Keysha Freshh, a Toronto-based recording artist, just released her new EP “In Samadhi.”
ffering her eight-track extended play, “In Samadhi” today exclusively through ThatsEnuff, Keysha Fresh is one of the smoothest lyricists from Toronto, Canada. Over the Summer we met in the conference room at the AOL office. Freshh was in town with a group of friends, one of which performed alongside her. Her voice is like butter, melting over the jazzy-sultry instrumentation that helps to complete her rhymes. As sexy in sound as Floetry and rich in concept as any golden era Hip-Hop album, it is hard to come by a talent as rare and as sharp as Keysha Freshh’s.
Doug E. Fresh named Keysha Freshh. I think it is wonderful when someone held in a high regard—in any culture—knights you like he did.
What is your earliest memory of Hot 97 or DJ Enuff?
Growing up in Toronto in the ’90’s, we never had a Hip-Hop station directly in our city. The only time we really got to hear a DJ mixing live or breaking records live was on mixtapes or when we came to New York. I remember driving up there with my family—every Summer—and my brothers and I would tell our dad to turn to Hot 97 [as] soon as we got in the city. It would be in the morning so the Ed Lover show was on, which was my first introduction to DJ Enuff.
What does “In Samadhi” mean? What does it mean to you?
Samadhi is, like, the ultimate peace. It’s the highest level of meditation which is supposed to represent you being in a complete state of peace. Everything is still. That was the state I was in when I wrote this project while in Guyana in 2014. To me, it represents complete stillness and light in every aspect of my life. This project is a direct reflection of that.
You created this EP two years ago in Guyana. What about that trip made you feel creative?
Guyana is where my family is from. I’m first-generation North American, so my household is extremely Caribbean. That was my first time in Guyana, and it was beautiful… despite the chaos of the city of Georgetown, where I stayed, it was something so serene, so still, so calm about being there. Saw the church my folks got married in, where they grew up, the schools they went too, just a dope experience. I was there for 10 days and the project was written top to bottom there in that time.
What is your relation to Brisk? How did you two meet? And Kaz?
Brisk and I met through just both doing the music thing in Toronto… We connected right away. He has that Jazz, House, Boom Bap sound I love so I hit him one day like “Peace king, look… it’s long overdue but, let’s do a whole project together” and he said “Peace queen, I’m sending beats over now” just like that.
With Kaz, I’ve known him for about 5 years. His cousin introduced us, Kaz was engineering at this studio and has a development company called Matic Music. So I started working with him and his partner Jay and we recorded so much music together. They engineered and mixed my last 2 EPs “Mona Lisa (2012)” and “Vanity (2014)” and pretty much anything I’ve done in between, since 2011.
Were you involved in the creative process of the artwork?
The artwork is actually a series curated by Safe Haven Studios. So I had this idea of a travelling Buddha who was searching for his peace, symbolic of myself. So there’s a series of images that lead up to the EP cover which we will be rolling out on my social media. There are 8 images, as there are 8 songs on the project. Each image is of Buddha in different locations searching for his peace. The EP cover shot is him finding that peace. It was a concept I visualized and they brought it to life.
What is it like to be the first Canadian female on the Team Backpack Cypher? The Huffington Post “BARS” Cypher series?
Just incredible. I mean, both platforms are huge and widely respected so to be recognized as an artist who they want to work with, I’m so grateful. Team Backpack was such a huge look—over 5 million views combined, and Dev and Armani and the whole team—just great people—really humble and truly genuine. Their Canadian representatives 40oz Heroes put it all together and we even had Kelly Rowland show us, love.
With Huffington Post, I had drafted an email to Jacques who hosts Huffington Post “BARS” to ask him how I could submit to be part but I never sent it because I didn’t think he’d even reply back. Literally, 2 months later, Choyce reached out to me to have me on the show. That was a major lesson for me, “You are the only person standing between you and success.”
On September 11, she had a listening party for “In Samadhi” at Ugly Dukling in Toronto. Stephan James, the lead actor in Race, John Lewis in Selma and star of FOX’s upcoming drama series Shots Fired attended with his Wynonna Earp co-star Shamier Anderson and Shanice Banton who was his co-star in Race. Keysha Freshh shares her sixth studio release, “In Samadhi.” Stream it below and share it with a friend.