L-FRESH The Lion is very likely one of the most recognisable personas in Australian Hip Hop right now. The Western Sydney rapper will be back in Melbourne later this week as part of his 'Become' Tour.
L-FRESH moved to Melbourne earlier in his career, before returning to Sydney after signing to Sydney-based label Elefant Traks in 2015.
We threw a quick Q&A at the man, before he hits the stage at Northcote Social Club on Friday.
L-FRESH: Many thanks! It's great to be on tour again, this time to celebrate a new album. It's been an exciting ride so far with this record, and taking it on the road extends the album's journey to people in the real world. I think the title can be interpreted as a reflection of both. It's a very personal record about my story of becoming the person I am today and who I strive to be going into the future. While it deals with very personal stories, it's also something that resonates with everybody. We all deal with complexity. We all face internal battles and external pressures. The album deals with all of it in such a way that when you listen to it, we end up riding together through it all.
L-FRESH: When I was in the process of creating it, I knew it was going to be a huge track, particularly as a live song. So when it came time to choose the second single, 1 in 100,000 was the favourite. I think it's a pretty good summary of the album. It moves in unconventional ways, jumping into different styles and sounds, and lyrically, it's intense and in-your-face, which is reflective of much of the album.
L-FRESH: I've never practiced as a lawyer. I did graduate from law school though. I've utilised that training in so many ways since graduating. It's helped in my music career but it's also informed some of my work in the community and human rights sectors.
L-FRESH: I'm back in Sydney. It's good to be home. I feel like I got what I needed from my stay in Melbourne. I spent almost 3 years living there. I learnt a lot about myself during that time. Being back in Sydney makes sense for right now. It's where my family is and it's where my music team is based.
L-FRESH: It's funny because for a lot of my time in Melbourne, I was actively touring, so most of my weekends were spent travelling interstate. But man, I had plenty of favourite spots; mostly food spots haha. I spent quite a bit of time in Footscray. Some of my favourite restaurants and café's are there. I'm looking forward to coming back for the tour so I can hit up those spots.
L-FRESH: I'd done a bit of work with Elefant Traks in the past, prior to One. I opened up for The Herd and Horrorshow at a couple of shows. I think The Herd show was my proper introduction to Elefant Traks.
Working with them has been amazing. I've enjoyed the experience and I'm constantly learning. We build on everything, from creative ideas in music to business and strategy. There’s always pressure and expectations that you have to deal with as an artist in the music industry. They're part of the job. You live with it and you deal with it. But what trumps all of that is the level of expectation I put on myself. That's the most important. If I'm on point there, then everything usually takes care of itself.
I met Morganics at a Hip Hop workshop in my hometown of Liverpool, South West Sydney. He was running MC workshops, which I participated in. It was great, man. He got me thinking about my craft in different ways and he put me on to so much local Hip Hop history. I'll always be grateful to him for that.
Yeah man I feel the same way. I've been extremely disappointed with KRS-One's responses. I don't care who you are or what you've done. Nobody gets a pass for sexual abuse; particularly sexual abuse of kids.
Haha, we could go deep on this one. It's not really a light-hearted one haha. I'll say this though: I understand people's need to put labels on things in order to make sense of them. I know who I am, what I'm about and what I represent. No single label can define me because just like everybody else, I'm much more complex than that. Now with that said, my Sikh culture and practice is very important to me on a personal level. I think it's been really positive for people to be able to get a basic introduction to Sikh culture through what I do. It helps break down barriers and create understanding.
Many thanks fam. Much love.