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Freddy Will Gives a Breakdown of His Music



This article consists of two parts. We chronicle the creative method of a Grammy-nominated independent recording artist. Some know him. Many don’t. Freddy Will said he is a Mande. He dropped his first joint in 2006. As for his cultural environment, he is from Sierra Leone and raps in Krio and American English while combining old school Hip Hop with Afrobeat, Calypso, Soca, Rock, and Classical. Perhaps that’s why he describes himself as an Afropolitan who records and performs crossover Hip Hop.

We checked to verify the “City Boy” artist’s claims. Our investigation revealed that he had lived his life in stages. The first was when he was born in Brookfields Freetown, Sierra Leone, to a high school principal and a nurse. They became UN diplomats and Gospel preachers. Freddy entered his second phase when his parents moved to Liberia. There he received a Catholic education. At the same time, he was active in Church with his parents, learning to sing, compose, and play musical instruments.

This preacher’s son told us a friend introduced him to Hip Hop, but a civil war ensued. After some clashes with rebel militants, he entered the third phase of his life by returning to Sierra Leone. The gist of this part of his story is that he was separated from his family. They emigrated to the United States while he stayed with his father’s parents and relatives in Sierra Leone. He attended three secondary schools, Christ the King College, Methodist Boys High School, and Ansarul Muslim Secondary School.

We are sure there is a story. It could have something to do with the civil war. After running with the national soldiers, the preacher’s son graduated from high school. The Islamic school explains his reverence for Islam. Hip Hop was very unpopular in Sierra Leone in the early 1990s. Freddy Will’s conservative relatives opposed his adherence to the music culture. He was later one of many refugees who immigrated to The Gambia as the Sierra Leone civil war escalated. This was the fourth phase in his life journey.

In The Gambia, a teenager Freddy Will spent most of his time writing music and screenplays. He compiled volumes of handwritten Rhyme Books. Freddy briefly moved to Senegal to reconnect with an uncle before emigrating to the States to join his parents, grandparents, and siblings. His father is from the Loko people of Sierra Leone. His maternal grandmother was an African American of Guyanese descent. While his father’s parents lived in Sierra Leone, his mother’s parents lived in the United States.

We learned that Mande is an ethnic people from which various groups descend. They are Susu, Loko, Mandingo, Gio, Bambara, Vai, Gbandi, Mende, Kissi, and many more. Freddy is Mande, as his father is from the Loko people, while his mother is from the Mandingo people. However, his mother’s background also includes African American and Guyanese on her mother’s side. Her father’s lineage stretches back to Mali, Senegal, and Guinea. He was a Sheikh with a peculiar birthright among his people.

In Freddy Will’s mind, he became an Afropolitan after naturalizing in the United States and entering his sixth phase with emigration to Canada. During the fifth phase, he put his music career on hold to pursue other opportunities like his post-secondary education. In Toronto, he returned to music, recording Hip Hop albums, a mixtape, and an EP, and released them independently. He later came in his seventh phase when he moved from Canada to Europe. His emigration gives his Afropolitical perspective.

We also note that he transitioned from rapping to literary writing between his sixth and seventh phases. We focus on his sixth phase, when he recorded and released his albums in Toronto. Freddy has published a book series in Europe and released two albums there. When asked about his transition, he gave three reasons. One was his age. He was in his mid-thirties. Another reason he gave was his influence on the fans. He didn’t want to make music with an adverse impact; the last was to “follow his dream.”

Q: Why do you refer to yourself as an Afropolitan?

Freddy Will: “The best way to describe where I belong is to say I’m an Afropolitan. I feel loyal to all the countries I’ve lived in. Yes, I’m a proud American, but in a way, I’m also Liberian, Gambian, Senegalese, Canadian, Belgian, and even German. It’s a kind of psychological connection. Life has given me a transnational identity with my roots in Sierra Leone.”

Q: Very well. What do you say to those who only want you to represent Sierra Leone?

Freddy Will: “Oh, make no mistake, Afropolitans get criticized. Considering how the system works, everyone won’t get that being an Afropolitan is not an aspiration. Life happens. You keep relocating from country to country. You move around the diaspora. Of course, I’m a Sierra Leonean at heart. We call Sierra Leone ‘the land that we love.’ I sprout from deep roots in Gbendembu. It’s my heritage. Whether people realize it or not, everything I do, every failure or accomplishment, represents Salone.

