L-FRESH THE LION IS RENOWNED FOR HIS POWERFUL PRESENCE, INSPIRING LIVE SHOWS AND THOUGHT-PROVOKING LYRICISM. IN A SHORT SPACE OF TIME, THE WESTERN SYDNEY ARTIST HAS GONE FROM UNDERGROUND COMMUNITY EVENTS AND CIPHERS TO NATIONAL TOURS AND MAJOR FESTIVALS. IT SPEAKS OF AN MC WITH A SENSE OF PURPOSE AND SELF-BELIEF. (source: here)
All in All Co: L-FRESH THE LION thank you so much for joining us today! We know you are a busy man so let’s get straight into it.
Did you always see yourself having a career in music?
L-FRESH THE LION: No, to be honest, I didn’t. When I was a teenager I was really into sport. Sport was my thing; I wanted to be a professional athlete more than anything. Cricket mainly but before that I wanted to be in the Olympics. But that didn’t really pan out for me.
All in All Co: Aim high ha ha!
L- FRESH THE LION: Yeah! Music came round my mid teens; I think I was about 14 when I started writing music.
All in All Co: Oh wow, you started writing music as a teenager! At that point did you decide that’s what you were going to do for a career or was it just more of a passion?
L- FRESH THE LION: Yeah more of a passion on the side It wasn’t until after year 12 in high school, it kind of clicked at that point that hey I feel such a purpose in what I do then when I turned 21 I wanted to pursue this seriously.
All in All Co: Yeah absolutely, because it’s not an easy industry to crack right? Did you have many obstacles starting out?
L- FRESH THE LION: Yeah look plenty of obstacles and challenges back then and even to this day, but you know, it’s funny… I was even talking about this with a mate of mine yesterday but it’s kinda like. You have 100 disappointments before you have successes. That’s been true since day 1 but I have had the belief since the beginning never to take it personally and just keep moving because I know what my focus is.
All in All Co: Does your passion and the belief in what you are doing overcome the obstacles? A lot people would find it difficult to overcome those knock backs and essentially give up.
L- FRESH THE LION: Most definitely! I know what purpose this serves in the world, the positive impact it’s having on me, the people around me and the community. Um and that this is my way of making a small contribution to a state of affairs around the world. When I connect to what I’m doing in a way that’s bigger than just myself than that overrides any obstacle.
All in All Co: I think that’s what is so different and amazing about you and your music; you come with such a strong message as well. I feel like that drives you just as much as the music itself, the fact that you have this incredible voice. Sorry there’s not even a question here. How easy of difficult was the jump to do music full time? Did you have a stable job before you moved into music?
L- FRESH THE LION: Yeah so I studied a law degree and an arts degree at university and graduated with both. I didn’t have a job in that field lined up but I was working in the human rights sector for 8 years parallel with doing music and um when I finished university I was working part time and doing music, then working full time and doing music. At some point during the working full time stretch I got to the stage where I couldn’t balance the two. The music was demanding so much more time and energy then I could give it so I had to walk away from working full time and work in general. This was only just over a year ago where it was like this is working and I had to put my head down and focus on building the momentum in a way that was going to sustain myself. So it wasn’t easy, it’s been a long process. I started when I was 14, started taking it seriously at 21 then with working, at uni and doing music full time it was like from 21 to 27 , so 6 years of trying to pursue music professionally before I could take that big step of doing this full time.
All in All Co: Definitely and I feel that part is where people will struggle, that jump is such a scary thing. I think that’s why it is so important to talk and interview people like you. Most find it so difficult to make the decision to pursue a passion over a safe career. You are proof that the risk is paying off!!!
So, what does a day in the life look like for you?
L- FRESH THE LION: I tend to appreciate some sense of routine at least, as much as I can get outside the hectic-ness of it all. I try to get up early eating well and going to the gym, get my body and my soul right.
All in All Co: Does it throw you off if you don’t do your routine in the morning?
L- FRESH THE LION: Most definitely, all of the above is important but like if I don’t get a good breakfast in, like food is so important it throws me off. But my work day consists of, on average, a start about 11, but then I’ll keep powering through till bedtime pretty much and that can range. Studio to rehearsal, to admin work taking meetings. It really depends on what I have coming up.
All in All Co: Um given your job is so creative but you also have so much going on, do you ever fear that your creativeness will get taken over by the business side? Or do you always ensure you have time set aside for creating?
