Adina Howard Reflects On Changing The Face Of Sexual Liberation & New Projects 20 Years After “Freak Like Me”
Great music stands the test of time and during the 90s era, romantic ballads and party anthems were created that continue to ring true for patrons of today. During a time when the subject of sex was dominated by the likes of young Robert Kelly and Jodeci, the female point of view was less often represented. That is until Adina Howard dropped her debut single “Freak Like Me” in 1995.
Her story forever changed the face of R&B for female artists and placed a face on sexual liberation for Black women nationwide. 1995 wasn’t like today where women proudly cling to their free-spirited thoughts of sexual expression. Sexual fulfillment wasn’t a conversation that was happening commonly among Black women, but when Adina popped on the scene, women began to think twice about the sex they were having and their relationships with themselves.
For several years after her industry debut, Adina topped the charts with sexually charged anthems that continued to raise awareness about female sexual satisfaction, but like many artists of that era, Adina seemed to disappear overnight.
Two decades later and ready to take on the world once again, the happily married multi-talented songstress has a lot to say about her rise to fame, the current state of music and sexual liberation. I had a chance to chat with the woman who first introduced me to sexual fulfillment as a young girl, and our conversation was nothing short of insightful.
ABOUT “FREAK LIKE ME”
“Freak Like Me” shocked the world with its bold messaging coming from a woman of color, but Adina doesn’t take all of the credit for the success of her first single. “The song is based on conversation between me and my former manager about my experiences,” says Adina. “I had conversations about our exchanges with the writers and producers of the record and that’s how “Freak Like Me” was written.”
When asked about why she believes the song was so successful, she attributes its popularity to the shared human experience. “When people can relate to certain subject matters like ‘Freak Like Me,’ that human experience is the reason why the song was so successful because people can relate.” Many have credited Adina with being a catalyst for change within the female Black community as it pertains to sexual liberation, but her take on the entire matter is far more relaxed. “I didn’t set out to begin a sexual movement,” corrects Howard. “I’m grateful that I was able to contribute. It wasn’t something that I set out to do. I was just being me and expressing myself through my music, and it just so happens that people were able to relate to it. [The song] opened a door for conversation and for women to explore and be comfortable with their sexuality.”