L Fresh The Lion Drops New Single Reminding Us That Policing Of Language In Australia Isn’t A Story Of Our Past
Pulling no punches, Mother Tongue arrives as an honest recount of L-FRESH The LION losing the ability to speak his native language, his Mother Tongue. The track captures the experience of many migrant and BIPOC communities here in Australia and throughout the world, diving deep into the shame, grief and disconnect L-FRESH has felt losing not only his connection to his first language of Punjabi but to the roots of his culture.
Release of Mother Tongue is coupled with the announcement of L-FRESH The LION’s forthcoming album SOUTH WEST on July 17. The body of work will be a celebration of South West Sydney, the area that raised him and continues to inspire him. Levelling up in every possible way, listeners can expect L-FRESH The LION at his best on this album with sounds reminiscent of his personal heroes Kendrick Lamar, J Cole and Talib Kweli. Like his heroes, L-FRESH is inspired by the community around him. SOUTH WEST, a homage to the place that raised him up, and a nod to the rise of his fellow Western Sydney artist, including the likes ONEFOUR, Becca Hatch, Jessica Jade, Hooligan Hefs and A.GIRL.
“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 conditioned to think my language wasn’t cool. Mother Tongue explores my regret in letting my language go, and how I’m working now to relearn it so I can keep close to my roots”.
L-FRESH The LION
Flexing his ability to lay down hard-hitting bars with unmissable truths, Mother Tongue teaches us something new with each repeat listen. Flow and lyrical-mastery are at the forefront of this track. Exploring the politics of otherness, lyrics like “Nothing is sacred, even the tongue is gentrified” explore white Australia’s ongoing issues with exploitation and discrimination against Australians of non-anglo background.
While some may think the policing of language or banning of tongues is a thing of the past, scratch a little deeper and you can see this practice is still alive and well. Too often people are asked to choose between their culture and the ‘Australian way’. To adopt words, to soften their message, to ‘speak properly.’ Mother Tongue arrives today as a reminder that culture is to be upheld and celebrated.
Mother Tongue is out now via Elefant Traks.