LP Giobbi on Remixing Ultra Naté's Classic 'Free' with Pete Tong & Jules Buckley
Oct 21, 2022
3 min read
When you survey the landscape of modern dance music, LP Giobbi stands like a mountain on the horizon. She expresses a brilliant mastery of what makes the classic sound of house music both emotionally compelling and dancefloor moving. So it is no surprise that she was handed the reigns to reimagine Ultra Nate's 1997 classic anthem "Free."
The reimagined version was born as one of Giobbi's popular live edits. The clever weave of her piano interpolation of Rozalla's "Everybody's Free," a choral version of the same song from the 1997 Baz Lurman film Romeo & Juliet, and Ultra Naté's angelic vocals has been a hands-up moment in her sets for some time.
"When I first started playing it, I would get DMs asking for the track ID and that is when I realized there was a whole generation of folks who didn't know the original," she told Gray Area. "I felt so excited to share that info with them as Ultra Naté is a legend and the discovery of her is magical!"
So when Pete Tong called her to ask if she wanted to work on something based on "Free," for Amazon Music, she felt a deep sense of gratitude for being able to contribute something so important to the culture.
"It is an absolute next-level honor," she says about being picked to rework one of dance music's most iconic tracks. "I never thought I'd be able to release it as an original. It was made strictly for the dancefloor and the live show experience."
Tong led the effort bringing the edit out of the ephemera of a night on the dancefloor into the streaming world. After decades in dance music, he's become "the ultimate A&R," and "a genius at bringing people together and structuring tracks," Giobbi explains.Stream "Free (Do What U Want)" exclusively at Amazon Music
He enlisted the help of composer Jules Buckley, the conductor of The Heritage Orchestra, to add his touch. Buckley and Tong have worked together for years to breathe new life into dance music classics by fusing them with orchestral arrangements and live vocalists. "Free," had always been on their radar, and Giobbi's background as a classically trained pianist made her the perfect conduit for a genre-defying collaboration.
"Jules is the orchestral extraordinaire. Ultra is the vocal queen of many generations. They were so open to my piano house interpretation. They took it and made it something extra special."
Ultra Naté & LP Giobbi at Air Studios, London
Beyond her status as a musician, Giobbi is a diligent activist. Her Femme House organization gives a new generation of women and gender-expansive individuals the skills they need to lead in the music industry. "Free" has a history of being an LGBTQIA+ anthem and a touchstone for anyone feeling trapped by other people's expectations. LP fully understands its weight and is honored to write a new chapter in its legacy.
"I played this track at NY Pride right after Roe vs. Wade got overturned. When it came on, a lot of my bottled-up emotions around other people controlling the rights of groups they have no right controlling came over me. Tears came to my eyes as I looked out amongst the beautiful community of folks that have shaped culture and dance music. We all deserve to be free. period."