Swedish jazz trombonist Ebba Åsman is about to release her second full-length album, "Be Free," via the independent label Hoopdiggas Recordings on April 14. The album, which blends jazz and hip-hop, is about individual and musical liberation and features the focus track "Be Free." Ebba's trombone takes center stage in the soundscape of the album, which can also be described as nu jazz and jazztronica.
Ebba has toured the world with jazz, funk, pop, and rap bands. However, in terms of her own music, she has always felt constrained by her experiences at prestigious music institutions. With "Be Free," she wanted to deprogram herself from the strict rules of music schools and embrace her true expression, as well as accept who she is and ignore society's expectations. The album's message is clear: stop trying to please everyone and instead love yourself the way you are.
After dropping out of music college, Ebba spent years refining her musical language and jamming with Anna-Greta Sigurdardottir on keyboard, Sebastian Ågren on drums, and Tomas Sjödell on electric bass, all of whom have backgrounds in both jazz and pop constellations. When it was time to record the album, Ebba collaborated with hip-hop producers FloFilz, who is based in Berlin and has worked with MF DOOM and Alfa Mist, and Moose Dawa, who is a Malmö producer and beatmaker influenced by jazz and soul.
The album is a cross-fertilization of Ebba's musical background and the producers' backgrounds, where jazz meets hip-hop. It is a tribute to people's different perspectives and backgrounds, manifested both in the line-up on the record and the titles of the songs, such as "Power Through," "Growth," and "Trust Yourself." Despite being mostly instrumental, the album is a collection of songs about empowerment.
In a world where the pace is fast, and society's boxes are tight and limiting, "Be Free" is a release from that feeling. It encourages listeners to turn inward, get closer to their ideas and intuition, and communicate what they want to express. Ebba's music is a rebellion against conventional norms, and the sweetness of her sound makes it all the more inviting.