Queen’s Brian May recently joined a conversation on BBC Radio and talked about his bandmate and friend, Freddie Mercury. He revealed that he and the rest of the band didn’t realize that he was a genius.

Brian May enjoys keeping himself busy with various music and scientific projects and can be characterized as a workaholic. Because of Covid, the Queen + Adam Lambert tour had to be put on hold, and in the meantime, May started his live show on Instagram called Bri-TV.

In his recent interview with BBC Radio, May talked about other things rather than his latest projects. He revealed his opinions about a new Queen movie, but more importantly, he spoke about Freddie Mercury and confessed that neither he nor the rest of the band noticed Freddie’s genius.

When asked if Freddie was a social person, he replied:

“Very much so, very shy but also very social. Absolutely, he lived to the max every second of the day. And why is he so enduring, that was the first question, wasn’t it? I don’t think we even realised that Freddie is a bit of a genius, really – a pretty eccentric kind of genius.

You wouldn’t have thought it if you met him in the street or Kensington market around 1970. You’d just thought, ‘A strange guy – obviously thinks he’s a rock star.’ But he had an incredible belief in himself, incredible drive, and he stood for no-nonsense.”

He went on to say:

“Nothing would ever get in his way of achieving what he wanted to achieve. So I take that as an example even now because we’re all people-pleasers, aren’t we? We think, ‘Oh, I like to do this but I don’t want to do that because that might upset this person.’ Freddie was never like that. He said, ‘I want to do this, I’m going to do this. If you don’t want me to do it, get out of my way.’

Some people might have found him rude but generally, Freddie achieved what he did because he was so focused and had so much belief. Pretty fantastic voice as well. A gift from God, obviously.”

As most Queen fans know, Freddie was a unique person with an extraordinary talent, and many people hardly understood him. May admitted that they thought he was just strange, but in reality, his genius was misunderstood.

You can listen to his interview below.