Award-winning musician Maestro Fresh Wes ‘drops the needle’ on Saint John

Click to play video: 'Hip hop artist Maestro Fresh Wes now calls N.B. home'
Hip hop artist Maestro Fresh Wes now calls N.B. home
WATCH: Maestro Fresh Wes is considered one of the founding fathers of hip hop in Canada, and now he's proud to call the Maritimes his home. The musician and entrepreneur moved to this region during the pandemic, putting down roots in Saint John, N.B. Zack Power has that story – Jan 4, 2023

It was the height of the pandemic when one of the most influential hip-hop artists in Canada, Maestro Fresh Wes, moved to Saint John, N.B.

He made the decision to be closer to family who live in the area. The move to the Maritimes is something that the Scarborough, Ont., native would have never dreamed of, but he makes the decision without regrets.

After recording smash hits in the late 1980s like “Let Your Backbone Slide” and “Drop the Needle”, some have dubbed the award-winning artist the “Godfather of Canadian Hip-Hop.”

He has now become a father figure to children in the community.

Since the move, children’s books have been released, children’s rap albums have hit streaming platforms, and Maestro continues to grow the community to where it is today.

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In an interview with Global News, the musician said at the core of his values is recognizing who we are as people and inspiring others to do good for each other, which was the inspiration behind his book, Stick To Your Vision: Young Maestro Goes to School.

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“It was really emphasizing the importance of family structure, mentorship and influential elementary school teachers,” he said.

“Going to these schools has been a beautiful thing.”

Those values trickle to his coaching career in the Saint John area, which is primarily highlighted by a championship football run and foyers in various basketball tournaments.

Click to play video: 'Maestro Fresh Wes talks new children’s book, move to Saint John'
Maestro Fresh Wes talks new children’s book, move to Saint John

Maestro will tell you that some of the students may not entirely recognize him at first, or have even heard of him. He said he often sees wonder from kids as teachers and parents name-drop some his talent, but he’s OK with that.

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His newest project, Maestro Chef Wes, is a show that will have him cook with influential Atlantic Canadians. He said that for him, cooking is one thing, but being able to write and produce a TV show in a city he calls home makes it all the more special.

When asked if he ever thought that he would make a move to Saint John, he admitted it never would have crossed his mind.

“But we’re not thinking the global apocalypse (COVID-19) will come and change everyone’s lives and make us make certain decisions and moves. We aren’t thinking that would happen, Extraordinary people will have extraordinary circumstances, and we’re all extraordinary people here in Saint John.”

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