"Renaissance" Kepa Freeman
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"Renaissance" Kepa Freeman

Forestville, Maryland, United States

Forestville, Maryland, United States
Band Hip Hop Singer/Songwriter


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Still working on that hot first release.



"I'm going to start calling you 'Renaissance.'" This is what Kepa Freeman’s friend and classmate, Finess, said to him when he told her what he did outside of the poetry for performance class they had together. A poet/pianist/lyricist/film scorer/MC/sound manager for theatre/generally creative individual who likes to think outside, the outside, of outside, of the box, Kepa believes that he has no limits creatively. If he doesn’t know how to do something, he’ll learn how. If it hasn’t been done yet, that’s his specialty. If nothing else, Kepa “Renaissance” Freeman is original.

He believes in fighting contradictions by combining the old with the new, quantity with quality, and, what often seems to be a contradiction in today’s culture, music and message. Lauryn Hill is Kepa’s favorite artist because she defied the standards by putting a positive message with good music that was so good that it appealed not only to her community, but to people world wide. Such is his goal with every song, score, or lyric that he makes. When creating, Kepa wants each piece to, at least in one way, touch anyone who listens to it.

Kepa’s musical/lyrical influences span anywhere from Lauryn Hill and The Roots to Gill Scott Herron and Herbie Hancock to Norah Jones and Coldplay to Yoko Kanno (Anime Scorer for Cowboy Bepop and other shows) and Nobuo Uematsu (Scorer for Final Fantasy series) to Hanz Zimmer and John Williams to the Celtic Circle and Josh Groban to Mendhelson and Bach. As you can see, he’s trying to live up to the title “Renaissance” and get a little bit of everything.

Despite his newfound passion for music, poetry was actually Mr. Freeman’s first love. Kepa began writing poetry in the fourth grade and hasn’t really stopped since. It initially started as an alternative to making cards for Birthdays and Christmas presents, but as he watched the spoken word performances of his older cousin, Tonya “JaHipster” Matthews, and discovered that his father had started out his acting career with a poetry troupe, Kepa’s poetry started to take a different form.

Raised by revolutionaries, Kepa's hard hitting lyrics left many an open mic either speechless or applauding in agreement. As early as the 8th grade he was writing pieces with titles such as “A Dedication to the People.” Of course, revolution wasn’t the only thing he talked about, but healing the ills of society was definitely one of his favorite topics.

At first, Kepa relied heavily on his lyrics to pack a punch as he timidly read his poetry out of a notebook at open mics. A natural performer, he was not. In his second year of highschool, however, he joined the Kiamsha Youth Empowerment Organization, and his performance would never be the same. Through the vocal coaching of Raymond Boney, and Barbara Dunn, performance critiques by his father, Ersky Freeman, and Mrs. Lori Croom, Kepa went from shy to showcase! Performing for such venues as the Fox Morning News, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, National Park Awareness day, Million Mom March, and countless other venues, the Kiamsha performers were required to have a high degree of professionalism. That meant no more reading from the paper!

While his lyrics and performance were fairly effective, and he attended open mics as often as he could, Kepa did not truly consider himself a spoken word artist until he took a Poetry for Performance class under the instruction of Kimmika L. H. Williams-Witherspoon. Taking the class alongside the likes of Nina “Lyrispect” Ball, Johnny “Makalani” Gill, and Jacob Winkerstein, his game jumped to a new level. All of these artists were invited to Slams sponsored by Def Poetry Jam, and have attended numerous other Slam poetry competitions. Naturally, they had a lot to offer, and Ms. Williams-Witherspoon offered the creative support and counsel needed to really take Kepa off the ground.

However, despite his passion for the art, poetry is not Mr. Freeman’s main endeavor. While he was developing his finesse with a pen, he was also working on his finesse with a keyboard. With his mother being a singer herself and starting him in lessons at age six, Kepa has always had a love for the beautiful sound of the piano. Still he wasn’t content with simply playing the works of classical composers. He wanted his own! Kepa would often spend hours sitting at a piano composing melodies for fun. When his parents bought a midi sequencer as a Christmas Present, his compositions jumped to a whole different level.

Kepa went from MIDI recording to analogue, and analogue to digital recording, gradually building up his studio through birthday presents and summer jobs. Drexel’s music industry program actually gave him a boost into digital production by allowing him the opportunity to study acoustics under Ed Franco and digital production under Rodney Whittenberg.

Initially interested in computer graphics, when Kepa made the change to music as his livelih