“Are you living life? Or simply, just living?”
Fres Thao is an advocate for the Arts; believing Art is direct energy from the soul. As one of the Hip Hop pioneers from the Hmong American community, he has been an active lyricist, producer and performer for more than 15 years.
Founding member of nationally dispersed Hip Hop group, Illegoaliens and Twin Cities based collective, Pupils of the Storm, Fres has released numerous well-received albums, mixtapes and compilations including 2001's First Album, The Aznraps.com compilations from 1999-2005, The H Project in 2004, Music to Breathe to in 2005, Blank Canvas in 2006, The Thought Bubble Mixtape in 2008, The Cloud 9 ep in 2010, and Storytelling ep in 2011. His full length album Mind Full Of was recently released in July of 2012, and will be available on vinyl this winter. A Pupils of the Storm ep is also in the works.
With formal education in Communications, Radio/TV/Film from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and Marketing and Creative Innovations from Concordia University, he was an on-air radio personality for UW-O's 90.3fm WRST, and cohost on Twin City's CHAT Radio, 90.3fm/106.7fm, KFAI.
From Wisconsin to the Twin Cities, through his many years as a Hip Hop Artist, Fres has garnered respect from Hip Hop enthusiasts to Art lovers alike. He was privileged to be a cohort member of Mu Performing Art's 2011 New Eyes program resulting in a Hip Hop theater piece based on time travel. He was also a recipient of the Minnesota State Arts Board 2011 Artists Initiative grant, accessing funds to create his vinyl project. Fres is currently in the process of writing a children's poetry book.
During his free time, he enjoys writing, movies, museums, taking strolls, and obtaining useless facts and information.
Through his struggles, principles and aspirations he hopes to motivate the community to continue pursuing, supporting and valuing the arts.
“This album exemplifies continuous refined musical skill and talent. The collaborations definitely take it to the next level of Fres’s music. Dare I say, this may be his best work yet?” – Lyncy
Fres Thao’s music has been played in St. Paul/Minneapolis 90.3/106.7fm KFAI, Milwaukee, 91.7fm WMSE, V100fm WKKV, and Oshkosh, 90.3fm WRST.
Fres has performed alongside artists such as Toki Wright, Blue Scholars, Dumbfoundead, Dj Qbert and more, and has been privileged to perform at legendary venues such as First Ave, Fine Line, The Rave, Loring Park and more.