While the names Freshco and Shawn Conrad may not be known to many anime fans, said fans might recognize the musician for his contribution to the anime franchise of A piece, specifically the talent responsible for the theme song which arrived via 4Kids. With Shawn’s theme being one of the first songs related to the series when it debuted in North America, we had the opportunity to sit down with the musician and chat about the celebrities he has influenced and with whom he shared stories during his career, long before he made the rap Straw Hat.
Conrad started our conversation by discussing the influence he has had on some big names in the hip hop and R&B industry, especially with Busta Rhymes, Redman and Queen Latifah to name a few. :
“Busta Rhymes told me he was a lifelong fan and hip hop needed me. Keith Murray said he started rapping because of me. I worked as a sound engineer , helping put together the album ‘El Nino’ for Red Man and he told me I was “the best rapper he ever heard.” before he released his own music. “
Shawn’s job as a rapper Freshco saw him perform alongside Notorious BIG and Queen Latifah, the latter of whom took him aside in one of their early performances:
“When I was in hip hop in 1989, I did a show with De La Soul and Queen Latifah and a few Tommy Boy bands (Records). Queen Latifah came to me at a sound check and told me said “You are REALLY good!” a one-on-one interaction I had with her, but she was so sweet to come over and say that. “
During his travels in the industry, Conrad also befriended Big Daddy Kane and several other notable musicians, eventually finding his way into audio engineering and being asked by the 4Kids company to create the theme song. for A piece when it first aired in North America as part of the Saturday morning programming.
With the recent resurgence of Conrad thanks to A piece With fans taking note of his story on Youtube, Shawn shared with us that he was always thinking about sharing his creativity in the music world with the public:
“Creating is something I would love to do and I could have done more over the years. However, it’s never too late and I still have good energy for it. I want the fans to know that I could still have real goodies for people and I want to thank them. “