On the other hand, life goes on. Every Afropolitan feels thankful to the diasporas where we’ve lived. Each one adds something to our experience and character. Our awareness shifts from one culture to another. There’s also that downside where we often don’t fit in as newcomers after living in a different country. Sometimes the only hope is to go back to our roots so we grasp our culture. You know what I mean? That’s why I identify as an Afropolitan. It’s the best way to understand people who live like we do.” 

Q: Speaking about roots, we learned that your grandfather was a Sheikh with connections to Mali, Senegal, and Guinea, and your grandmother was African American with ties to Guyana. You straddle Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States.

Freddy Will: “Yes. There were a lot of mixed marriages. My mother’s father, Alhaji Sheikh Abdul Gardrie, was a Mandingo. These are the people who founded the Mali Empire. When you trace his lineage, it goes from Senegal to Mali and from Guinea to Sierra Leone. I’m still determining the Yoruba part, but it’s there. Even my last name, Kanu, is primarily Nigerian. I’m figuring out how this Nigerian last name ended up in Sierra Leone. But that’s on my father’s side. The Yoruba is on my mom’s side.

Our family, we even have relatives in Canada now. The Kanu lives there too. Plus, Canada plays a significant role in Sierra Leone’s history. Yes, my mother’s mom was African American. I don’t remember exactly, but they say my grandma’s mom was Guyanese, and her dad was African American. On my father’s side, we’re from a place called Gbendembu. The Loko and the Mandingo are sub-groups of the Mande ethnic group. Some are Muslims, while others are Christians. I’m all that culture in my lineage.”

Q: Tell us about your music. How would you describe it?

Freddy Will: “My music expresses cultural, religious, political, and social experiences. Sometimes it’s a celebration, and other times it’s a howling. At the core, it’s Hip Hop. This genre has shaped many aspects of me. I rap in most of the music. Although, on the production end, the sound could be more assorted. I’d describe my music as a crossover Hip Hop.”

Q: How were you introduced to music?

Freddy Will: “Before he became a born-again Christian, my father used to play music in the house. Back in Liberia, he had an entertainment system. It had a record player. He had many records. My parents threw parties, if I remember correctly. Our neighbors did the same thing. Liberia was a very musical place when I was growing up. Every birthday came with a party, with lots of music and dancing. When my parents converted to born-again Christianity, the music changed to Gospel but still music.”

Q: Were you in the Church choir?

Freddy Will: “No. I’ve always been an outcast. I don’t fit in, so I do my thing. That was the same case in the Church. The choir was there, but I couldn’t get in. I’d watched them sing. I watched them practice, but they didn’t let me join. For me, the answer was always no. Although when I lived in Bo, they had a youth group at our Church. I wasn’t a full member, but once, they let me participate in a convention where we sang on stage and acted in a play from the Bible. It was nice. I was never in the choir.”

Q: You didn’t like Church.

Freddy Will: “I wouldn’t say that. I wasn’t in the groups. I could sit in the audience. The Church in Bo was the best of them. They let me attend or participate in group meetings. I wasn’t a full-fledged member, but I affiliated. As I said, that one time when they had that big convention when all the other Churches met in Bo, and they sent singing groups to represent them, my Church let me participate. I was the kid who hung around watching. During those years, it was all about me wishing and hoping.”

Q: How did you learn how to compose music?

Freddy Will: “I taught myself. I was already rapping before moving to Sierra Leone. I hung around the youth meetings and choir at the new Church, watching them practice. Then I studied the formats in hymn books. I’d ask the guitar or piano player to show me a thing or two every chance I got. Then I’d beatbox the rest. I created the music in my mind. Once my friends put me onto Gangsta rap, I started lip-syncing over instrumentals. As time went on, I started to hear songs in my mind. Randomly, a new song would come to me.”

Q: Who writes and composes your songs?

Freddy Will: “I wasn’t kidding when I said I never fit in anywhere. Okay, maybe I exaggerated a tiny bit. But no, I didn’t get the mentor or the protégé. Most times, when someone showed, they were there to defeat me. I had to write my lyrics. A beatmaker or producer would back me up on the production end. The song comes to my mind, and I’d beatbox the rhythm to myself while writing the lyrics. Then I’d find a producer and hint at a rhythm for the song. Then they’d hit me with whatever they’ve got.”

Q: Take us through your creative process.

Freddy Will: “I watched the choir practice. I’d studied the lyrics in hymn books. Then I taught myself to use the same format. On the rapping side, I learned how to lip sync a few popular songs like ‘Around the Way Girl’ by L. L. Cool J, ‘OPP’ by Naughty by Nature, ‘Down with The King’ by RUN DMC, and ‘Lord Knows’ by Tupac Shakur. Once I could freestyle the lip-synced lyrics, I started to rap them over their instrumental. Shortly after that, I made up my raps and spat them to the instrumental with the hook.

