Back from my dark side

By admin
24 June 2011

He sits on the pavement outside one of the shops in Greenside, Johannesburg, strumming his guitar. The sign beside him reads, “Please pay the singer.”

But hold on . . . this busker looks familiar. And for good reason because it’s Freddie Moss (23) who hopes to sing his way to fame in this year’s Idols competition. Last year he started promisingly but failed to reach the top 14.

He has a new name – Freddie van Dango – and still sleeps on a friend’s couch. But if his Idols dream finally comes true it may not be for much longer.

Freddie is thankful for his second chance because life hasn’t been easy for him for a while. He knows he caused trouble last year.

“I was in a very dark place. There were things I’m really not proud of.”

Friends and family encouraged him to take part in Idols but he didn’t want to. “My impression was it was very superficial. I just didn’t give my best. I now realise it’s a place where a young singer learns things such as discipline.

“At school I never played an instrument or thought of making a career out of singing. It was only after school that I discovered music.”

He taught himself to play guitar. “After I’d played my first three chords a whole new world opened up for me.”

Since taking part in Idols last year he hasn’t worked; when he needs money he hits the pavement with his guitar and sings.

He doesn’t enjoy the complications of money and says he wouldn’t ask his parents for more support. “They’ve really helped me enough.”

He disapproves of a society where money controls everything. “Everything should be free. People should help one another.”

He’s only 23 but he has an old soul, he mutters.

Because of Idols he’s had to catch up with technology. He’s acquired a cellphone and e-mail address “so the Idols people can contact me”, he says. But when you ask for his number he doesn’t know it by heart. “I was born 45 years too late,” he laughs, his eyes dreamy.

He knows there are no short cuts to success. “But I’ll take it step by step.

“It doesn’t matter how deep you’ve sunk into the mud; what matters is that you’re prepared to get up out of it.”

Then he picks up his guitar, strums a few chords and sings: “I am a shadow in the night, I am an eagle in the cave . . .”

Read Freddie's story in YOU, 30 June 2011. Use the tag reader to snap the tag in the magazine with your phone to hear his message and one of his songs.

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