Fred Chijindu Inaks Onianwa known by his stage name Fre-D or Fre-D GoldRush, is a 25 year-old rapper/singer from Lagos, Nigeria. In 2010, he co-founded and signed to the record label Gold Rush Records.
Fre-D first broke into the consciousness of Nigerian music enthusiasts after making a submission for Don Jazzy’s ‘Enigma Freestyle’ Competition in 2011. Later that year, he was featured both as an artist and producer on Danas’ “The Book of Danas vol 1” mixtape, which gave Fre-D his first production and feature credits.
This was followed by “Come Closer” and “Better Late Than Never”, acclaimed singles in 2013. These songs displayed Fre-D’s versatility as both an afro-dancehall artist and a rich lyricist with hip-hop sensibilities. His ability to write complex raps on one song and croon sweet dancehall melodies on another represented the birth of a style he has since developed.
2014 saw the birth of a collaborative relationship between Fre-D and producer Le Prezident with the release of their successful single “Mogbe” where Fre-D’s knack for rapping and singing, blended perfectly with Le Prezident’s proficiency at beat-making. The success of the single saw the pair work further on the afro-hip-hop track titled “Bandulu” which was published by Red Bull studios Cape Town in late 2014.
‘Ayé’ was released in June 2016, marking a return to the traditional boom-bap hip-hop sound laced with African melodies enhanced by a King Sunny Ade sample on the hook. Fre-D, though of Nigerian descent, studies in South Africa. He cites Jay Z, Angelique Kidjo, Fela Kuti, King Sunny Ade and Oliver de Coque as his major musical influences.
On this track, Fre-D jumps on AKA & Anatii’s ‘Don’t Forget To Pray’ instrumental, delivering an irrepressible freestyle, which fuses Nigerian and South African hip-hop. The freestyle was recorded the day the original track was released (on the 8th of June). On the track, Fre-D raps about a wide range of issues ending with a hook hinting at something coming. As it goes, “Don’t forget to pray o. Do you know that God is on the way’.
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