Keysha Freshh just dropped her 6th studio project, “In Samadhi”, which is a compilation of love tracks, enlightenment, the culture, weed smoking vibes plus more. Her last LP differs from this one, as “Vanity” had the concept of the things she would speak on if she was a vain person.
“In Samadhi” is a mellow, self-realization of a turning point Keysha has had in her life. She tells her story perfectly with the ways she was feeling at the time and it gives the listener a glimpse into her own perceptions.
Keysha’s known old-school hip-hop vibes are on point in this LP, with the scratchin’, DJ Luv Bug, and the jazzy, funky production. She pays homage to real OGs, while making the youngins listening appreciate the hip-hop culture. “In Samadhi”, is known as meditative consciousness, and this LP is a perfect example of Keysha’s ultimate level of creativity and being at peace with her creation. It represents a big turning point in her life and being at ultimate peace.
Overall, this LP isn’t a project you want to miss out on listening to, as it has so many aspects to it that make it so individually creative yet adds to the culture of hip-hop so well.
I had the chance to chat with Keysha Freshh about her new LP below.
What does “In Samadhi” mean to you — in relation to the LP, and in general to those who may not subscribe to those spiritual beliefs?
Samadhi is like, the highest form of mediation, the ultimate peace, which I felt I reached while recording this project, so I kinda came across Samadhi and it’s meaning while researching different languages to say “Peace” or the equivalent to the definition of the feeling of peace, and I came across Samadhi.
Speaking of spirituality, it felt like you were coming from a more honest, spiritual place on this project (hence the title). Were you going through a lot leading up to the creation of this LP?
Um, kind of, you know transitioning through different stages of love and admiration, and discovering different things about myself I hadn’t discovered. I was in Guyana for the first time (2014) when I wrote this and I just felt so at peace with everything and so mellow mellow, and the vibe of the project reflects that. Brisk hit me with the beats and it all just meshed so perfectly.
What someone listens to can have a huge effect on their music, even more than their physical environment. What musical influences inspired you during the creation of “In Samadhi”?
I was listening to a lot of Robert Glasper, he’s like my favourite musician, um Anita Baker was playing a lot, specifically “Same Ole Love” that’s my record right there so that was always on repeat those times. Umm, different sounds, just a shuffle of sounds and genres, nothing specifically inspired the project except my feelings at the time. Actually, Brisk, BriskInTheHouse inspired me haha.
Your last project, “Vanity”, was a conceptual album about everything you would say if you were a “vain” person— a lot of content on that project were things you were afraid to speak about or things you thought others wouldn’t want to hear. What makes this LP different?
It’s crazy, Vanity feels like so long ago, it was over 2 years ago, but boy it feels like so long ago. This project is different because it just happened, the album wrote it self, really, there was no drawn out process or anything, it was like everything I was experiencing or feeling at the time, they just started to tango on the paper, figuratively of course. I don’t write lyrics, I type them in my phones or computer ha, but no, this project designed itself, so the feeling makes it different. “Vanity” was more “I need to tell these specific stories, right now”, and “In Samadhi” is more, “this is how I’m feeling and how I was feeling, and let me tell you a bit about it one day”. I hope that made as much sense on print as it did in my head haha.
While listening to “In Samadhi”, I noticed that the beats were a lot more chill, with a jazzier, funkier vibe to them. Why did you decide to choose a more divergent sound for this LP?
Again, that’s kind of just how I was feeling, I mean, I really dig horns and bass and you don’t hear those things in hip hop anymore. I mean its synths and just, other programmed sounds, these are samples from live instrumentation you hear on “In Samadhi”, which brings a whole other feeling to this project, it sounds and feels fuller. I needed it to come alive, when I perform with a live band it just has to hit.
You’re known for keeping your roots in a real hip-hop sound, and always giving credit to the culture while adding value to it. Why is this so important to you as a rapper?
Am I known for that? So dope, wow haha! Um, absolutely, that’s the most important part of it all for me. We have to give credit where credit is due. You ask a basketball player who gets drafted today why they started playing, she or he may say “Oh, because Candace Parker inspired me when I was younger” or “Kobe Bryant inspired my love for the game” you know, that’s how it started for most of us, someone we saw or heard doing it struck a cord we could relate with some where down the line.
Lastly, what would you say to other artists who may not have found their turning point yet in their lives? What advice would you give to those artists who are having a hard time believing in their craft and trusting their own path? What would you tell yourself back then to help you stay inspired and to not give up?
It doesn’t get any easier, so figure it out. That sounds incredibly harsh hahaha, no but really. If you love it, do it. It’s that long distance relationship you’re second guessing really, like if you love that person, distance and all the obstacles don’t mean much, keep going. You’ll always get what you put into it, every time, every single time. Back then, I would have told myself, you’re doing alright kid, don’t get discouraged.
“In Samadhi” is now available for streaming on Soundcloud.
Words by: Daniela
Daniela Campos is a contributor for Omit Limitation currently living in Toronto.