Wednesday night, SeanFresh brought his sultry, sensuous sounds to the Oxford American Local Live stage at South on Main. Backed by a five-piece band (including woodwinds!) and several guest MCs and singers, Sean did not disappoint, doing a stupendous job recreating and improving on the groundwork laid down on 2011’s FreshLove. I was lucky enough to speak with Sean via email before the show and this is what he had to say.
ANTHONY S. CARTER: Where are you from? When did you know that music was more than just an interest but a passion for you?
SEANFRESH: I am from Little Rock, Ark. I found music at the age of six when my parents split and I used it to ease some of the pain.
ASC: Did someone influence you in the beginning to pick up and play or begin singing? In your music I feel a heavy classic R&B influence; did any of that come from your parents or family members?
SF: My momma, who also sings, kind of forced me to initially start singing in the church. She always told me that I had a beautiful voice and that one day God is going to use my voice to bring people to Him. But she also allowed us to listen to all types of music – I’m talking from NWA to Bill Withers to the Isley Brothers to Kirk Franklin.
ASC: That’s good. My mom didn’t like my listening to NWA but she was fine with Public Enemy. Early on, what artists influenced your sound? Who are your favorite musicians or bands now? How would you describe your own musical style? Does it change depending on what you’re working on?
SF:Although I am am R&B singer, I am actually influenced more by hip-hop artists like 8 Ball, MJG, Outkast, and Slick Rick. On the singing tip though, I am heavily influenced by crooners like Brian McKnight and Fred Hammond. I love the uniqueness in their voices and the emotions that they put into a song. As far as my style, I call it “D’Boe Suave.” which is something hard yet smooth.
ASC: Who are some of your favorite people to make new tracks with? Are you involved at all in composing the music?
SF: Feroof Ferocious Production, Kwestion and my folks in Atlanta, DJ Burn One x iNDEEDFACE are top-notch when it comes to production. Normally I will have an idea and they just make it way fresher.
ASC: Speaking of fresh, FreshLove (2011, Self-Released) seems like a concept album of sorts about love and lust. Was it inspired by anyone in particular? Or did it just come about using a bunch of different experiences?
SF: FreshLove is a concept album and that is how I like to put out music. It was really inspired by life situations and some [experiences] from my friends and family around me. The main inspiration came from my queen, Ishamenia. She means everything to me.
ASC: Do you have anything new in the pipeline?
SF: I am working on a three-series project entitled The Teshuvah Project. The first installment is called FreshSeason and will be dropping before Jesus returns.
ASC: What are some of the best times you’ve had performing live here? Where was your first live show in the state?
SF: One of my favorite shows was my first actual show that I produced. It was at Crush Wine Bar when it was in the River Market. I loved the atmosphere and the intimate feeling – the place only seated like 70 people but more than 200 came to see the show. It was amazing.
ASC: How is the music scene in Central Arkansas? Is it lacking? Is it fantastic?
SF: I love the scene. I believe that you make what you desire, but you just have to work hard at it and never give up.
ASC: Have you performed on the South on Main stage before? What’s your favorite local venue?
SF: This will be my third time performing at South on Main, but my first full show by myself and I am excited. South on Main and Stickyz are by far my favorite places to perform locally.
ASC: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
SF: Check out my first video for “FreshSeason” on my website, and stay fresh my friend.