Towards the end of 2019, a majestically voiced singer-songwriter from Texas named LaShonda Schofield released a tongue-in-cheek slice of modern soul entitled “Calamity.” The single, which takes aim at the variety of ladies’ man who heedlessly invades the online spaces of unsuspecting women with offensive DMs and inappropriate pics, presented R&B fans with a vocalist who had no trouble tapping into the strong-rooted history of Southern blues and soul music. Switching gears from that song’s “call ’em like I see ’em” sassiness, Schofield warms listeners up with the R&B-meets-Afrobeats club cut “Free To Love.”
Arranged by the Atlanta-based Bread & Water production team, the high-spirited tune has a bright and sexy sway to it that brings to mind images of dancing happily and freely with a new sweet thing. The upbeat single gives LaShonda a chance to flex her musical muscles beyond the sophisticated-soul vibe of previous releases and to liven up listeners with a bouncy number that weaves together R&B and Afrobeats.
Detailing what motivated the song’s lyrics and her foray into Afrobeats, LaShonda offered, “I was in love last year – it felt like a dream – and I was inspired when I came across an Instagram vid of Luca Cilluffo and Bad Gyal Cassie dancing like two lovers in sync with each other. They were dancing to Burna Boy’s “On The Low.” I was mesmerized by their dance and by that song. After seeing their posts, I got lost in all of Burna Boy’s music.” Deciding to immerse herself even deeper into the sounds of Afrobeats, the Houston songstress began to flesh out what would become “Free To Love” while doing everyday duties as the song’s instrumental played in the background. “I wrote the lyrics and sang the melody to Conrad and Chris Rosser‘s (the brothers who make up the Bread & Water production team) track in the kitchen.” Besides making sure to pen lyrics that celebrate her good man, she also decided to pay homage to Africa and African culture by incorporating Swahili and the traditional languages of Namibia into the lyrics. Throughout the track, you can hear words and phrases such as “Ninakupenda” (“I love you”), “Moyo wangu” (“My heart”) and “Jigga qwa jigga qwat” (“Let me hold you”) as chanted by LaShonda and members of the MIG music collective from Namibia.
Enjoy the lively fusion of “Free To Love” now and allow yourself to savor some body-moving vibes while also getting familiar with singer LaShonda Schofield. Be sure to keep tabs on the talented Houston native on Twitter and Instagram as she puts the finishing touches on her debut EP Salt and Sugar.