“Everybody’s free to feel good!”
It’s a simple enough lyric – just five short words – yet, for a dance lover, it perfectly captures to heart and soul of this genre. It’s the party spirit through and through, and for anyone looking to understand the appeal of EDM, this track will give it to them.
But how did the song come to be written? And how did audiences receive it at the time? Join us as we answer those questions and more in this week’s Nexus Radio Flashback!
Who Is Rozalla?
If you’re asking that question, you need to plug in those headphones and listen to some dance classics. Ranked by Billboard magazine as the 98th most successful dance artist of all time, Rozalla is, without a doubt, one of the most influential EDM artists of the ’90s, helping to shape the genre we know and love today.
But, of course, nobody is born a successful artist. For Rozalla Miller, it all began at age 13 when she took to the stage performing at various clubs and events throughout her home country of Zambia (then known as Northern Rhodesia). With great talent came early success, and before long, the young Miss Miller found herself performing to an audience of thousands on children’s TV.
Fast forward to 1988, and at 24 years old, Rozalla has already founded quite the career for herself. She’s performed on five chart-topping hits and worked with multiple R&B bands, and now she’s moved to London and is looking to kick off her international career in earnest with her first UK single “Born to Luv Ya”. All in all, by the tail end of the ’80s, she was set to take the music world by storm, and all she needed now was a really good hit.
The Perfect Track
It’s not often that the perfect track comes along, but sometimes, as they say, the stars align, and the right artist finds the right song at just the right time.
Written by Nigel Swanston and Tim Cox, “Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good)” wasn’t Rozalla’s first single, nor even her first hit. Still, it served to launch her into international stardom nonetheless. First released in 1991, the song performed well in the UK charts, reaching number six, and before long, it was making the rounds across Europe, hitting the top ten in Germany, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, France, and Denmark.
The song was just the hit Rozalla had needed, and when it was released a year later in the US, it was an overnight success with dance music fans.
With its catchy melody and beat you can’t help, but dance to, this track has inspired numerous remixes and covers. From Global Deejays’ 2008 version to Baz Luhrmann’s iconic “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)”, many artists have taken it upon themselves to bring a touch of their creativity to this EDM classic. Even as recently as last year, Kylie Minogue’s cover of the song featured in the popular American Romcom “Bros,” and London-based independent record label SubSoul put out a remix by Solardo, featuring Dave Ralph.
To this day, fans are still going back and listening to “Everybody’s Free”, with the same joy now that they did then. The song’s message might be simple, but as we said at the start, it captures the essence of dance music. So if you’re looking for a track that will inspire you to get up and go, or get yourself into a party spirit, this is the song for you.