L- FRESH THE LION: Yeah look the more I go down this journey the less time I have to create then when I first started, but you know I kind of think it in this way, how can I be more efficient with my time ? You know by this point I kind of have figured out processes that work for me, like I kinda know what I’m gonna do when I’m in the studio, there is no time wasting. Definitely time spent experimenting and jamming but again that’s all for purpose, but given time is so precious and my creative time is quite limited, there is no half assing around. Then there’s also building into habit moments of being creative throughout the day like driving, song concepts and lyrics recorded into my phone or when I’m cooking. Any time can be a creative moment.
All in All Co: I think that’s really cool, like your body/mind kinda knows when you have a minute and uses that to create.
L- FRESH THE LION: Yeah most definitely, I find it progressively harder to switch off, just as more ideas tend to be coming these days but you always have to force yourself to switch off.
All in All Co: Are you always on when you are on stage? Like how do you maintain that energy when you are having a bad day?
L- FRESH THE LION: Good question, when I step on stage like as soon as I cross that white line my mentality switches or something clicks. I approach it like that so as soon as I’m on stage I’m ready to go, regardless of what has happened that day. I always find a way to muster up energy and it helps to have a great team of people as well as a hype MC Mirrah that is just a ball of energy. Knowing the chemistry we have, I can let her know when that energy drops and she can fill that gap. That tends to be rare though, as soon as I cross that line I’m on.
All in All Co: So what came first the message or the music for you?
L- FRESH THE LION: Message has always been there since day one, even if I wasn’t doing music id be doing something that I believe was of value. That’s really important to me; music just feels like the space that I’m most passionate about and also the space that allows me to amplify that message the most. The message has always been there.
All in All Co: So, creators for change!! How did that come about?
L- FRESH THE LION: Yeah good question, I have been working alongside an Australian based company called Love Frankie, they work with you tube in this region to help develop talent or creators who are making things positive. So I’ve been working with them for a little bit with their campaign that they have coming up called Share Some Good. So working with love Frankie and Mirrah to create you tube content and through that process the Creators for change team identified the work I’ve been doing and wanted to get behind that, so it’s been pretty cool.
All in All Co: So do they give you to tools to do your own project?
L- FRESH THE LION: Yeah early days so ill be working with them developing ideas, they will give me access to resources and tools networks that I need to pull off those ideas. It’s pretty exciting to have the backing of one of the biggest social platform networks in the world and you know that they have faith in what you’re doing and wanna support it. Which is pretty cool
All in All Co: Ahhh that so amazing, and you are the only fellow representing Australia right?
L- FRESH THE LION: Yeah it’s kinda, like not took me by surprise but I gotta pinch myself a little bit sometimes
All in All Co: I saw it come out a couple a days ago (the announcement) and I was like hell yeah I am interviewing this guy, he’s pretty impressive ha ha. That’s amazing!
We kind of touched on this before but from my perspective and I’m sure for many readers, when you have an idea or dream you do encounter a lot of ‘No’s’ what is your advice on how to work through that?
L- FRESH THE LION: Yeah you’re gonna get your knock backs, way more knock backs than yes’ but that’s cool, that’s all part of the journey, you just need to roll with it and Ride it out. If you know what you’re doing and where you’re going. My saying that I formula after a lot of knock backs when I was younger is just keep going and become unstoppable. Even if they say no I’m still gonna do what I intended to do anyway you know? That works in a bunch of different settings. For example we might be putting out a song and it doesn’t get picked up by a bunch of radio stations but it doesn’t change our plan, we are gonna do it anyway. Just put your head down and do it regardless.
All in All Co: What advice do you have for people who are struggling to find their purpose?
L- FRESH THE LION: I tend to think about it in two ways, one is like what makes you the most happy and brings you the most joy, reflection of that tends to point you to areas that are really important to you and things that you value. Secondly think outside of my/yourself, what does the world need? What space isn’t being occupied? OR what spaces are being occupied but not well enough? How do I combine those things that make me happy and that really speak to me as an individual, that acknowledge where I come from and how do I bring that out into the world and make a difference. Even if it’s the smallest difference or impact. A lot of reflection for people who struggle, it will come.
All in All Co: I mean if you are making a difference and you are doing what you love, what could be cooler?
L- FRESH THE LION: Yeah most definitely.
All in All Co: Ok let’s wrap it up with one final question; what would people be surprised to know about you?
L- FRESH THE LION: Haha there are quite a lot of things people don’t know about me… This is probably a really simple one, let’s do this one. I’m not actually serious all the time. I think people get the impression I’m heavy into politics, that I’m always thinking about deep issues, that’s a part of me but for vast majority of the day I’m kicking back and making jokes, laughing, love to just talk shit.
All in All Co: YES YOU SWORE ha ha I have been holding in my swearing throughout this whole interview just in case.
Thank you so much for your time L-FRESH The LION!
Until next time….
All in All Co.