It’s an all-time classic, a dance floor anthem, and a call to arms that still resonates across multiple sectors of our society. Ultra Naté’s ‘Free’ was a global chart-topping sensation upon its original release back in 1997 and now 25 years later, the track has been given a glow-up in collaboration with Swedish duo Icona Pop.

The re-working, which sees the pair collaborate on vocals with Ultra, gives the original a brand-new sonic narrative and bass breakdown while revisiting the vocals with a reverence. Ultra and Icona Pop carry an irrepressible air of defiance and determination that made the entire world fall in love with ‘Free’ a quarter of a century ago and the 2k stormer ‘I Love It’ ft. Charli XCX which celebrates its 10th Anniversary. Released on June 17th via Ultra Records, ‘You’re Free’ is primed for airwaves and playlists and perfect for international Prides, Black Music Month and general feeling oneself. Do what you want to do!

Ultra explains, ”I’m so excited about this collaboration with Icona Pop and the reimagining of my classic, “Free” during i’s 25th Anniversary. I feel like what has come together here is so special and made for this moment. “You’re Free” really is the kind of interpretation I had hoped for. To introduce the song to a next generation of clubbers in a way that is not framed as nostalgia, but as very now. It’s so important to find a way to bridge the gap when working with such a highly identifiable, classic record – and believe me many have tried over the years!

“When I first received the demo to hear the concept and where the production was going, I immediately felt good about it. I love the new parts, the energy, and Aino and Caroline’s distinct singing style. It all feels like a big party with a lot of in-your-face attitude and I’m here for all of that!”

Speaking about the collaboration, Icona Pop reveal, “We’ve always loved Ultra Naté’s original ‘Free’, and used to play it in the clubs as DJs in Stockholm, even before we started Icona Pop! It is the ultimate expression of what we want Icona Pop to represent; freedom to be whoever you want to be, live life to the fullest, and have fun. At first it was intimidating when we started to play around with the idea of making a new version, but it felt natural and really came together when Ultra Naté said she wanted to collaborate on our version, we are beyond honored. Ultra Naté is such a legend and this song is a classic. We hope that we have done it justice.”

A regular headliner at Pride events the world over, June 23rd sees Ultra take to the stage at the legendary Lincoln Center for ULTRA PRIDE!. Part of the Lincoln Center’s ‘Summer For The City’ program of events, Ultra will be joined by Elton John and Scissor Sisters collaborator Bright Light Bright Light, DJ Rissa Garcia (Cielo, Good Room, Output, Avant Gardner) and Ultra’s live band, the incredible 45 Riots.

“There really are no words to fully describe the excitement and honor I feel to be performing live with full band this Summer at such an esteemed event and venue as at Lincoln Center. I wouldn’t think it were possible to add anything more to that but for the fact that it kicks off New York Pride Weekend 2022 and will be a defining moment to celebrate my 30 plus year legacy in music!”, says Ultra.

She continues, “I’m looking forward to working with the awesome collective of NYC-based musicians, 45 Riots. They will be backing me and help bring classic songs that have moved dance floors around the world to life in a fresh, celebratory way! Since it’s Pride Weekend I know everyone will be ready to let loose and the atmosphere will be electric. I’m ready to share a few of my favorites, a couple deep cuts, premiere a new song or two perhaps and definitely some surprises!”

Labelled one of Billboard’s ‘Greatest of All Time’ and the voice behind countless international hits including the #1 hit Free, It’s Over Now, Rejoicing, If You Could Read My Mind, ‘Automatic’, New Kind Of Medicine and Found A Cure, the iconic Ultra Naté is beloved by music fans the world over. Her latest single ‘MIRACLE’, the lead single from upcoming album ‘ULTRA’, recently won rave reviews from a plethora of DJs and press including music bible DJ Mag, where Ultra explained the thinking behind the single’s lyrics:

“’MIRACLE’ is a multi-layered theme for me, it speaks to my spirituality, recognising God in all of us. It is self-awareness and a proclamation of self-love for women. At the same time it is very specifically a political statement for Black women, who for generations, have been maligned and marginalised for the colour of our skin.

“It is no secret that the world is structured in a way that forces us to do more, work harder, be above reproach, and always flawless in order to be equal. Writing this song and tapping into the Afro rhythms of the track inspired me to have this conversation, which is so fitting for my self-titled album, ‘ULTRA’, because these are issues that are close to my heart,” she continued. “It’s important to be authentic and speak my truth in this moment, because that is the power of music and how it unites us all.”




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