artist Zouj x Sahareya
title Freeride
label City Slang
date 1st of March
format digital

„Freeride“ is the new collaborative single of multi-instrumentalist/producer ZOUJ and rapper/dancer SAHAREYA. It’s an energetic anthem about facing the mundane, with a rebellious spirit. Mixing Beats, extraterrestrial samples and prickly rap skits,  Adam (ZOUJ) and Sarah (SAHAREYA) channel their mutual ideology and inspiration to reclaim their local public transportation systems, as it’s the small acts of rebellion that start the fire. The accompanying video was filmed in Paris in two days with absolutely no permission by photographer and director Danny Kötter.

Driving without a ticket seems like a trivial act but it has a serious background. In Germany, for example, several thousand people end up in prison every year because they can’t pay a fine for public transportation fare evasion. This is also causing protests in New York City, as the MTA has seen a steep increase in police surveillance around far evasion. This is not to even mention the fact that ticket control is a disproportionately problem for undocumented people. There are many initiatives against this penalty, and spreading awareness is key.

ZOUJ: Freeride was the first song Sarah and I made as a duo. We had the theme pretty quickly and came up with lyrics just as fast, after an afternoon in my bedroom we had three verses and a chorus based on the idea of not paying transportation tickets : the fact that we have to pay overpriced tickets to go through our own cities, where we live and/or grew up in, where we commonly all participate in it daily to its existence is already ridiculous but now we come to a point where it rised so much that most people living in those cities or coming in just to work can’t afford it. A round trip to work is 6 bucks if you live inside the city. 

SAHAREYA: I loved rapping on this track, also I think the song is very relatable for young people dealing with financial difficulties, surviving alone and being independent. Every buck means a lot to you and for me it is still an everyday struggle to work on what I love the most and maintain my life expenses. And what I love about this song is the goofiness we created with still dangerous flows and  production. My rap potential really came out unexpectedly with Adam’s next level production and I’m looking forward to all this journey with what we did spontaneously in our home this summer. 

SAHAREYA and ZOUJ met last year in Ljubljana during an art festival and hit it off creatively right away. Their first single „Driving With My Eyes Closed,“ released last year on ZOUJ’s TAGAT EP, was a premonition of their collaborations to come. Following this track’s release, they went on an extensive European tour together. There was momentous energy and new, devilish ideas from this burgeoning duo after their time on the road, they went right back to the studio and recorded several new tracks to be released in 2023. ZOUJ X SAHAREYA are all about grinning in the face of despair and dark humor, satire as a main force and tool of resistance and inspiration in their music. Stay tuned for more shenanigans in the future.

Press Photos credit: Danny Koetter