By Keith Asumba
Fress is a mean-mugging, tight-flowing rapper representing Komarock, known for his exquisite bars and hard-hitting flows on big base beats. He sat down with andgo Magazine for a brief chat on Kenyan hip-hop and everything to do with the art.
Please describe yourself to a world that hasn’t met you yet.
My name is Fress aka FressAllDay. I’m a rapper, entrepreneur, songwriter, and Counselling Psychologist. I come from Komarock, phase 2, and that’s where I was born and raised. I started rapping in 2014 but 2015 is when I got serious and I dropped my debut project. I currently have 4 projects and I’m working on releasing my fifth project this year.
What’s your style of rap and when did you decide that you’re going to flow with it as a player in the game?
My style of rap can be described as raw, intricate and unapologetic. I decided to go with this flow from the start because it suits me and it really helps me express my true emotion.
Nice… now the state of local hip-hop, what’s your take on it and what do you want to be known for bringing into the game/arena?
The local hip-hop scene is really buzzing right now, artists are putting in work and that’s how it should be. I’d like to be known for making Kenyan hip-hop great again. I’d also like to be known for making classic projects and taking Kenyan hip-hop to all continents of the world.
You featured as an MC in the 2020 Hennessy Unkut Hip-Hop Awards Cypher, what did that experience mean to you?
The Experience really meant a lot to me and I’d like to give a shout out to Ruby V and her team for making it happen. I was able to meet and collaborate with other dope artists.
Any lessons about the game or the art that you learned about the Kenyan hip-hop scene when you were doing the cypher that you would like to share?
I’ve learned that it’s really important to work with other artists because it broadens your fan base. My last two projects were solo projects but on my new project, I plan on working with various artists.
Have you got any projects (albums, EP’s, etc) that you have cooking for this year?
Yes, I do have an E.P. dropping soon so stay tuned for that. It’s probably going to drop around April.
Oh and congratulations on your graduation, by the way! Tell us what you studied and, how important was it for you to complete your higher education and still focus on being an MC/recording artist?
Thank you very much! I graduated from the University of Nairobi with a Bachelor’s of Psychology (Counselling) and I attained a second class, upper-division. It was really important for me to complete my course and at the same time still do music because I didn’t want to choose one and leave the other. I love Psychology and I also love music so I decided I’ll execute them both…which I did. It’s also really important to be both streets smart and book smart. It goes a long way.
What artists, locally and overseas, do you draw inspiration from, and for what reason? (Not only musicians, any performers, idols, mentors you can mention.)
I draw a lot of inspiration from individuals like Marilyn Manson, Fela Kuti, Dr. Sebi, Kendrick Lamar, Nipsey Hustle, Lil Uzi Vert, Dedan Kimathi, Bankslave, Prof Wangari Maathai, Prof Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Louis Farrakhan. The reason they are my insipiration is because they forged their own paths and became masters of their destinies. Look at that list, each one of those names is known for standing up for something, made their voices known and took action for what they believed in.
And who did you grow up listening to? Both local and international.
I grew up listening to Kalamashaka, KRS One, Tupac, Biggie, Big L, Kendrick Lamar, Fela Kuti, MF Doom, Marilyn Manson and Paramore.
Awesome… now you have four projects out, some yet to be widely discovered, but very mature and sophisticated sounds nonetheless. What has been your driving force for stepping in the booth to put together a body of work time and time again? (basically what is your driving force.)
My driving force has been my constant desire to become one of the greatest artists of all time. With each project comes growth and that’s what motivates me to keep dropping projects. My goal has always been to build my craft and become the best at it.
You’re growing in your craft, I’m certain that you’ve got a lot more to offer, and you’ll earn your stripes along the way, and when it’s all said and done, say 30, 40 years from now, what do you want the hip-hop game to remember you for?
I’d like people to remember me for impacting and changing lives through my music because I believe music is powerful and we as artists have to make sure we harness that power and use it for the greater good.
This has been great man, who are the African artists that you would like to work with, that you haven’t worked with yet?
I would love to work with artists like Nyashinski, Khaligraph Jones, Monski, TNT, Steph Kapela and Virusi Mbaya.
Thank you for taking the time out to kick it with us, we will be here to check out your latest project when it drops!
Fress AllDay has four projects out, and you can listen to them here: https://album.link/99Smm8hwZhDMN and find him on social media @fressallday.