Nightmares on Wax is back, baby! And he’s smoother, jazzier, and funkier than ever before. “Own Me” is a testament to the fact that no one can take our thoughts, dreams and desires from us, and that we can create the life we choose; we have more control and ownership over ourselves than we think.
When William Wallace in Braveheart said “They may take our lives, but they will never take our freedom”, I wouldn’t have been mad if “Own Me” had been playing in the background (can you imagine the chaos of that mash-up? It would never work, but the sentiment is the same, and that’s kind of my point here, albeit very convoluted.) The rest of the album follows a similar theme, with each song exploring different types and senses of freedom. Nightmares on Wax, AKA George Evelyn, said in a statement:
“I wanted to ask: what is freedom?” he says. “Everybody’s got a different idea of it, everybody’s got a different concept of it. I realised that internally, we all want to be free of our shit and it doesn’t matter what it is. Everybody wants to be free of something. So there are shout outs to freedom in each song. They’re all different cries and different calls but there’s a coherent feeling through it.”
A combination of the pandemic and a cancer scare led Nightmares on Wax to rediscover his creative direction, resulting in a new album, Shout Out! To Freedom, which dropped on October 29. It’s deeper, more mature, more personal, and more emotive than his previous albums, and has a tangible sense of drive and purpose. Plus, it's an excellent listen that clearly showcases why the man has been making music for the past three decades.