Tag Archives: music

L-FRESH The LION, Nooky + more join Love Music Hate Racism

Some of Australia’s hottest urban talent have banded together with national anti-racism organisation All Together Now to bring LOVE MUSIC HATE RACISM to Australia for the first time on Friday 1 June, bringing the national conversation around race to the forefront using the global language of music.

YouTube Creators for Change alumni L-FRESH The LION, who recently sent waves through the industry for his Tribeca Film Festival debuted single Raci$t/Our World will be headlining the show. He will be joined by outspoken Bad Apples Music rapper NOOKY, 2017 FOMO festival winner SOPHIEGROPHY and IMBI THE GIRL whose latest single was described by Purple Sneakers as “the sexiest song ever made”.

Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) was founded in the UK in 2002 in response to rising levels of racism and the growth of far-right extremism. There have since been hundreds of LMHR events around the world, and All Together Now is excited to be bringing this global event to Sydney for the first time.

“Music has the power to bring people from all walks of life together, regardless of their differences,” said L-FRESH The LION, who is headlining the show. “A live show can be special in that it has the capacity to spark meaningful conversations and unite people towards a common cause.”

LMHR is designed to promote a national movement against racism through music.

“We believe everybody needs to have a good understanding of what racism is so that they are empowered to act when they witness it,” said Priscilla Brice, All Together Now’s Managing Director.
“One in five Australians experienced racism over the past year, and we know from research that one way to reduce this statistic is by all of us challenging racism wherever it occurs.

“The LMHR campaign has a renewed importance with the increase in Islamophobia, hostility towards immigrants in Australia, and the continued degrading treatment of Indigenous Australians. We think it is time to reignite our national movement against racism through music.”

Love Music Hate Racism will take place in Sydney on June 1st at The Factory Floor at 105 Victoria Road Marrickville with an exciting line-up of artists that have taken a brave stance on the subject. Tickets can be purchased from The Factory Theatre website.

LMHR Sydney is organised by the national anti-racism organisation All Together Now with support from the NSW Government, TheMusic.com.au and AIME (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience).

Interview with L-Fresh the Lion

All Together Now was lucky enough to catch up with one of our ambassadors, L-Fresh the Lion, who has been a trailblazer for social justice in the hip-hop music scene. Natalia spoke to L-Fresh not only about how he got into the hip-hop industry in the first place, but how he embraced his culture as a practicing Sikh into his music, and what his thoughts were on diversity in the entertainment industry in Australia.

 

TRANSCRIPT:

All Together Now: How do you express your cultural and ethnic identity through hip-hop? Do you think that music and hip-hop, particularly, is a universal platform that may be understood by everyone regardless of their cultural background or religion?

L-Fresh the Lion: Hip-hop music and hip-hop culture in general, I think, is one of those beautiful things which goes beyond the barriers of race, class, gender, politics and any type of inequality, and becomes a force that brings people together in a positive way. In terms of my cultural identity, I think that this is an inevitable part of me that comes across everything that I do without having me to think about it. This is so much a part of who I am from the formation of my values to more notably in my appearance as I am a practicing Sikh. So, you know, culture is there in everything that I do.

All Together Now: Are you keen to express your views on racism in your lyrics? What motivates you to speak up?

L-Fresh the Lion: I’ve been thinking about it since the first time I wrote my lyrics, when I was a 14-years-old teenager in high school. The first thing I ever wrote was called ‘World of Discrimination’, talking about my experience with racism. So, it started from the very beginning. I think it was one of the core things that brought me to a space where I felt like I needed to write music. Again, it’s one of those things that influenced me in that I was raised by my parents and by those around me to be a vocal and active member of society, to be someone who is interested in not only uplifting those around me in the community, but also to be a positive force in a world. I feel that it’s my duty to use this platform, to be able to develop life through the music, and positively contribute to the world around me. Moreover, one of those things that I am obviously talking about is my experience with racism. And I think it is still here, because this is a very prominent issue in our society today.

All Together Now: Why did you join All Together Now? What led you here?

L-Fresh the Lion: All Together Now is the only organization existing in a 24/7 basis in Australia, which calls to address racism in a positive way. One of the important things I’ve seen All Together Now do is work with young people, while taking innovative approach to tackling racism. All Together Now makes people feel like they are active participants in creating a better society. That was important for me not only personally, but also because regardless of what I was doing, or speaking about, I was always trying to find a way to address this problem. When I found All Together Now operating in that space and I heard about their projects, I wanted to be involved and be able to help them and to make contributions.

All Together Now: How much is the spirit of multiculturalism felt in the underground hip-hop community? Is this community open to everyone who is willing to join it?

