Wesley Williams (born March 31, 1968 in Toronto, Ontario), better known as Maestro & Maestro Fresh-Wes, is a Canadian rapper, record producer, & actor. His pioneering status & outstanding achievements have led to him being referred to as the “Godfather of Canadian Hip-Hop“.
In 1989, he became the first Canadian rapper to have a Top 40 hit, “Let Your Backbone Slide“. In 1991, he collaborated on the one-off single “Can’t Repress The Cause“, a plea for greater inclusion of Hip-Hop music in the Canadian music scene, with Dance Appeal, a supergroup of Toronto-area musicians that included Devon, Dream Warriors, B-Kool, Michie Mee, Lillian Allen, Eria Fachin, HDV, Dionne, Thando Hyman, Carla Marshall, Messenjah, Jillian Mendez, Lorraine Scott, Lorraine Segato, Self Defense, Leroy Sibbles, Zama, & Thyron Lee White.
After the success of his 1991 album, ‘The Black Tie Affair‘, Maestro’s career faltered as he attempted to break into the United States market. However, he returned to the Canadian charts in 1998, with the hit singles “Stick To Your Vision” & “416/905 (T.O. Party Anthem)“.
In 2000, ‘Ever Since‘ featured the track “Bustin Loose“, in which Maestro Fresh-Wes teamed up with Kardinal Offishall.
In 2005, Maestro covered Lawrence Gowan’s song “A Criminal Mind” (featuring Infinite); Gowan appears in the video and his vocals are sampled on the track. Gowan also performed the song with Maestro at the Canadian Urban Music Awards in 2006.
In 2006, Maestro again made Canadian Hip-Hop history when he & Rochester aka Juice joined The Dope Poet Society on stage in Cannes, France. Together, they become the first Canadian Hip-Hop acts ever to showcase at Midem, the world’s largest & most influential annual music industry conference.
In 2012, Maestro released his first set of new material in more than seven years with the release of an EP entitled ‘Black Tuxedo‘. This was followed by an album, ‘Orchestrated Noise‘ in 2013, which features rocker Sam Roberts, opera singer Measha Brueggergosman, rapper Kardinal Offishall, among others. ‘Orchestrated Noise‘ was released under the name Maestro Fresh-Wes, reclaiming his original title from the 1980s.