This was between the early to mid-90s. By the mid to late 90s, I was writing lyrics. Now the music comes to me like a download. I hear the song (in my mind) and replicate it. Sometimes I produce it exactly, and other times it turns out differently. Perhaps I was sleeping and dreaming when a song came, and I wrote it down and made a reference recording. Or, I’d listened to a beat, and the song came instantly. At the very least, I’d have written the lyrics if I couldn’t remember the melody or the rhythm.

The chorus or the hook comes first, then the verses. Depending on the producer or engineer, the song could be whatever. With an excellent producer, I’d hint at a drumline, harmony, or baseline, and he’ll take it from there. A beat-making producer might already have a beat where I’d match my hook and verses to his rhythm and adjust. Then I’d take that to the studio. It all depends on the situation. I can rap to any beat and do several genres. It’s a typical format that most artists use to create songs.”

Q: Does that explain the crossover claim you make?

Freddy Will: “The crossover is between two or more genres on the same song. I’d go with Funk, Soul, R&B, Gospel, Reggae, Calypso, Soca, Africana, Classical, Dancehall, Rock, or Country music. Africana music splits into branches like Sukus, Gumbay, Zouk, and Afrobeat. When you bring all that to Hip Hop, you end up with the Afropolitan sound. It’s crossover. That’s like what Afrobeat is in some cases. It’s a work in progress. I’m still looking to make that perfect crossover but blending genres is it.

As I’ve said earlier, the songs come to my mind. I could be cleaning the kitchen, walking, or sleeping. The rhythm comes, I beatbox it, then the rap lyrics start to flow. I’d have a new song if I could find a pen and pad quick enough to write it down and a recorder to freestyle a reference recording. Later, I’ll rewrite and edit it. On the production side, I’d either make the beat or choose a beatmaker’s beat. When everything felt right, I’d go to a studio and record what I’d been working on the last few weeks or so.”

Q: Can you name six of your crossover songs?

Freddy Will: “Yes. ‘City Boy,’ ‘Maria,’ ‘Providence,’ ‘Girl from Happy Hill,’ ‘Pickin,’ and ‘While I’m Still Young.’ I started making crossovers when it was unpopular. People used to criticize it. When I first recorded ‘City Boy,’ many people didn’t get it. The term is a popular slogan now; everyone’s making some crossover. It became a trend years later. I’m not saying they got it from me. I’m saying I was heading in the right direction with that.”

Q: Nice! Tell the fans about your first release.

Freddy Will: “’Stay True.’ We released it off of an independent label in Toronto. I said we because I was with a music producer and his team. It had been almost a decade since I’d rapped or performed professionally. A stroke of luck found me out there, recording my debut album. It was like a dream. He was the producer. I loved his sound. It was perfect for my style. That’s when we recorded ‘Animal,’ ‘So Hard,’ ‘Somebody…’”

Q: We’ve seen rappers who freestyle a song instantly. They have such an intense work ethic that they can write and record several pieces in one go. Are you one of them?

Freddy Will: “I’ve written and recorded two to three songs on the same day and performed them on the same night. I’ve created dope pieces that way. Lately, I don’t prefer that method anymore. As I said, songs come to me. Someone can invite me to a studio, an engineer plays a beat, and they ask me to get in the booth. I would. Typically, the message will not be positive when I spit off the top of my head or write a song within minutes in the studio. That’s where you’d hear all sorts of profanities and shit.

Once I’m peer-pressured to make a quick song, the lyrics go in the stereotypical direction. You’ll get the streets – being inebriated, debauchery, wealthy, or violent situations. When I take my time to write, I’m more thought-provoking. I prefer working on a song for a few days or weeks before recording it. Once we record, that’s it. Once we release it, that’s it. I get songs, write them, and record them at the studio. I could bring two or three to a session and record them simultaneously.”  …TO BE CONTINUED.

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Karasu Merodi | Drumming to the Pulse of Electronic Dreams



Karasu Merodi

Karasu Merodi, born Victor Delacourt, is quickly becoming a standout name in the colorful world of electronic dance music. Far more than just another newcomer in the ever-growing EDM scene, Karasu is part of a new wave of young, inventive talent. With his unique blend of traditional electronic beats and broad, emotive soundscapes, he’s carving out a distinctive niche for himself in a genre that’s all about pushing boundaries and embracing innovation.

