Hailing from Toronto's Jane and Finch neighbourhood, Friyie is among the new crop of artists who merge OVO's sonic innovations with gritty street narratives, creating arguably some of the most essential music in the city. The rapper's new video and song "Don't Worry" is a prime example of this, a brutal, psychological dramatization of the tough decisions that youth face set to lurking beats and that inimitable Toronto late-night. Watch the video below and read on for our interview with Friyie that breaks it all down.
Noisey: What was the inspiration/making of the video?
Friyie: Dukey Dukes (the director) and I wanted to put together a video that captured the area I was brought up in. It's real out here. We wanted to incorporate the challenges we face as a result of our environment. Even though we can reap short-term benefits, those split decisions made actually kill us within ourselves.
Who do the people in the video represent?
So the three main characters in the visual represent the conscious of Friyie , as well as the different characters and personalities Friyie battles internally. The revelations the characters face throughout the visual intentionally displays an epiphany that the decisions being made are life defining moments.
Jane and Finch has a strong legacy in hip-hop here, what are you doing to ensure this continues?
Creating quality music, pushing myself to cross boundaries and to travel to different lengths. I talk about the life experiences, lessons I've learned being from this area, and I make sure to touch on the good and the bad. I want my journey to pose as an example for people coming up, and help them overcome obstacles when trying to accomplish a goal, or do better for yourself. It's more than music.
What do you feel is the ultimate goal of this track?
The record is an expression of how I feel when I'm working on individual goals, knowing that I have people who worry about my well being and are concerned about the lifestyle I'm living in order to reach these goals. Those words, "I got it, don't worry" make it clear that by any means necessary, even if I have to go through the bad times to get there, ill get there.
You cycle through a variety of styles and genres in your music. What can we expect on your EP FREE-YAY?
Having the privilege to live in different environments at different periods in my life, I've been able to learn from different cultures & see things from different perspectives. I like to create a variety of vibes in my music for different moments in time for the people. The FREE-YAY EP has a lot of sounds which will show my versatility in this thing we call art.