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Freddy Will talks hip-hop

3 December 2010 No Comments

From war-torn beginnings to first-world riches; Freddy Will talks hip-hop

BY: Melissa Bessey

How does the son of a high powered diplomat go from the war-torn streets of Freetown, Sierra Leone to staging concerts across North America? For Wilfred Kanu Jr., a.k.a. Freddy Will, the answer is with passion, perseverance and sheer determination. Sway caught up with the rapper/entrepreneur at his home in Toronto.

How has your African background influenced your music?
I’ve listened to hip-hop my whole life, but I’ve only been in the game since 2006. I’m really an underground rapper and heavily influenced by Africa because I grew up there and it was a whole different world. Now it’s being recognized worldwide, but back in the early ’90s, nobody gave a damn about Africa so I have a different perspective from everybody else. Right now hip-hop is reforming itself and it is probably the only genre in the music industry where independent artists are making money.

As the music industry moves in a direction where independent artists can control their own careers, what do you think artists need to focus on to succeed?
I think that artists need to learn how to tap into the internet, and I’d suggest getting their own blog. What counts is the numbers and where the money is at — at the end of the day, money counts. With music, it’s not because of the money.

The key is that it opens a lot of doors. If you’re an artist and your stuff is online, you still have to be able to show that it’s effective and the only way it will be is if you can see there’s money behind it. For example, if you’re doing a photo shoot or video and people can see that it must have cost a pretty penny, people are going to respect that because there’s production behind it and it wasn’t just done in the backyard. You have to back your internet game up with substance.

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