“For me, music is a game-changer. It brings people together in such a beautiful way.”
L-Fresh The Lion, with Mirrah and Mk-1, heads to the Prince Of Wales, Bunbury, this Thursday, January 15; Settlers Tavern, Margaret River, on Friday, January 16; and the Fly By Night on Saturday, January 17, with local support from Marksman Lloyd and Selekt Few. BOB GORDON checks in on the rising Australian hip hop star.
You performed last week at the Asia Cup. What’s it like being able to perform your music in front of ever-growing and diversifying audiences?
It’s a blessing. It really is. I’m very thankful for each and every opportunity to perform, whether that’s in front of 20 people or 20,000+ people. At the end of the day, I’m doing what I love to do and I’m grateful that I’m able to do so. The show itself was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’ll never forget it. The scenes will replay over and over in my head for the rest of my life. I live for opportunities like this.
Describe the last 12 months, in terms of your career trajectory…
The last 12 months was all about growth and establishing a foundation. The release of my debut album, One, in May of last year, kicked off a special rise for me and my team. We enjoyed last year immensely, and learnt a lot along the way.
What was your musical upbringing like? Did music surround you or did you have to pursue it?
I grew up with a wide range of musical influences around me. My family – being Punjabi Sikhs – played quite a bit of traditional, classical religious music. Actually, they still do. My cousin, Sukhpal, played around for a bit as a Punjabi DJ, so I had those beats banging around me quite a bit. And then all my mates throughout school would share so much Western music with me. Hip hop really resonated with me when I was introduced to it in high school.
We live in ever-troubling times as the events of the last few days have again echoed. Do you think hip hop – and indeed all music – is more important than ever as a vehicle to unify people?
Music definitely has a role to play. It’s so much a part of our every day lives. For me, music is a game-changer. It brings people together in such a beautiful way. It’s an amazing sight to see people from all walks of life come together at a gig. Hip hop music has always played a role in addressing social and political issues, and it’ll continue to do so, now more than ever.
What are your plans for 2015?
I want to reach many more new places in Australia. I’d love to continue travelling with my team; to see more of Australia and to connect with the people along the way. The plan for 2015 is to continue to build off the foundation we established in 2014. There’s many more shows to play and a lot more music to make.