L-Fresh the Lion: MONICA TAN
‘Get Mine’ – Video Premiere
Featuring Parvyn Kaur Singh
If ever we needed a voice to channel the frustrations of Australia’s alienated immigrant communities, particularly of its young people, it’s now.
In ‘Get Mine‘, L-Fresh the Lion pulls no punches, rapping: “They tell me to go home but I come from here / I can see it their eyes, they don’t want me here.”
In a 1,200-word essay posted to his website to accompany the Guardian Australia video premiere of ‘Get Mine‘, L-Fresh plunders the delicate and often contested relationship so many immigrant Australians, or those born to immigrants, have with their nationhood.
“I was born in south-west Sydney, but my experiences even have me questioning my place in Australia,” he writes.
L-Fresh spent the past year working as a youth empowerment coordinator at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne. Every day the centre staff bear witness to the prolonged suffering of those who fled overseas war and persecution.
“Just the other day, my colleague spoke to a man who self-harmed over 400 times during an 18-month period while in immigration-enforced detention.”
He describes Australia’s asylum seeker and refugee policies as “purposely very harsh in order to discourage people from coming here”.
Any rise in racial tension can be attributed to “the language that trickles down from the top”, he writes. Language that “condemns violence and discrimination” but carries far less conviction when denouncing racism and hatred towards ethnic and religious minorities.
But ‘Get Mine‘, featuring the whining, ethereal strains of vocalist Parvyn Kaur Singh (Bombay Royale) -- daughter of acclaimed world-music singer, Dya Singh -- glimmers with flashes of hip-hop braggadocio (“given a level playing field, I’d make it rain out here” and “I’m thankful my own kids’ll be raised here / they’ll build a dynasty with what I made here”), proving L-Fresh knows a thing or two about turning frustration into determination.
It is just as much a ferocious anthem for the underdog that prevails as it is a condemnation of racism in Australia.
“The song is about smiling even when the odds are stacked against you; stylin’ on ’em, even when the game wasn’t made for you to win,” he says.
Please CLICK here to view the new ‘Get Mine’ Video.
[Courtesy: The Guardian. Edited for sikhchic.com]
October 6, 2015
Conversation about this article
1: Dya Singh (Melbourne, Australia), October 06, 2015, 8:40 AM.
I am very proud of Sukhdeep 'L-Fresh The Lion' Singh. Turbaned and bearded he is proud of his heritage and his Sikhi and not afraid to speak out. Born in Australia, he is a product of our Sikh Youth Camps started 19 years ago. His deep love for Sikhi pours forth through his rapping. There are many who appreciate his amazing talent and and his deep philosophy on life, especially his 'sarbat da bhalla' attitude and support his progress in the music field of rap and his seva amongst those in need.
2: Baldev Singh (Bradford, United Kingdom), October 07, 2015, 6:56 PM.
L-Fresh should get past the negativity and concentrate on shaming the bigots and racists by projecting the high values of Sikhi.
3: Yuktanand Singh (Michigan, USA), October 08, 2015, 11:49 AM.
I liked the fresh well-groomed Sikh look. (Nice teeth.) This is the first time I listened to an entire rap song. The singer did not reach for his body parts nor made any menacing gestures. But I had trouble catching all the words and I could not find the lyrics posted anywhere.
4: Yuktanand Singh (Michigan, USA), October 08, 2015, 11:56 AM.
I agree with S. Baldev Singh. The 'dhaadi' style of singing of the 'vaars' had a role similar to what rapping can do today. I worry about the image we project. We almost always dwell on the battles, forgetting the unique spiritual teachings of Sikhi. Last weekend at the reception of my son's wedding, a non-Sikh son of a Sikh friend wanted to talk about Sikhi with me, that he had heard about the battle of Saragarhi from his father. That was fine, but the Gurus wanted us to be sant before being 'sipahi', before we start comparing ourselves with lions.
5: Parmjit Singh (Canada), October 09, 2015, 4:23 AM.
In reply to the negativity in comment #2: Adhering to that suggestion would rid the world of all 'sad' songs. Art is a positive process that embraces both positive and negative. L-fresh is a gifted artist.