In his productive years, Martin Freeman is a low profile Hollywood actor. The srongest proof is, he doesn't have social media accounts at all. We can only get information about him from entertainment news, radio, and TV shows. Not many people know that he is a music enthusiast, avid vinyl collector, and a DJ. He spotted at almost every place which hold anything about music.
The Sherlock star is a mod and likes to argue about music. 'Yes, I am. Just not in a Vespa-scooter-let's-beat-up- the-rockers-down-Brighton way. It's in the details. People either spot it or they don't.' Mods are notoriously obsessed with music: 'Most people have a passive relationship with music and clothes, with culture. But music was my first contact with anything creative. Music is it, as far as I'm concerned.' He told the Guardian in 2005.
Freeman is also an absolute Motown fan. In 2009, The Culture Show on BBC 2 special marking the 50th anniversary of Motown Records, Freeman takes the trip of a lifetime. Visiting both Detroit and LA, he encounters the men and women, from the world famous to the unsung, who played a part in the massive success story that was Motown.
In Detroit he meets, amongst others: Duke Fakir, the last surviving member of the Four Tops; Sylvia Moy, who wrote the lyrics for Stevie Wonder's Uptight; Motown producer Clay McMurray, who used to work in Quality Control for the label and pushed for the release of Stevie Wonder's My Cherie Amour; former DJ Scottie Regan, who played early Motown on white radio stations. Martha Reeves, lead singer of Martha and the Vandellas, now a Detroit councillor. Plus three of the original Funk Brothers, the backing musicians who were so key to the development of the Motown sound in the Sixties: guitarist Eddie Willis, bass player Bob Babbitt and drummer Uriel Jones.
From Detroit, Freeman travels to Los Angeles, following the same path that Motown itself took when the record label moved West in 1972. Here he meets more of the Motown stars: three of The Jackson 5 - Marlon, Tito and Jackie Jackson; Mary Wilson of The Supremes and Otis Williams of The Temptations. Songwriters Lamont Dozier and Brian and Eddie Holland talk to Martin about their string of hits for the label, including Where Did Our Love Go and Reach Out. With musical interludes throughout, this is the Motown story from a real fan's perspective. In 2015, BBC Radio 2 interviewed Freeman about his interest in soul music.
In February 2015, The Hobbit star was in a bar in East London, on DJ duties for the album launch of a band he admires, The Unthanks. The alt-folk troupe held a special listening party on Thursday evening, attended by a number of special guests, including fans like Freeman, Stephen Mangan, Al Murray and a very appreciative Robert Wyatt. In a darkened room in east London, they invited a raft of guests to come and listen to their album on vinyl, from start to end.
In April 2015, he dropped into Paul Smith Sohoto play records from his personal collection to celebrate Record Store Day. He broughts reggae, punk, old soul, pop, rock, and jazz. In 2016, Freeman back to Paul Smith Soho. DJ-ing for Record Store Day 2016. He treated those gathered inside the shop to 3 hours of expertly selected jazz, soul and blues from his own record collection.
In December 2014, Freeman was on the Jonathan Ross Show. He was in frame with Paul McCartney. The former 'fab four' whom he respect so much because of his talent.
In May 2016, Freeman attending the special edition of BBC Radio 4 Mastertapes at Maida Vale studios to meet McCartney again. McCartney talks to John Wilson about his career and answers questions from the audience. Among the audiences were Brad Pitt, Paul Weller, Noel Gallagher, Freeman, James Bay and Simon Pegg, as well as 100 members of the public, many of whom were able to put questions to Sir Paul.