Karasu’s journey in music started unusually early. At just five years old, he found himself drawn to the rhythmic allure of drums, marking the beginning of a lifelong affair with music. The turning point came in 2014, influenced heavily by a track from Martin Garrix. This pivotal moment not only defined his musical aspirations but also charted his future path toward becoming an EDM composer. By 2019, Karasu had launched his very own project—Karasu Merodi. This venture was more than just a musical exploration; it was a personal therapy, a medium through which Karasu sought to connect with his inner self and simultaneously evoke profound emotions in his listeners.

Describing Karasu Merodi’s music to a newcomer isn’t a simple task. His tracks are a meticulously crafted blend of traditional EDM and rich electronic textures that create an immersive listening experience. Each composition is layered with pulsating beats, intricate melodies, and atmospheric depths that transport listeners to otherworldly realms. His music is not just heard; it’s felt, resonating with the energetic highs and introspective lows that define the human experience.

Karasu’s artistic output is marked by an eclectic mix of genres. From ambient to chill-out, from chiptune to house, and synthwave, his music is a testament to his versatility and his innate ability to fuse different styles into a cohesive experience. Tracks like “Lover Boy,” “The Heat,” “Reception Light,” “Serenade,” and “Your Love” stand out in his discography, each offering a unique blend of euphoric and meditative vibes that captivate and engage.

April 29 marked the release of his latest EP, “Bedroom Memories Part.4,” a compilation that showcases Karasu’s growth as an artist. This EP spans five tracks, each one uniquely impressive in its own right.

Bedroom Memories Part.4 – Karasu Merodi

Shortly after, on May 8, he introduced his latest single, “Echoes of Two Souls,” which diverges into a slower, more atmospheric style. Featuring a blend of compelling vocals and precise mixing, the track encapsulates the essence of Karasu’s consistent range.

Echoes of Two Souls – Karasu Merodi

Karasu Merodi’s aspirations for his music are both deeply personal and universally resonant. He aims for his tracks to be gateways to joy, escape, and deep connection, helping listeners step away from the mundane and stressful aspects of daily life and into moments of clarity and joy. Whether it’s the empowering rhythm of a dance anthem or the contemplative melody of a slower track, Karasu hopes to leave a meaningful impression on his audience, sparking both personal reflection and shared enjoyment.

In terms of musical influences, Karasu draws inspiration from titans of the EDM and broader music scene. Figures like Martin Garrix, David Guetta, Petit Biscuit, DJ Snake, Don Diablo, and Marshmello have not only influenced his style but also his understanding of music as a dynamic and transformative art form.

Looking ahead, Karasu Merodi is deep in the creative process for his next major project, an album titled “Astral Light.” This upcoming release is shaping up to be a pivotal moment in his career, marking the beginning of a new chapter in his constant evolution. Karasu hints that the album will feature a captivating blend of unforgettable beats and ethereal vibes, poised to challenge what listeners expect and further cement his place in the electronic music scene.

Karasu Merodi loves staying in touch with his fans, regularly sharing updates about his music and personal life. With some exciting new tracks and an album on the way, he encourages everyone to keep an eye on his social media and popular streaming platforms for the latest news. The upcoming album, “Astral Light,” is especially thrilling and is expected to be a game-changer for the rising artist.

For both longtime fans and newcomers, Karasu Merodi brings a fresh and invigorating approach to electronic music, creating a bridge between simple listening enjoyment and deep emotional engagement. His music does more than just fill the air; it invites listeners to explore the full spectrum of human emotions through sound. Karasu’s tracks are designed to be companions for life’s many moments, whether they’re monumental or everyday.

You can follow and connect with Karasu Merodi via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Hubside, and listen to his tracks on Spotify.

As “Astral Light” gets ready to make its debut, Karasu Merodi remains a standout figure of innovation and emotional depth in the vast world of EDM—and beyond.

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Chef Porter Stirring the Pot with ‘de zéro’ | A Blend of Culinary Art and Hip Hop



Chef Porter

Celebrity chef Ed Porter, also known as Chef Porter, is adding a fresh twist to the culinary and music scene with his latest project “de zéro”. Honing his renowned talent for meshing flavors and notes in a gastronomic alchemy, Porter showcases his unique artistry in this one-of-a-kind project.

