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Song You Need to Know: Val Flynn, ‘Love Ain’t Free’

“I wrote this as an anthem for anyone who has these moments and for them and me to know that the darkness ends when we say it does.”


While the year of 2020 has been something of a disappointing one for many, Brisbane’s Val Flynn may look back on the year that was with a mixed appreciation many would be unable to share. Following his return home from New York, a two-month stint in bed while recovering from COVID-19 left Flynn in a position where he was able to take stock of his musical direction, before embarking on a new process of rebirth, reinvention and re-ignition.

Rising to prominence over the last couple of years by way of a run of dance-heavy singles, a collaboration with Miss Blanks, and a performance on Charli XCX’s 1999 tour, Flynn was already on the way to becoming something of a household name, though this new refocused approach to music is undoubtedly the next step towards achieving that goal.

“Pop music is something that’s always  spoken to every inch of my heart,” Flynn explains. “I was definitely finding my feet the past few years but then 2020 happened and the universe connected me with my producer Hugh Middleton.

“Hugh has really been the catalyst for this new sound. He really understands what it is I’m trying to do and supports me in every way. He’s given me the confidence to make the leap into pop. I’ve always wanted to create pop music but my Segway [sic] into music was through my close friends who are all in the Australian hip-hop scene. I’ll be forever grateful to the Australian hip-hop commit for their constant support and I truly hope they love this pivot as much as I do.”

The product of this shift from hip-hop to pop is “Love Ain’t Free”, an anthemic pop track which is dedicated to vulnerability, and those going through periods of insecurity.

Written and recorded back in May alongside Middleton, the track is a perfect showcase of this new era of Val Flynn, combining powerful, cathartic songwriting with an equally effective delivery, filled with pop hooks, and backed by a truly immersive video clip.

“I was coming out of a break up and this one really felt different,” Flynn says of the track’s origins. “I’d been doing a lot of spiritual work on myself in 2020 and the song came from a place of feeling displaced and unloved whilst in the midst of this internal work.

“I was just like, ‘What’s wrong with me? Why am I not good enough?’ It’s a love song to the darkest side of myself for when I have days that I don’t feel like loving myself completely. It’s for days when I can’t be all the way happy. I wrote this as an anthem for anyone who has these moments and for them and me to know that the darkness ends when we say it does.”

With “Love Ain’t Free” officially on track to be released this week, the future is looking bright for Flynn, whose role as a rising musician is helping to provide representation for those in the queer and Indigenous communities. More music is set to arrive in February 2021, as Flynn shares an as-yet unnamed “super energetic dance pop track” co-written with Thelma Plum, with many more massive career highlights set to follow.

Val Flynn’s “Love Ain’t Free” will be officially released on Thursday, November 19th via iTunes.