Born on the island of Dominica in the West Indies, Free's musical life was launched in 1969 when he began to express himself with the guitar, bass, melodica, bamboo flute and piano. He twice won the highly coveted first prize in a national music competition in Trinidad and Tobago, while in the Caribbean. In 1981, Free brought his musical wherewithal to the United States where his talents were immediately utilized as a gig musician. He performed from New York to California as a solo artist at venues with Joe Higgs, Burning Spear, The Wailing Souls, Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus and the legendary Augustus Pablo. Free Joseph's overriding interest is to "give mankind soul searching music that can help heal the wounds of tribulation".