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L-Fresh the Lion on his BECOME Tour and Music Culture in Australia

– interview by Dariya Salmin

What can we expect from the BECOME National Tour?
Energy and honesty. My shows are about movement on multiple levels. When my team and I are on stage, we get you moving physically, mentally and emotionally. We’ll give you high energy and positive vibes. At the same time, the focus of this tour is honesty. It’s about exploring the depths of my new album, BECOME, and reflecting on its intensity with everybody at the show.

You’re heading to quite a few different capital cities and regional areas around Australia, from previous experience, where has been your favourite place to perform?
Our most recent shows in Perth and Freo were definitely highlights. Both shows were high energy. Freo in particular, was electric. I’m looking forward to coming back and rocking all over again.

Did you expect BECOME to be doing as well as it has been in regards to being placed on numerous ‘Best Albums of 2016’s So Far’ lists?
It’s nice to get that recognition but I don’t expect it. When I’m making music, I never set those recognition moments as goals. My focus is solely on trying to make really good, relatable music.

The album contains a lot of songs with personal lyrics, such as “Be Cool” which touches on the racism you experience, what has the response been like in regards to these more serious songs?
The people get it. They really get it. I’ve had heavy, honest conversations with fans about BECOME. They understand it. Some of them have been through those emotions and experiences themselves and feel the vibes because the music is so expressive.

Do you think there has been a shift in Australia’s popular music culture which is becoming more accepting and welcoming of musicians from all different walks of life?
I think the music and entertainment industries have had and will continue to have no choice but to be open and accepting of people from all walks of life. We’re here. We’re not going away. And we’re making very real and relevant music that people are hungry for. The music and entertainment industries have to embrace us or they’ll struggle to survive.

As a young boy, who were your hip-hop musical idols?
I was the biggest Tupac fan as a teenager. His music and his voice really resonated with me.

What has been a pivotal moment in your music career that has made you feel inspired to keep doing what you are doing?
I remember touring with Nas in 2009. I had just turned 21 and I was touring with one of my favourite artists on his first headline tour of the country. The last show on the tour was a sold out one at the Enmore Theatre in my hometown of Sydney. I remember standing side of stage and watching his set, feeling inspired by the moment. I absorbed that vibe and told myself that one day I’d play a sellout show at the Enmore one day too. It sparked a hunger in me that has been growing ever since.

After the national tour, what is on the cards for L-FRESH The LION?
My focus is on sharing this BECOME journey with fans. It’s an album that really demands your time and attention. It goes deep. So I don’t want to rush away from it too quickly. I want to continue to share its honesty and complexity with all of those who are taking it in.

Find your tickets for L-FRESH the LION’s upcoming shows here!

Image via Michelle Grace Hunder.

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