L-FRESH The LION takes us through his favourite spots in South West Sydney
L-FRESH the LION has returned with a brand new single titled ‘Mother Tongue’ featuring MIRRAH. Lifted from his forthcoming new album, SOUTH WEST, it’s an honest recount of him losing his ability to speak his native language. By doing so, he captures the story of grief, loss and disconnection, and harnesses this energy to create a powerful, hard-hitting single that also raises the bar for his music to date.
Although at its core ‘Mother Tongue’ is a tale of disconnection, there’s also a certain flair of defiance in the face of gentrification and oppression as well. It’s a call to arms to remind not only himself but any immigrant or BIPOC that culture is to be celebrated and embraced, even if oppressive forces are doing everything to tell you otherwise. L-FRESH said of his new single, “Mother Tongue was written about my story with my native language, my mother tongue. As a kid, English wasn’t the first language I spoke. It was Punjabi. My experiences of being born within 2, sometimes competing, cultures meant I lost touch with my language. I lost my fluency because I was thought my language wasn’t cool. Mother Tongue explores my regret in letting my language go, and how I’m working now to try to relearn it so I can keep close to my roots.”
SOUTH WEST is shaping up to be a formidable record with L-FRESH set to celebrate his home of South West Sydney. Set to channel the likes of his heroes like Kendrick Lamar, Talib Kweli and J Cole while holding true to the fierce sound he’s crafted for himself. He will tap into the inspiration he draws from his community around him, as well as nod to the new wave of artists coming from the area, all carving out their own paths including ONEFOUR, HOOLIGAN HEFS, A.GIRL, BECCA HATCH and more.
With ‘Mother Tongue’ out in the world and South West out July 17th, what better time to get to know L-FRESH better than now? Here, he takes us through some of his favourite places in his home of South West Sydney. Check it all out below!
Macquarie Fields Basketball Court & Skate Park
I remember skating around Glenfield & Macquarie Fields as a teenager, being a nuisance on backstreet roundabouts and my mate’s carpenter dad building us a ramp and a pole which we placed in the middle of the street or on a neighbours driveaway. We kept wishing there was a skatepark in our area. Fast forward a decade later and there’s a skateboard just down the road and a basketball court right next to it. It’s dope. The competitiveness on the court, the pickup games, trash talking combined with the love of community, people cranking beats and sharing a feed with each other (pre-COVID), makes it the place to be. It’s South West Sydney in a nutshell.
Hammoud 1 Restaurant, Liverpool
Hands down the best falafel you will ever have. Enough said. My boy Shiv put me on to this spot and whenever I’m driving through Liverpool, I’ll grab a few falafel rolls to takeaway.
Macquarie Street Mall, Liverpool
Staying in Liverpool for a sec, you got to walk down Macquarie Street from Hammoud 1 down to the Westfields. I used to walk through Macquarie Street Mall every day. It’s all about the vibe. We talk about ‘diversity’ a lot. It’s been a buzz word for a minute now. You walk down Macquarie Street and the word isn’t the exception, it’s the normal. So normal for us in the West. At the top end, where the local radio station (2GLF) is, there’s an abstract kind of statue of Governor Lachlan Macquarie. Whenever I walk past it, I always think, man he’d definitely be turning in his grave if he could see the melting pot of cultures & people on a street named after him. It ain’t white lol.
Green Room Sydney Studios, Revesby
The home of creativity in the South West. It’s where Zig Parker lives and works from (Zig is executive producer & co-producer of my new upcoming album, South West). Him and his housemates put together this studio and there’s a whole community of artists who come through to hang and create. There’s always ideas flowing when you’re there.
Georges River National Park
A national park in the South West, a break from the every day and the hecticness of Sydney. It’s my go-to getaway if I need to de-stress and get in touch with Mother Nature without having to travel far. The best for a short or long bush-walk, or to kick it and chill by the river.
‘Mother Tongue’ is out now via Elefant Traks. SOUTH WEST is out July 17.
Introduction by Emma Jones
Main image by Cole Bennetts