wasn't long before he joined a professional French choir, Gospelize It Mass Choir, directed by the renowned French gospel pioneer Emmanuel Djob who originally came from the African country of Cameroon. It was Mr Job who introduced the young Yoann to the roots of African American culture and the inherent longing for freedom and expression that came with it. Within a year, Yoann became the youngest soloist in the choir and he was quickly recognized as one of the most promising talents in the French soul and gospel scene.
EARLY PROMISE: At the age of 18, Yoann was asked to be the lead singer in various popular R&B, soul and gospel bands around France such as BRBB (an Otis Redding tribute band), The Soul Travelers Gospel Quartet, Gospel Shakers and Gospel Jam. He also started singing with his own band at that time. Yoann then appeared as the soloist in the famous European gospel choir, Gospel Pour 100 Voix (featuring more than 100 singers in the group!). While in this band, he performed on some of the most prestigious stages in Europe including Zéniths, Paris Bercy and Brussel’s Cirque Royal.
THE HEALING POWER OF MUSIC In 2008 and at the age of 21, Yoann graduated as a Music Therapist from the University of Montpellier. While there, he worked extensively with children suffering from autism and teenagers with stuttered speech syndrome (SSS). In the last case Yoann was teaching from experience, as he himself has been affected by severe stuttering disorder since the age of 3 years old, which noticeabily started to disappear as he began singing gospel music, and later on, with the practice of meditation.
TRAVELS TO INDIA AND NORTH AMERICA: In 2010, after a life-changing 5 month journey to India to learn the roots of Indian classical music, Yoann was invited for a 3 month tour of the US and Canada. This included 50 concerts in various cities with the unique concept of giving concerts a-cappella (solo vocal), accompanied only with his single loop station. The entire show was built around emotion, connection, groove and musical interaction with the audience. All of his performances were very well received, especially in the African American churches where he felt more at home than in his own country!
SUCESS STARTS TO COME: In 2011, Yoann won first place in France’s largest Soul Music competition, The Sankofa Soul Contest, while covering two songs by his hero, Stevie Wonder. Yoann's contest prize was to travel back to the US and have the incredible opportunity to perform with the great Erykah Badu musicians backing him up. This concert was specially tailored for him in Dallas, Texas. Yoann has also had the honor of performing as a backing singer for such artists as Stevie Wonder, Liz McComb, Nicole Slack Jones, Helen Carter, and Marianne Aya Omac.
THE VOICE AND MORE: In 2013, Yoann won the world famous French TV show, THE VOICE. With more than 7 million viewers each week during 5 months of taping, Yoann won over the hearts of millions of television viewers.
On the 6th January 2014, his very first album with Universal Reccords, Quelques Heures Avec Moi, was released. This record includes a mix of french pop and soul. One of the songs on the album was specially chosen as a soundtrack for the biggest movie of the year in France, Beauty and The Beast, directed by Christophe Gans.
On this same year, Yoann has also been asked by the international pop singer Lara Fabian to record a duet of the song « On Se Retrouvera » with her on the cover album « Les Enfants du Top 50 » (Play On) wich has reached number one in France - their duet being the more downloaded song of the album.
Presently, Yoann is preparing his new album which is highly anticipated by all of his fans. He recently announced on TV that this album will be much closer from his soul and laid-back groove background. The best is yet to come!