L-Fresh the Lion launches new album

Sukhdeep Singh AKA L-Fresh the Lion will launch his new album on Thursday.
Sukhdeep Singh AKA L-Fresh the Lion will launch his new album on Thursday.

Sukhdeep Singh, more commonly known by his hip-hop pseudonym L-Fresh the Lion, said his latest album South West is a "love letter to the area."

The 31-year-old released his third studio album, following on from his ARIA-nominated 2016 album Become, on July 17 through Elefant Traks. He will launch the album on Liverpool City Council's Facebook page on July 30 at 4pm.

Punjabi samples are an undercurrent to the hip-hop tracks on the the 13 track digital release which took six-months to write, record and produce after 18-months of developing the concept.

South West is L-Fresh The Lion's third album.

South West is L-Fresh The Lion's third album.

The two extra tracks on the vinyl version features a song titled No Worries - an anthem for the area which features local singer Jessica Jade.

Singh said the album is "full of messages" for his 13-year-old self, who became obsessed with hip-hop music and spent many hours in his room working out how to make it after becoming "fascinated" by the stories, sounds, messages and style.

"The big thing for me is it is written start to finish as a journey and a series of messages for my younger self. The idea of the record was to share messages that I needed to hear at that age like being confident in yourself, in your culture and where you're from," he said.

"I wanted to put together a record that was reflective of that and celebrated culture, confidence and pride in where you're from and all the stories that come with that.

"My aim for South West was to create music that my 13-year-old self would be proud to listen to, not only because the beats knocked but the stories represented him and related to him.

"I was lost back then. The messages on this album are what I wish I knew."

The main messages of the album centre around Singh's Sikh faith and his south-west community.

On the track Mother Tongue he talks about being fluent in Punjabi which was his first language and losing it as he got older with the "conditioning" around him.

"I felt like it wasn't cool and I brought in to that and let it go only to regret years later by not being able to converse with my grandma and not being able to communicate with her properly," he said.

"Now I am re-learning it and trying to reconnect with that language in my older age. It's important to keep hold of your language; it's valuable."

Another song Strength focuses on the idea of community.

"Often growing up you don't see many people from the area you're from represented in media but when you do see someone from the area doing really well, it feels like you've won even though its their journey," he said.

"It ain't winning unless we're all winning I say in the song. When one of us wins from the area, it's a success for all of us because it lets us know and the next generation from area know that anything is possible."

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, L-Fresh the Lion was planning on launching the album as part of a community festival. That has been replaced by a 90-minute livestream which is being presented by Council and Delivered Live, and funded by a Create NSW Western Sydney Making Spaces grant and the American Express Music Backers Program.

It will feature performances from the Bindi Bosses dance crew and an opening set by Barkaa.

Liverpool Mayor Wendy Waller said: "This special event is a great example of Council's commitment to providing platforms for local artists to tell their stories and help us appreciate and celebrate all that we love about Liverpool; its diversity, heritage and natural beauty."

Singh said there is no shortage of talent from the area.

"We've got so many great artists and passionate young people who without formal training are creating some really amazing stuff," he said.

South West was released on July 17 through Elefant Traks.

South West was released on July 17 through Elefant Traks.

"One thing we have struggled with over the years is finding places to perform locally and artists from the area have had to travel to get opportunities to perform which makes it really challenging, especially for fans of local music. The more opportunities we can get to do things locally is important. I reckon it will add so much to the character to the area.

"The next step is live music venues and businesses getting behind local music and supporting it in a meaningful way so the next generation can cultivate professional careers as artists - especially post COVID because it is really hard for artists and the music industry. It's going to be an industry that feels the hit a lot longer that the rest of the country."