L-Fresh the Lion: Hip-hop since its inception is in America, but also in Australia has been very multicultural. Some of the first people who operated in the space of hip-hop in Australia came from all worlds of life. From the perspective of the present, contemporary hip-hop is on the level where you have people from diverse backgrounds, operating in this space. This is because, like I mentioned earlier, hip-hop erases all those barriers that tend to differentiate us as human beings. So, it’s a very multicultural space that often doesn’t get reflected in mainstream media. That’s because we have issues in the entertainment industry as a whole, which haven’t been spoken about quite extensively. Most recently it was discussed, I think on Sunrise, there was debate about the lack of diversity in the entertainment industry and, more specifically, on TV. Lack of diversity is something that is prevalent in all entertainment industries in Australia. But the roots of this problem are on a community level. That is what people don’t see unless they are active participants in hip-hop. Hip-hop is very, very diverse.

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All Together Now: Do you have a big dream? What is that?

L-Fresh the Lion: Wow (laughing), I have lots of dreams. I suppose, it depends on context, you know, because I have dreams in a variety of different aspects in my life. If we are talk about dreams on my personal level, I have dreams in terms of what family I would like to build, or dreams about music. But I also have dreams about what I would like to see in politics, or what I would like to see in the world. I think, those things are important, and I want to share these dreams with people. I would like to see a country that could be an example of a space of values. I’d love to see the dominant culture in Australia becomes one of welcome, one of love and compassion, and one of valuing all human lives equally, and not some more than others.

I would like to see these dreams not just be reflected on a theoretical level, but enforced on a practical level. To ensure that inequality is addressed, we firstly have to begin with the inequality gap between Indigenous Australians and the rest of the community, as well as looking at the gender inequality between Australian men and women. The discussion of inequality is also raised when we are talking about the way we treat asylum seekers and refugees, and migrants in general in the context of race. I think these are all things that come down to the culture we live in, especially when we don’t have a dominant culture that consists of positive values. I would like to see Australia leading in that space of positive values. It is a dream that I have to speak out about, because Australia could be a leading example of positive racial culture and show this to the rest of the world, so that they can follow.

All Together Now: What do you consider makes a person a ‘Real Australian’?

L-Fresh the Lion: I think the answer to this question is something that I have been looking for my whole life. Been born in Australia, in South-West Sydney, and growing up here for a long period of time, and even to this day at some point, I’ve been made to question myself. People have questioned how Australian I am, because I don’t look like what people would consider an average Australian to look like. I look culturally different. So, I’ve been looking for that answer for a long, long time, because at what point can we collectively determine who is and who isn’t an Australian?

You know, I think, that the answer is obvious when you ask does the person have an Australian passport, or is that person an Australian citizen. But when you enter the term ‘Real Australian’ that makes things much, much more complicated. ‘Real’ becomes a question mark. How can we determine it? I think some important questions come with this word and we need to think about it. I don’t think that I have as an individual the sole power to determine who is or who isn’t a ‘Real Australian’. And I think that it’s a collective conversation that needs to be held one day so that Australia can have a discussion on race from a power and structural frame of mind.

Courtesy of Michelle Grace Hunder

Courtesy of Michelle Grace Hunder

 

Find out more about L-Fresh the Lion here.

L-Fresh the Lion was also featured on Pro Bono here.

Harmony is the Tune of the Day

Harmony Day intends to encourage messages of inclusion by adopting the approach of everyone identifying and then celebrating their ethnic and cultural heritage. This year’s theme of Everyone Belongs, was an important message to send.

On Harmony Day this year there was one particular event which I attended that really spoke of inclusion and exemplified this year’s theme that ‘everyone belongs’. It was, interestingly enough, a Hip Hop festival designed for all age groups that took place in Bankstown, New South Wales.

The 4Elements HipHop All-Ages Festival (which is set to run again during Youth Week in April) was designed to bring people of all-ages and ethnic and cultural heritages to embrace unity and acceptance as well as awareness of the socio-political climate in Australia (particularly in Western Sydney). Hip Hop became the platform and framework by which to discuss all of these elements as it is inherently a musical form about acceptance, belonging and harmony.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Images: (left to right) Matuse; Little Hunta; Munk of Renegades of Munk; Brotha Black.

What does this event signify?

This event highlights that multiculturalism is not always about highlighting how many different cultures are in Australia, the different dress, the different food or the different language, but it runs deeper. When differences no longer matter and interaction is based on the sole purpose of enjoying culture (no matter which one) with other human beings, then multiculturalism is working.

Multiculturalism is a continually evolving concept and without discussion cannot progress. One of the most engaging parts of the Hip Hop festival was not its gallery, live street art or live performances but the Industry Panel discussion on racism, ethnicity, multiculturalism, transnationalism and the relevance of youth movements. This is a key highlight as it is part of the building blocks for multiculturalism and harmony. Social conversation needs to be conducted if the negative aspects in society are to be recognized. For without this recognition the concept of everyone belonging cannot truly be attained. This where the essence of Harmony Day must exist if we are to dance to the tune of belonging.

Seen (left to right): Industry Panel: John Khilla aka Dj MK1, Dr. Rebecca Sheehan and Dr. Omid Tofighian; Vyvienne Abla, Event Director of Vyva Entertainment; right, Rob Scott, Source Music and Tim Caroll, Director of BYDS. 

All Images Courtesy of Chris Woe Photography.