|By: Angela “Miss M” Morrissey
From the CollegeHipHop.com Australasian – Oceania Desk
L-FRESH The LION has a new single out called ‘Get Mine.’ It features singer Parvyn Kaur Singh (Bombay Royale) whose vocals are simply heartfelt and beautiful. The song deals with racism and the rappers’ frustration with the ignorance and intolerance in Australian society.
In ‘Get Mine’ L-FRESH The Lion raps about being treated like a “second class citizen” and that people tell him to “go home” even though he “(comes) from here.”
The song was co-written by KLP and produced by Damn Moroda. L-FRESH explains that the song is about “smiling even when the odds are stacked up against you; stylin’ on em, even when the game wasn’t made for you to win.”
“Get Mine” is framed by urgent and powerful rapping and autographed with the fiery call to action of Parvyn Kaur Singh, whose vocals bring the song into full focus.
This is a song that deals with the struggle of obtaining a sense of belonging in a country that still has a long way to go in regards to accepting people from all walks of life.
CollegeHipHop.com : In your latest song “Get Mine” you sing that you are still a “second class citizen” and that people tell you to “go home” even though you “come from here.” What is the story behind these lyrics?
L-FRESH The LION: The song reflects on my personal experiences with racism. The lyrics are quite clear. I tell it how it is: upfront and in your face. This is my story; my reflections on my dealings with racism and discrimination.
CollegeHipHop.com: The song features Parvyn Kaur Singh. Can you tell us more about her and what it was like to work with her?
L-FRESH The LION: Parvyn’s like my big sister. That’s family right there. We have fun working together and just jamming together. We’re always talking about a range of different ideas and discussing life in general. So we’re always building even beyond music. She’s a great artist who is dedicated to her craft. It’s always a pleasure working with her.
CollegeHipHop.com: You sing about racism and ignorance yet Australia “prides” itself on being a tolerant and inclusive society. Do you think we still have a long way to go in regards to accepting people of different races and religions?
L-FRESH The LION: We’ve still got a ways to go. We have national political discourse, which utilizes language in such a way so as to have a negative influence on the dominant public culture in this country. As a result, it’s not surprising to hear of everyday people in Australia being subjected to racism and discrimination.
We need to move beyond tolerance and inclusion. Those words imply certain connotations that relate to power. We tolerate things like bad behavior in children. It’s like saying we put up with people from other backgrounds. Inclusion is great but it’s often tokenistic and rarely genuine.
We need to move beyond those words and realise that at the end of the day, we are a community. In a healthy, positive community, there is no “them” or “they.” There is only “us.” We are in it together.
In a healthy, positive community we accept, acknowledge, understand and appreciate the fact that we are all different. Australia is made up of people from all walks of life. We cannot deny our differences. We are different but that is okay. Our strength is in our diversity.
The one thing that is the same, regardless of where we come from, is our desire to create safe, healthy and better futures for our children; for the next generation. So we must all play an equal role in order to make that happen because we are a community, and we’re in this together.
I’ve had over 8 years’ experience working in the community sector, alongside building my music career, connecting with people from all walks of life. Regardless of who I was working with, the one common thread was the learning and growth that came about from sharing; from genuinely getting to know one another.
I think that’s what we need to do as a country and as individuals. We need to get to know the people within our communities. We need to step outside of our comfort zones a little and connect with those who we currently don’t know. Instead of talking about asylum seekers and refugees, get to know one. Just one. Start with one. Instead of talking about Indigenous people. Get to know one. Instead of talking about white, black, Asian, Arabic, brown people etc. Get to know one.
Get to know us because we are a community and we’re in it together.
CollegeHipHop.com: You sing, “they say, this is yours but what’s yours is mine, but I gotta get mine.” What do these lyrics mean?
L-FRESH The LION: This is a comment on power and privilege. As a young brown man, born and raised in Australia, I’m dictated by societal norms to fit in and play a certain role. If I want anything outside of what’s expected of me, then that’s trouble. I’m told that I’m not allowed to.
What I’m saying in the song is that I have control over my own agency, just like every other individual should. I am the creator of my own future and I have the ability to be able to create that. Nobody, whether that’s an individual or a societal construct, can tell me who I can and can’t be.
CollegeHipHop.com: The song is co-written with KLP and produced by Damn Moroda. What was it like working with them?
L-FRESH The LION: They’re both professionals. It was inspiring working with them both because they’re both so efficient and great at what they do. They’re masters of their styles.
CollegeHipHop.com: Where can people see you perform?
L-FRESH The LION: I’ll be touring “Get Mine” nationally across Australia throughout October, November and December. We’ll be playing a brand new set, featuring some new songs from my upcoming album, including “Get Mine”, and songs of mine that people have already been enjoying.
We’re playing shows in Wagga Wagga, Melbourne, Brisbane, Hobart, Newcastle, Sydney, Adelaide, Toowoomba, Canberra and Queenscliff Music Festival. You can find out more info and get tickets at http://www.L-FRESH.com/events.
CollegeHipHop.com: What are your other plans for the rest of 2015?
L-FRESH The LION: I have the “Get Mine” single tour in October, November and December. Outside of that, I’ll be in the studio finishing my new album.
CollegeHipHop.com: Where can people find out more about you?