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Judge for M.Free

Baltimore, MD
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Portrait of M.Free
Raised in a home heavily saturated in music, Maria “M.Free” Freeman wanted to be a singer ever since she could remember. She was challenged by family members to listen to and learn about various genres of music, not just the latest songs on popular radio stations. One of her earliest memories is of her and her grandfather having riffing competitions. “I was only about eight or nine years old and he would say ‘I bet you can’t ‘wiggle’ your voice like this’, and I would eagerly try to duplicate the notes he sang.” One musician or another was always blaring from the record player in the living room, and Maria absorbed the music without even knowing it.

When Maria was twelve, her grandmother took her to a Morgan State University Choir Christmas concert. After hearing live singers for the first time, she was hooked and began to practice everyday hoping to develop a voice as beautiful as the ones she’d heard that night. She knew that there was nothing else she would rather do.

As Maria became older, she participated in as many music based activities as she could. By her first year in high school she found herself on six different choirs at one time, including the choir of a high school that she was not even enrolled in. Maria was hungry for music and tried to soak it up any way she could.

After graduating from high school, Maria enrolled in Morgan State University to pursue a Music degree. She also became a member of their world renowned choir, the same choir that wowed her years earlier. After five years of vocal coaching, vocal training and traveling abroad, Maria graduated from Morgan State University in 2005.

Maria has evolved into “M.Free”, a skilled vocalist, songwriter and arranger. She has traveled abroad to tour in Russia, the Czech Republic, Paris, France and Montreal, Quebec as well as many of the United States. She has performed with ensembles and orchestras around the world and worked with many professional recording artists including Darin Atwater and Soulful Symphony, Wynton Marsalis, Kurt Masur, Donald Lawrence, Kishna Davis, Yuri Temirkanov, Bobby McFerrin, Kirk Carr and more.

Partnered with the skill and talent of Joshua “Jay-O” Lay and Justin “King Midas” Lay, she doesn’t doubt, for a minute, that they have what it takes to reach the stars…literally.