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Toronto music legend Keysha Freshh launches ‘GRUNGECAKE PRESENTS’ playlist (Interview)

Listen to her handpicked selections, totalling in four hours and eighteen minutes. It features many obscure artists I didn’t know about until I viewed her tracklisting.

It’s been a while since Keysha Freshh had one of these moments with me. If you aren’t familiar with the former Sorority member, the Hip-Hop group was named one of Exclaim’s ‘Canada’s Greatest Supergroups’. None of us could imagine the world would turn out the way it has. From the coronavirus outbreak to the global protests against police brutality, we are living in unprecedented times. We caught up to talk about how COVID-19 has affected her, self-care, new artists that should be on my radar, and more.

Listen to her handpicked selections, totalling in four hours and eighteen minutes, below. It features many obscure artists I didn’t know about until I viewed her tracklisting.



GRUNGECAKE: It’s been a while since we’ve connected in this way. How have you been?

Keysha Freshh: Too long to be honest. All is well, I have zero complaints! I see you’ve been out here THRIVING!

GRUNGECAKE laughs.

GRUNGECAKE: One day this month (May), you reached out to me to ask if you could make a playlist for GRUNGECAKE. I don’t know why we never thought about it before, but it’s a genius idea. Do you make playlists often? Who are the top three new artists on your playlists? Why should they have our support?

Keysha Freshh: I know! It just came to me! We live in a generation where the industry, as you know, is single driven. So now, we have the power to create the listening experience we want. I love the fact that I can curate my audio environment, and just let it play. And I wanted to share that with the GRUNGECAKE viewers. Top 3 for me, definitely Leila Dey, Lex Leosis and Kalisway, also (sorry, I know you said 3) Matt B. Those artists are all bringing something new and vibrant to music in my opinion. They each have a unique and confident sound.

GRUNGECAKE: Are you dealing with any losses? Have you been blessed to create during the quarantine? Any healing or self-care in your daily activity to cope with what’s happening?

Keysha Freshh: I’ve honestly been cleaning my space, cleansing my space and praying over my space. I personally have not had any close losses due to what’s going around, but I’ve had close relatives who are older, contract it, very scary. I’ve been writing and crafting music for other artists, actually. I’ve been spending more time being me on social media, creating funny videos and classic content. Less music-focused, more visuals focused, short clips on Instagram and the likes. Also, taking this time to network and connect with people who, under normal circumstances may be unreachable. I recently was on Sway Calloway’s IG Live.

GRUNGECAKE: Do you have any post-quarantine plans? How do you think the world will look after this? Are you worried?

Keysha Freshh: I plan to relocate after quarantine. Quarantine has given me the courage to go after things that otherwise seemed unattainable. I realize, that we do not control time… so the least we can do is utilize every second of it. The world will be very remote after this, it already is… but it will be at proportions we’ve never seen. I’m worried for the mental health of society after this, especially the essential workers. People who’ve lost their family members, they’ve had to kind of compartmentalize their grief because we are actively dealing with a pandemic, once it settles, this will hit people hard, I think about these things often.

GRUNGECAKE: Are you binge-watching anything? Are you in isolation with family? Have you become closer?

Keysha Freshh: I’ve recently binged watched a few things. ‘Money Heist’, ‘Outer Banks’ are my top two quarantine binges. I also really liked ‘Black AF’. I’m quarantining with my parents, brother and uncle.

GRUNGECAKE: You told me about a new artist today. Tell the people who she is, and why you think people should know about her? Is she on your current playlist?

Keysha Freshh: Her name is BILLBOARDBABY and let me tell you, she will be a household name very soon. I’m a huge fan, and I’m excited to see her blossom. She’s very confident, her wordplay, her flow, her bars, her style… everything about her is on point. She’s ready for the world. She currently doesn’t have any songs out streaming but she’s working on an EP. If you check her IG (@billboardbaby), you’ll see some videos and freestyles there. You’ll get the exclusive.

GRUNGECAKE: How can we learn more about what you do? Where can we find you?

Keysha Freshh: IG (@freekeysha). Twitter (@freekeysha) or just google “Keysha Freshh”.


Written by Richardine Bartee

Her unprejudiced love for people, the arts, and business have taken her this far. Join Richardine on her journey as she writes history into existence, one article at a time. Richardine is a member of the Recording Academy/GRAMMYs, and a GRAMMY U Mentor. She is part of the Complex Day Ones, an exclusive community to help make the Complex experiences even better.