Outkast, Soy sauce, and Belgian rap: my interview with Awill

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By: Harrison Giza


Awill proves that Belgium rappers are sweeter than chocolate. I first saw his “Aristocracy” video a few weeks back and was enamored by the color scheme and clothes of the cast. Most importantly, I was hooked on Awill as an artist.

The grime in his voice pops over the bloomed-swing of the beats. It’s filthy how good his buzzed bars sound against the humming beat. He doesn’t flash listeners with what is easy to make. His flow is surprisingly complicated. Even better, he can take common rap imagery and spice it up into a fresh verse.

Yeah, he comes off as a party rapper… but one that you wish to meet, laugh, and mix drinks with. He boasts and brags like a young Yeezy, only difference being his European dip-duck-dive flow. As much as tracks like “Empirical” have this cock ‘n’ balls-bravado of women, violence, and roughness, the beat floats along to keep Awill covered. After listening, hip-hop heads can tell Awill loves classic early-nineties hip-hop almost as much as he loves to talk about drugs and blowing up on planet Earth.

Hailing from Vilvoorde, Belgium, Awill was a bit hard to get a hold of… but that’s nothing a few emails couldn’t fix. Ourcoversation ranged from his girl’s cooking, a love of Wu Tang Clan, and the literately-insane chorus of his “Scooby Doo” track.


 

HG: Who are your biggest influences? How did you find yourself rapping?

A: My biggest influences, it must be like… (pause) I grew up listening to Jazz & Blues, ’cause of my moms, she was special about it. I grew up in that circle, ’cause I was influenced by her and also my pops too, who also was on that type of vibe. As I grew older I found my own way and started listening to Michael Jackson, Nas, DMX, Wu Tang Clan, all I can remember from the 90’s, even the Fugees. I’ve always been the type of person that likes to know things, so I research a lot. I learn about the new artists, and with my own knowledge, I get inspirational and start to write and produce and do what I do. I like to tell actual facts, I like to inspire and teach people through my music.

HG:  Describe your perfect breakfast.

A: (laughs) To be honest I don’t eat a lot, in fact I only eat when my girl makes me these Vietnamese baguettes, vegetarian kind with soy sauce and vegetables. I like to keep it clean.

HG: To me, your flow is constantly bobbing in and out with different breaks. How do you know when you have a line just right?

A: I listen to the beat and start making a sound from it, I start building the melody around the text, and then see if the lyrics match my sound. That’s when I know I got it all right.


HG: Where were you when you decided to write the lunacy of a chorus “Scooby Doo” ended up having? Don’t get me wrong, I love it like Shaggy loves eating lunch on his counter.

A: I was high at the studio with my man Flava Dre, who made the beat, he’s from London, shout out to him! I asked him if I could spit on that beat and then started making a sound for it and got working. Scooby Doo is one of my favorite shows since I was little, so I feel you on that Shaggy thing.

HG: What do you do for fun? What’s the weekend like?

A: Music is fun, but on the weekends or when I’m off music I like to chill with my family. I don’t like to go out a lot.

HG:  Where do you see your sound going? What can fans expect from you next?

A: I’m at a point where my sound is perfect and is ready to make it big overseas. I see my sound reaching people, reaching the masses, preaching and educating. As for the fans, I’m putting my mind on this new project I’m working on, and a new song that is about to come out in a couple of weeks, so you have a lot to see from me in the future.


HG: How many times have you seen American Gangster?

A: Thats a crazy ass question!! The first time I saw American Gangster was amazing, I’ve seen the movie 20 times. Never gets old.


HG: “The Sequence” is fantastic and the video fits you almost as perfectly as “Aristocracy” does. How would you describe yourself? Do you think it is important for a rapper to have a good image?

A: I describe myself as a person who doesn’t give a fuck, I do what I do, thats Awill. Your image as a rapper is based on who you are, your originality, your swag and energy no one can touch or get close to. A world leader.

HG: Tell me your favorite songs… and I don’t just mean hip-hop.

A: I don’t know man, they are too many.. But the most I listen to, that would be Outkast’s “Jazzy belle.” That’s my favorite tune. Also Nirvana, “Smells like teen spirit”, that’s my jam!

HG: How did you meet Bad Boy and MichaelGood? What makes a good beat to you?

A: I met Bad Boy when I was living in Belgium, I was 14 back then. We then started getting into rap and took it to another level.

Back in Norway I met MichaelGood, a Norwegian rapper back then. He then went into producing, and we started to work together. Good drums, good base under the drums, and some good ass melody on it. Thats a good beat to me.

HG: “She Need’s a Psychologist” has such a soothing beat and the chorus just sounds so natural. What made you want to write the song?
A: I was angry and frustrated about a situation I was in, so I had to write. The sound behind it is me telling what I was feeling, the beat is a story I put my heart on it, that’s me, exciting and interesting…

HG: Where do you think hip-hop is going? What does Awill’s future look like?

A: Hip-hop is going on the right direction, there are lots of different styles. People are recognizing it, it’s dope.
In 10 years, well I guess Awill is gonna be a leader (laughs)

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FOR MORE AWILL CLICK HERE: http://www.awillmusic.com/wp/

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