Master of the kitchens in the hit Netflix series “Pressure Cooker” and Guy Fieri’s much-loved “Guy’s Grocery Games”, Porter’s latest oeuvre marries his multifaceted talents and life experiences. “The de zéro Experience” is a unique take oscillating between the visceral connection of hip-hop and cooking, interpersonal relationships, fatherhood, and navigating personal success. Listeners can find and follow Chef Porter’s journey via Twitter, Youtube, Spotify, Instagram, Apple Music, and TikTok.

de zéro” (From Scratch) is a deeply personal tribute to the Golden Era of Hip-Hop. Chef Porter’s impressive talent has not only been kneaded into the fabric of his dishes but also baked into the heart of his music. The album’s production quality excels in all aspects, from the audio engineering to the mixing and mastering, reflecting a level of polish and professionalism one would expect from top-notch hip-hop artists.

de zéro – Chef Porter

As a Bronx-raised celebrity chef and musician, Porter’s culinary career has always fueled his creative side. But music is yet another vehicle for expression. Fans anticipating the flavorful journey can stream ‘de zéro’ on all popular streaming platforms or obtain the vinyl version soon.

‘Bronx River Pkwy’, ‘Flambé’, ‘Solely Matrimony’, and ‘Thank You’ are among the standout tracks in the 16-song album. Starting with “Mise en place”—a loving monologue from Porter’s mother reminiscing his childhood; the album ends on a deeply personal note with “Thank You”—a heartwarming tribute to Porter’s mother. Every song packs a punch of Porter’s rapper prowess, dishing out spicy cultural hip-hop and culinary references.

Porter’s latest project extends beyond the album. Designed as a unique touring model, ‘The de zéro Experience‘ is a sensory overload where each song from the album is paired with a tailor-made course. Be it an audible or an edible experience, fans are in for a treat.

Chef Porter’s passion for music took root early on when he began writing and producing songs at just 11 years old. To fund his studio time, he turned to cooking, paving the way for his remarkable dual career as a celebrity chef and musician. This unique blend of talents gives fans a delightful taste of his two great passions.

Porter’s culinary career has taken him through the kitchens of some of New York City’s finest dining spots, including Aquavit, Cafe Beulah, and Sweet Ophelia’s. At the heart of his cooking has always been the goal to create memorable experiences, a philosophy that clearly permeates his latest project, “de zéro.”

After graduating from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, Porter’s journey expanded across national and international settings, deepening his culinary expertise and broadening his skills. With “The de zéro Experience,” Porter demonstrates how seamlessly his culinary flair and passion for hip-hop can merge to craft a truly unique, immersive experience.

As he guides his listeners through this extraordinary adventure, his message is unmistakable: everything starts from scratch—and we’re here for it.

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Claudia TAO and the Rebirth of Classical Music in ‘NIRVANA’



Claudia Tao

Claudia TAO is thrilled to share her debut album ‘NIRVANA,’ set to release this May. Featuring the works of renowned contemporary composer Philip Glass, this classical piano collection dives deep into themes of liberation, peace, and sheer joy. Claudia brings a fresh, artistic take to these pieces, and you’ll be able to find ‘NIRVANA’ on popular platforms like Apple Music and Spotify soon.

The album weaves a story that spans both time and space. Inspired by Bruce Lee’s fluid philosophy of water, Claudia merges elements of music and martial arts to evoke a feeling of both weightlessness and energy. Highlights include three pieces from Philip Glass’s score for the film ‘The Hours’, which celebrate the strength of female identity and human brilliance, mirroring the film’s own narrative. Another standout track is a piece from Glass’s opera “Einstein on the Beach,” which captures a dreamlike repetition reflecting the modern era post-Industrial Revolution.

Embracing the fusion of art and technology, Claudia has ventured into new creative territories by integrating artificial intelligence, specifically AI-generated content, into the “NIRVANA” project. This collaboration has seamlessly blended the tangible and digital worlds, resulting in a unique and innovative album cover that beautifully encapsulates the essence of her visionary project.

Nirvana – Claudia TAO

“NIRVANA” is more than just a showcase of Claudia’s impressive piano skills; it’s a vibrant, concept-driven exploration of the musical landscapes of Philip Glass. This album transcends a mere display of technical prowess by delving into a deeper artistic journey that challenges and reshapes traditional perceptions of Glass’s work, offering a fresh perspective on one of the most influential figures in contemporary classical music.

Set to debut in May on various digital platforms, “NIRVANA” represents an exciting beginning for Claudia. More than just reaching a broad audience, this album seeks to forge a personal connection with each listener, making Claudia’s introduction to the music scene particularly memorable. We couldn’t be more excited to experience it.

As the release date approaches, we invite both longtime fans and newcomers to visit Claudia’s website for the latest updates and more details about the launch. “NIRVANA” is poised to be a transformative experience that merges art and technology in a relentless quest for musical enlightenment. Get ready to be captivated by a journey that promises to be as enlightening as it is unforgettable.

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