L-FRESH The LION is our newest APRA AMCOS Ambassador

Monday, 25 Mar 2019

L-FRESH The LION (photo: Adam Scarf)

He hails from South West Sydney and is making an impact locally and internationally through his music - whether that's sharing a stage with hip-hop legends Nas or Talib Kweli, mentoring at youth songwriting workshops across Australia including a recent SongMakers, or speaking at the United Nations. L-FRESH The LION is our newest APRA AMCOS Ambassador, a hip-hop artist from the same mold as J. Cole and Black Thought from The Roots, and his music is grounded in thought-provoking lyricism, providing social commentary from the perspective of an Australian born to migrant parents from Punjab, India.

Signed to the esteemed Elefant Traks label, L-FRESH The LION was nominated for an ARIA Award for his 2016 LP Become, he is involved in the YouTube Creators for Change campaign and last year spoke at the UN Headquarters in New York. In celebration of his Ambassador appointment, we asked L-FRESH The LION to answer a few quick questions. 

I am inspired to write songs when…

Something's on my mind.

The song that everyone should listen to right now is:

Hold On by MIRRAH


The moment I knew I could pursue a music career was…

When I toured Australia with Nas after I had just turned 21. I had a moment standing side of stage at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney, watching Nas and his band perform. I was like, wow... how am I here and how did I even get to perform as part of this tour? I hadn't released anything commercially and I was still super new to the scene and the industry. It was that moment though that made me realise that I could do this and that I really wanted to do it more than anything else in the world.

Can you elaborate on how hip-hop connected with you musically and culturally?

Hip-hop is so rich in culture and musical styles. One song can give you an insight into culture, history, politics, society and the feeling of entire movement, while introducing you to sounds of different genres from around the world. No other style of music does that like hip-hop. For me, I learnt early on that hip-hop values authenticity. It tells you to be original, not to try and copy anybody else. When I got schooled on that, I dived in on my culture and my story. Hip-hop taught me how to find my voice.

You are involved with a lot of community and arts organisations, often leading workshops for young people. What are you learning about the next wave of Australian songwriters and musicians from these experiences?

I learn a lot from working with young artists and musicians. Many things about making music and the industry has changed but one thing that's consistent is drive, passion, discipline and commitment. The kids who have those, no matter what era we're talking about, they're the ones who excel.

One thing that stands out about now is how big the internet is for the next generation. Especially in the area of learning how to make music. They can quickly search something on the internet and find a video tutorial telling them how to do it. It's taking the learning how to make music experience to another level. It means people don't really have to have a huge budget to get into making music. They can do it from their homes. That's changing the pace with which they learn too, because those kids who are really passionate will go all in and keep learning at a pace that matches their drive.

As an artist who frequently collaborates, what is your top tip for a successful collaboration?

Drop your ego.

The future of songwriting is exciting because…

Technology is leveling out the playing field.

Copyright is meaningful to me because…

It protects artists and musicians.

I’m an APRA AMCOS Ambassador because…

APRA AMCOS gets shit done.

Watch L-FRESH The LION's YouTube Creators for Change short film Culture Strong.


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