GoFundMe launched to support the uncredited vocalist on DJ Deeon’s Freak Like Me after 28 years of no compensation

“Like many Black femme artists and vocalists, Tish Bailey’s voice was used without her being credited, paid a fee or given royalties.”

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DJ Deeon

DJ Deeon

While DJ Deeon’s 1996 release Freak Like Me has been a club staple for years, the identity of the vocalist has remained a mystery for 28 years. Until now.

Thanks to Berlin DJ Sarah Farina, it has been revealed that Tish Bailey is the woman who sings the dancefloor classic. However, Bailey has not received a penny from her involvement.

In order to compensate for nearly three decades of no credit, Farina has set up a GoFundMe to support the wronged singer.

“Imagine the voice in Freak Like Me is your own, recorded during a studio hang out with a friend and swapped between producers without your permission,” the GoFundMe reads. “Now imagine you were never credited or paid a fee or royalties and simply ignored after being promised it would be ‘made right’.”

At the time, Bailey didn’t have access to the legal support to argue her case. She had given up any hope of receiving compensation. That is, until DJ Farina hunted Bailey down and offered their support in 2019.

An avid Freak Like Me Fan, Farina religiously played DJ Deeon’s classic during their sets. It became their mission to discover who the voice belonged to – and, after relentless searching, they soon reached out to Bailey.

In an Instagram post, Farina shared Bailey’s story. Farina explains how Bailey recorded vocals at DJ Funk’s studio at the age of 19 and heard nothing more of it – only to hear them years later at a house party when a DJ played DJ Deeon’s Freak Like Me.

“Since its 1st release in 1996, both independent and major label artists have sampled, remixed and re-released lyrics written & sang by Tish Bailey,” the post reads. “Like may Black femme artists and vocalists, Tish’s voice was used without her being credited, paid a fee or given royalties.”

While the GoFundMe aims to support Tish, Farina is also uplifting Bailey’s voice by having her feature on the DJ’s upcoming EP Stay Soft, out 5 April.

Bailey herself has spoken out in light of the GoFundMe campaign. “Though I never desired fame or notoriety, knowing millions worldwide have heard my voice and enjoyed it for decades and continue to even today, brings me joy,” she writes on her website.

“Though few know my name or have seen my face, I know I’ve brought a lil spicy joy to countless people,” she continues. “That’s my life’s purpose so despite any downside, I humbly appreciate the opportunity to reach the hearts of many.”

People can support to Bailey by donating to the GoFundMe or pre-ordering her EP with Farina on Bandcamp.


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