Akeem Soaga, better known by his stage name Kid Fresh, is gaining traction as a regular performer at Vancouver nightclubs with sick beats and honest lyrics. He has gone from rapping at high school parties in Surrey to emerging as a true hip hop artist. This passion for music is evident with the constant desire to hone his skills, master his craft and put out the best music for music lovers. Kid Fresh recently won an emcee competition with his music partner Rey Steez at Fortune Sound Club and will be opening for DIPSET, the reunion tour with Cam’ron, Juelz Santana and Jim Jones, on June 13 at the Harbour Event Centre.
Where does your love for music come from?
I’d have to say it’s been a part of me since I was born. Both my parents loved music and I grew up listening to a variety of genres. From hearing the soulful sounds of Motown, to the story telling of Tupac, I always had music on my mind. Being able to hear somebody tell a story over a beat, especially when you can relate to it, makes all the problems in life seem miniscule.
How did you gravitate towards being a rap and hip hop artist?
Hip-hop has always been a part of who I’ve been. I actually started dancing to hip-hop before rapping to it, which made the transition a bit easier, because I knew how to ride the beat already. I’d say the two people who inspired me the most was Kanye West and Lil Wayne. Kanye brought that soulfulness back to hip hop, and made it cool to rap without being a gangbanger. Wayne was able to paint a picture about almost anything, with his witty metaphors, and the way he’s able to become one with the beat. Both guys seemed to have so much fun making music, and I wanted to embody that as much as possible.
What thought goes into writing a lyric?
I either start with an idea and then find a beat that matches the mood, or find a beat that I can vibe to and grow the idea from the way it makes me feel. Once I have both of those, then come the lyrics. I like to try to tell a story through my work, so I try to tap into my personal experiences. I try to stay true to me, come up with something nobody else is doing, as well as make the listener bob their head. One of the biggest things for me is telling myself, “Would somebody rap along to this? Would they quote this?”
Why do you want to record and produce music and what message do you want to tell?
I want to share my experiences with as many people as I possibly can. Part of the idea behind my No Expiry series, is making timeless music. If you can make a sound that never dies, your story can live on forever. I want to bring a positive message that anyone can vibe to, whether it’s children, teens, young adults, or grandparents. The mixtapes that I drop are more to show my versatility, and the full projects will be a story from start to finish. Whenever I was going through a rough time in life and I heard somebody tell a story similar to mine, it made me say “I’m not the only one going through this.” Which made it much easier to get past. I just hope I can do the same for whoever is listening.
Has recently entering fatherhood had any influence on your music?
It’s totally changed everything. I’m no longer working for just me; I want to be able to leave him as much as I can and give him the best life possible. It’s made me hungrier than ever, and I was already starving! Also I don’t want to drop anything that will make him ashamed of me, or look at me in a bad way, so I try to stay as positive as possible.
What do you attribute to your strong following out of your hometown Surrey and the Guildford neighbourhood?
That’s where it all started. I remember when I was first coming out, I couldn’t go to a party without somebody bumping our tracks, or asking me to rap for them. It made everything so fun and worth it at the time. Now I have my eyes set on bigger things, but I’ll never forget the love and support I’ve received from my hometown. G-town forever!
Favourite Vancouver music venues and hangouts?
Hands down it’s got to be Fortune Sound. I love the crowd and the vibe in that place. I’ve been lucky to perform there twice, recently in the emcee competition, but I hope to make at a frequent thing. It has the best sound system in town, why would I want to be anywhere else?
Favourite collaborations or opportunities you’ve had so far?
Of course everything I’ve done with the crew, The Lost Prophits, but as of recently I’d say my favourite collaboration has been “We Must Stop Them” with local rapper JuLS and local producer wakeANDbeats. It was such a fun track to make, and definitely one of my favourite verses I’ve written. I was also lucky enough to perform it live with JuLS last month, when we did an opening set for the legendary DJ Quik. Now I’m just preparing for Dipset, that’ll definitely be my biggest opportunity thus far.
What projects are you currently working on?
Right now I’m focusing on releasing my mixtape, No Expiry 2, which will be dropping this summer. I want this to be a staple in the Vancouver music scene. I recently released the first single, “Intruders”, with a visual. I really try to do as mush as I can on my own. Besides the beat that was produced by wakeANDbeats, I did everything for this release on my own. I took care of the writing, recording, engineering, artwork, as well as directed and edited the video. I’m just glad the hard work is starting to pay off.
Advice for an aspiring music artist?
Dream as big as you can, and never stop working to achieve that dream. Stay as true to you as you can, people feel it when you’re being genuine. Last but not least, always work to improve your skills, you’ll be surprised where you end up in no time!