Storytelling in hip hop is a skilled art form that we don’t see enough of these days but when it comes, it’s something that is held in high esteem. The combination of content and delivery needs to be spot on, something which is hard to master, especially in an era where people are changing the way they consume music.
I Am Hip Hop had the honour of interviewing one of London’s own storytellers, Fred Fredas, who has broken through in the last few years with EPs P.A.U and In the Search For Love. Both projects are noted for their ability to spread emotion due to the artist’s vocals.
The South Londoner will be headlining the kick off to Punch Records’ Welcome to my City tour on April 14 at the Underbelly in Hoxton and we had the chance to talk about his musical journey ahead of the night.
Your last project, In the Search for Love, has a noticeable concept of romance and smoothness. What brought on this decision, considering your project in 2017 had some more aggressive sounds?
I am a writer that talks about my experiences and what is going on in my life. When I started writing in the ‘In the Search for love’ I just entered into a relationship and that had an influence on the direction of the EP. It also made me question what love is and that made me want to delve more into this topic. When I got into the studio with Spacey Blak, the first song we made was ‘Angel in The Sky’ and this song set the tone for the rest of the EP.
I enjoyed listening to both projects and noticed from Ego to Peace of Mind there’s a consistency of consciousness no matter what the subject matter is. How important are these topics in the current political and social climate?
For me it’s all about connecting to people and changing lives, that is why I do music. I want my words to resonate with individuals deeply and for me, in this current social climate there are a lot of people are who scared to be themselves, therefore it is extremely important for me to show people that it’s ok to be yourself. I hope that through telling my story it gives someone hope to keep going in whatever it is they are pursuing.
As a fellow South Londoner, how much does your environment inspire you musically?
Growing up in South London has had a profound impact on me and that definitely feeds into my music. South London has always been heavy on rap music hence why, when I was growing up I never really listened to grime music because everyone in my area listened to mainly rap music, especially from America. Growing up in South London has definitely contributed to my musical style.
There has been somewhat of a renaissance of British hip hop in the last few years. How does it feel to be part of this and what direction do you see it going in?
I feel very privileged to be a part of it and I only want to continue contributing to it, helping it to grow, and making it the best it can be. For the future I see artists who are making alternative Hip Hop music come more to the forefront.
Is there anyone from the UK that you’d like to work with from this new era?
I would love to work with Little Simz, she is a big inspiration and a pioneer in her own right. She makes the music she wants and has been celebrated for doing so, I feel like Little Simz and I would collaborate well on a track together.
Who were your lyrical inspirations growing up?
Growing up I listened to a lot of old school Hip Hop, albums such as Nas’ ‘Illmatic’, Ras Kass- ‘Soul on ice’, Jay-Z’s ‘Reasonable doubt’, Kanye West’s ‘College dropout’ and Eminem’s ‘Marshall Mathers LP’. Through listening to these artists, I learnt the art of storytelling and the importance of telling stories through your music. I learnt how you can use words and particular rhyming schemes to touch the listener in profound ways.
What can we expect in your next project?
I am definitely pushing myself in my next project, therefore you can expect growth.
Are you looking forward to headline the Welcome to my City tour on the 14th April?
I am definitely looking forward to headlining the Welcome to my City tour, it’s an amazing opportunity and I can’t wait to get on stage.
What can we expect at the night at the Underbelly?
You can expect me to perform my heart on stage, that’s what I am about. I want to take everyone on a journey that night through my story.
Grab tickets to see Fred Fredas, along with many others at the Welcome to my City tour here
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