Mixing his West Indian vocal dub style with a solid grounding in traditional American R&B, 17-year old Aaron Fresh, the latest addition to the growing Teen Island roster, is storming pop and rhythm radio formats with his debut single, “Spending All My Time.” The track is New & Active this week at #52-bullet on the Top 40 Mediabase chart, with over 3 million in audience and growing. Upon impact the single was added to 50 stations across the pop and rhythm radio formats.
Born in the U.S., Aaron Hinton-Marshall (aka Aaron Fresh) wanted to sing by age seven; at eight when he was sent to live with his grand mother in Port-Au-Spain, the tiny capitol city of the republic of Trinidad and Tobago. At a crucial time in his development, he gained a sincere appreciation for reggae, dub and calypso music, especially inspired by Jamaican stars Buju Banton and Sizzla. In middle school, Aaron started entering talent shows and trying out for agencies. “Any opportunity where I could showcase my talent,” he says, “I was there.”
After graduating from Holy Names Prep School in Trinidad, Aaron returned to the States to live with his mother in Southern California. During a vocal rehearsal at a friend’s house, Aaron was overheard by a producer. The chance meeting led to an introduction to Nick Cannon, whose instant reaction was “Let’s get it started” and quickly signed the young star to his label, NCredible Entertainment.
“My music really portrays me as a person,” Aaron says, “because I’m American but have a Caribbean background. I have no musical preference, I like everything as long as you can feel the vibe through your soul.” The young singer (and occasional songwriter) has been working closely with Nick Cannon every step of the way. “He’s totally involved in everything I do … I admire the guy, and he treats me like a little brother, so that’s a good feeling.”
Raised between America and the island of Trinidad and Tobago, Aaron Fresh is a breath-taking combination of West Indian and American culture. Beginning his love affair with song at an early age, 17-year-old Aaron knew that he wanted to sing by the time he reached seven years old.
“I started entering talent shows in middle school and I tried out for agencies,” remembers Aaron. “Any opportunity where I could showcase my talent, I was there.”
Born in Chicago, Aaron is the youngest of two brothers. His family lived in several different cities around the United States until his mother sent Aaron to live with his grandmother in Port-Au-Spain, Trinidad at eight years old.
“I love Trinidad, my favorite thing about this island is TK,” says Aaron.
In Port-Au-Spain, Aaron gained a sincere appreciation for reggae, dub and calypso music. Drawing inspiration from homegrown West Indian acts like Buju Banton and Sizzla, Aaron made sure that with his love of music, he still remembered to enjoy his childhood. He became quite the practical joker and routinely tricked his friends into silly things for fun.
“My friend Keyshawn and I always do practical jokes and once I decided to do a coin trick where you put a coin on your forehead and count the times you can hit your forehead on a table before it falls off,” recalls Aaron. “So I put a coin on my forehead and did it six times. Then I said to Keyshawn, ‘Bet you can’t beat it!’ and I pressed the coin to his head really hard but kept the coin in my hand without him knowing. He reached 161 times before he realized that the coin wasn’t there! Good times!”
After graduating from Holy Names Prep School and attending Holy Cross College briefly, Aaron returned to the States to live with his mother in Southern California. Then one day after school, as Aaron and his friend were rehearsing for their high school talent show and the young man’s voice caught the ear of producer, Reo Mitchell.
“We were rehearsing at my friend’s house and Reo was walking to his car and he overheard me singing,” says Aaron. “That was enough to catch his attention so he knocked on the door and soon after introduced me to Nick Cannon who immediately said, ‘Let’s get it started!'”
Just like that Aaron’s performance dreams were realized and he quickly signed to Cannon’s NCredible Entertainment. Now the teen splits his time between school and recording his debut album TK. On one of his first songs, “Spending All My Time,” Aaron sings about his love and says he “needs a few more seconds in my day” to cherish his special lady. On another track entitled “Dirty Girl,” Aaron deftly meshes his West Indian roots with a pop-edged beat as he sings over the reggae-inspired track that’s sure to get the party moving.
Growing up watching acts like Usher and Michael Jackson, Aaron knows that his cross-culture of Caribbean and North American heritage makes him one of a kind and he’s ready to earn his place in the spotlight.
“No one has done a Caribbean dub voice mixed with American R&B,” says Aaron. “My music really portrays me as a person because I’m American but have a Caribbean background. I have no musical preference, I like everything as long as you can feel the vibe through your soul.”
In addition to working with the producers behind The Pussycat Dolls and The Backstreet Boys, the teenager also wields the pen.
“I do co-write some songs,” says Aaron. “When I feel a beat or certain instruments and it sounds like I could be comfortable, I’m rocking.”
As for working alongside actor-producer-artist-label head Nick Cannon? Aaron says he’s just trying to keep up.
“He’s totally involved in everything I do,” says Aaron. “It’s definitely exciting and an honor to be next to him. I admire the guy, and he treats me like a little brother so that’s a good feeling.”