NYC-based artist Asoh Black! makes his first appearance on our page today to drop off his brand new visual “HITS” which is a remix to Travis Scott’s song “Backyard.”
The visual shot and directed by Train Productions brings the record to life and is showcased in a way that makes for an eye-catching experience. This record is the first of 11 songs that he intends to release in as many weeks as part of a music series he’s calling #AsohAttacks. The music series will feature a myriad of other talented artists like Waju, Limbo, Lexii Alijai. We had a chance to catch up with Asoh for an exclusive interview.
swidlife: How did you start making music and what gave you the motivation to
stay with it?
Asoh: I started making music in high school when my passion for poetry, inspired by my older brother, turned into me battle rapping friends on Facebook. I always thought I had an upper hand because poetry just gave me a witty edge, I was always fascinated with twisting words and using metaphors and other literary devices to come up with clever ass lines. I remember seeing Cadence (a rapper from Free.All.Mind$) working with Sndwn. (a producer from the collective) in his home studio, which was brand new at the time, and I thought “damn, that looks cool as hell”. Even though I wasn’t as tight with Sndwn. then as I am now, he would still let me come through and practice recording – even when it meant I had to sneak out my house. One thing led to another, and we all formed the F.A.M$ collective and began to make music as a group. Motivation used to stem from wanting to have the luxurious lifestyles of most of the rappers I looked up to at the time (i.e. Kanye, Big Sean, Lil Wayne) but these days I draw my inspiration from people who find ways to contact me from different regions of the world (I was DM’d by a guy from South Korea about a month ago) to tell me how much they appreciate my music. I feel like, at this point, I’m not making music for myself anymore; I’d be doing a disservice to stop.
swidlife: What are some of the biggest mental tools you can obtain to be
successful in this field?
Asoh: Like most fields in life, success takes time. Success is built from taking steps, not jumping staircases. I’ve just learned to not be discouraged by failure or to measure my achievements by how quickly someone else achieved the same thing. Patience (while maintaining your sense of hunger) I’d say is a key skill to hone in on if you want to be successful through music.
swidlife: Do you have a favorite musical project that you’ve worked on?
Asoh: It’s probably not even one of my own. My favorite musical project to be a part of to date hasn’t come out yet. Sndwn. (read about it!) is due to release his debut album soon and honestly I’m just impressed by how much talent he has in one collection. From LUVKUSH, Olukara, Waju, Jay Squared and others, I feel blessed to have participated in its formation. Shit is really heat so read about that too!
swidlife: What do you like to do for fun outside of working on music?
Asoh: Make Money. Next question
swidlife: If you were to describe your sound, how would you describe it?
Asoh: It varies. I don’t like to be boxed in. I’ve always believed in strength through variability so I guess you could say my sound is like the jawns on Twitter who post the same selfie with 4 different hairstyles and claim if you date them it’s like having 4 different girlfriends. Actually, my sound is exactly like that.
swidlife: Can you talk a little bit about your collective Free.All.Minds?
Asoh: F.A.M$ is the NYC collective that’ll remind you why this city is the hub of some of the best creativity to hit the entertainment industry. We’re a group of HS friends that specialize in different fields of art. We’re comprised of musical artists like myself, Sndwn., and Cadence, and then you have visual artists like Ichiro Narita who’s a wizard with the camera. We also have writers on the team like Tyler Blint-Welsh who’s been published in both the NY and LA Times. In all honesty the talent we have isn’t being utilized to its fullest potential by every single member (there are like 15 of us) but I’m hoping through any individual success I’m able to garner, it’ll inspire members of the collective to take their craft more seriously and when we act more like a cohesive unit there’s no reason why we can’t take this city by storm.
swidlife: How did the idea #AsohAttacks and #TalkToMeTuesdays come together?
Asoh: I was first going to release a mixtape full of Travis Scott remixes in homage to one of my favorite musicians out right now (hence the making of “HITS”) but as I recorded more and more songs I became less in love with the idea. I’d much rather my debut mixtape be a more cohesive project showcasing a sound that distinguishes me rather than build sound that might be perceived as borrowed. But nonetheless, I was in a creative state and just kept creating records, now more-so records on original beats. It got to a point where I found myself sitting on a bunch much of music that I was incredibly proud of. I thought of just releasing all 11 songs as the mixtape but because the sound wasn’t really something cohesive I figured it’d be best to drop them as singles. I talked the idea over with Sndwn., one of my best friends, and came to the consensus that it’d be best to start a campaign where I release a song every week starting at the top of the year. From there I’d drop my very first full-length mixtape. It just made sense. #TalkToMeTuesdays is my way of bringing variability to the #AsohAttacks season by providing a service for my supporters. I talked about it extensively on my Instagram and Twitter but I just feel as artists there’s so much more we can do to connect with our fans and impact the lives of the people who keep us going. There are too many people who suffer mental health issues from not having anyone to talk to and to be able to converse with one of your favorite artists (especially considering how influential your voice/song can be in the mind of a listener) is a privilege I believe more and more artists should be extending. With that being said every Tuesday for the duration of #AsohAttack’s 11 weeks I’m going to be available on Instagram live (@asohblack) at 7pm EST to talk to anyone that wants to talk. At the end of every session, I’ll play the upcoming song from the #AsohAttacks series.
swidlife: How did you link up with Train Productions?
Asoh: That’s my dawg. We went to college together and we just connected. I would record in the same house he lived at with some of his housemates that make music under “LUVKUSH,” and we’d run into each other from time to time. I learned how skilled he was at crafting videos and it was just a matter of time before we worked on something together. He’s the mastermind behind both the “Summer Playlists” and “HITS” music videos.
swidlife: What do you look to accomplish with your music?
Asoh: I just wanna be able to support my big ass African family and win some Grammys for the sake of my little brothers. I don’t need much else.
Well, there you have it, folks. Are there any last thought you want to throw out there, Asoh? “After #AsohAttacks, expect me to drop my debut mixtape and throughout the year I’ll be performing wherever I’m booked.”