Don't get fresh with this maestro
Juno-award winner Hip Hop artist Maestro Fresh Wes (Wes Williams) is coming to Prince George. He plays Rum Jungle on Saturday, June 4. Maestro is Canada’s best selling hip-hop artist.
He’s been recognized with 12 Juno Award Nominations (he’s won two), four MuchMusic Awards, two People’s Choice Awards, two Toronto Music Awards and the first Platinum Album from a hip-hop artist in Canada.
Mastro spoke with the Free Press last week. For the versatile performer, actor, motivational speaker and writer, it’s all about moving away from one’s comfort zone.
“When you look at the artists who’ve been doing this (music) for the past five years or so, they’re artists who do more than rap. They bring more to the table than just what’s within the parameters of hip hop – artists like Drake, Kaos and Classified. As simple as it may seem, when Classified did the National Anthem, hip hop style, that’s outside the norm. It pushes the envelope for other artists.”
Maestro came onto Canada’s hip hop scene with his 1989 single Let Your Backbone Slide, the only Canadian hip-hop single to achieve gold status. His album Symphony in Effect remains the best-selling Canadian hip-hop album ever.
He’s also widely known as the godfather of hip hop.
“To me that (title) means my community embraces me for what I’ve done, for being exceptional in my career. I feel honoured by fellow artists who refer to me that way, that’s a beautiful thing for me. And those are the artists who have inspired me.”
For the last 20 years, Maestro has continued to record but has branched out into many other areas of the business.
“I want to keep on doing other things with my life. I just had my first book Stick to Your Vision: How to Get Past the Hurdles and Haters To Get Where You Want to Be published and it seems to be doing well.
“My acting career isn’t too shabby either (he laughs). Last year I got a Gemini for best supporting actor in a dramatic series. And Microsoft just just hired me for an event.”
Maestro is also a successful motivational speaker. In his new book, he uses both high and low points of his personal and professional life to illustrate how to define a vision, achieve it and then figure out what to do once you get there.
He’s appeared in almost every episode of the Instant Star TV series. Williams also established himself as a big-screen actor in films such as Honey, with Jessica Alba, and Four Brothers, with Mark Wahlberg.
DJ Abel and dron3 will be setting the stage for Maestro on June 4 when he plays the Rum Jungle. Doors open at 9 p.m. at the Rum Jungle. Proceeds from the show go to support programs and services at the library.
Molson Coors Canada has helped to bring Maestro to Prince George, and Outlet Records is also pleased to sponsor the event. Tickets for Maestro’s concert are $15, available at Books and Company, Ruins, HomeWork and the Prince George Public Library.