Working Part-Time In Pru’s, Using A Journal For Music Creation and Unlocking Emotions To Let People In – #LOSTCULTUREMEETS Fred Fredas
Fred Fredas has had a solid year thus far. After successfully launching and releasing his last EP P.A.U (Politics As Usual), the act went on to perform a sold-out show at Roundhouse earlier this year. The thought of performing at such a venue must usher feelings of nerves or anxiety, I had to ask how it impacted Fred. “It was really good,” he says with a smile on his face. “It was a cool turn out, I’ve been working on this for so long so to have it go well and the feedback also just as good, I’m happy.”
The South London based rapper delves into his relationship with the iconic venue further and how such an opportunity came to be, highlighting the skill of utilising relationships in your career. “I was a resident artist with Roundhouse for a year, from that year I saw and chased a lot of the opportunities that were on the table” he recalls. “From very early on in the residency, I knew that the end goal for me was to perform my own show. Despite all the obstacles, I persisted so that I could get it done.” At this moment I see a strong passion in Fred, he’s not an artist that’s rapping for fun, he takes the art seriously.
The UK as a whole, when it comes to the musical arts, is in a place of transition. Afro-swing remains a pertinent force across the country, routinely birthing artists such as Not3s and Ramz, however, Fred doesn’t fit into this paradigm. “My main influence is Hip-hop, it’s combined with instrumentals and other musical elements. My biggest influences are Nas, Andre 3000 – hardcore lyricism”. Fred also likes to pair these components with the likes of Stevie Wonder-inspired soundscapes. “The one constant in my music is that I like to be clear in themes on each track or project. However, I don’t like to be preachy.” Certain facets of Hip-hop tend to focus on the superficial elements such as competition, clothes, and clubs. “I always had good intentions” Fred says, “But the first thing in the game I would talk about is how good and better I am than the rest, but that’s a contradiction. The way to prove how good you are is to let people in, expand on concepts and make people feel something with the way that you use your words.” We delve further into Hip-hop and the use of this ego, I mention Rick Ross and how his character is a far cry from his Police career of the past, I’m intrigued as to whether Fred has created a character to maneuver through the industry. “My music is based on what I’m going through – I find it hard to write a song if it doesn’t relate my life experiences.” The introspective side comes out of the act in his approach to creating. “I even have a journal for my experiences throughout the day, that’s my writing process.”
Moving onto Fred‘s inspirations for his journal, and more widely music, leads us into his day job which is nothing short of impactful. “I work in a Pru (Pupil referral unit) part-time, where kids get sent if they are kicked out, through that I’ve learned that a lot these guys on road are struggling with their mental health, and upbringing – that’s in my journal and that’s inspiring my next project.” Ironically, a lot of acts in Hip-hop give back and help with community-based initiatives. Big Sean routinely gives back to Detroit and J Cole aids in helping the Black community. I wonder if all of this has a mental toll on the actors contributing. “What I’ve gathered is that if you’re in a city like London and not looking after yourself, it’s so easy to slip down the slope of breaking down. If this is not here *points to head* then everything can crash.” I nod in agreement and there’s a silence as we mutually think about the topic for a while.
As we digress, we reach another topic which is prominent in Fred‘s world – societal politics. The topic inspired his last project P.A.U, and as we talk about Black Lives Matter and the Black diaspora globally, Fred shares his frustrations in everyday issues that some people go through. “I feel like a lot of the time us as minorities, have to live in fear and a lot of that fear comes from not having enough support or aren’t taken seriously, there’s still a long way to go. We reach another point of silence, but it’s not awkward, it’s a joint understanding in the struggle and familiarity of the issues Fred just mentioned. I decide to flip the question and ask what keeps him going in these times of uncertainty. “I think the thought of nothing lasting forever, these moments are temporary, I’m very much a person that perseveres even in difficult situations, also my hustler mentality allows me to change my circumstances.”
Part of gaining new opportunities for the 23-year-old, has been the chance to finally complete the follow up to P.A.U, which is due for release mid-August. Titled In The Search Of Love, the project is clearly special to Fred as he smiles when it’s brought up in conversation. “It shows a different side to me, exploring love as a theme is new to me. This isn’t just a relationship love though, it’s family, friends different types of love across the board.” As we delve into specifics, he is adamant that diversity is key to his agenda, even when an overarching theme is the central focus of a project. “The main thing about In The Search Of Love is that I want people to get a different side of me. P.A.U was very aggressive and in your face, this is definitely going to be a more laid back and emotional side of me.” I can tell that Fred has been positively impacted over the last year. He’s grown as an artist and been able to nurture his fan base – he’s making new rules and seizing control of his future as a musician. As we round up the rising creator reiterates my thoughts at this moment by ending on his final statement. “I’m excited to show this version of me to the world.”
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