Def Jam’s newest singer, August Alsina, is finding success with his latest single, “I Luv This Sh*t,” featuring Trinidad James. August’s life has not always been as smooth as his music.
I’m just a young dude trying to get it. I’m a hustler who’s hustling this music. I plan on taking over pretty soon. I have a lot of ambition and a lot of spirit.
You recently signed a deal with Def Jam. How does this make you feel?
Man, you know, that’s a blessing but at the same time it’s just half of the milestone. We worked hard to get a deal but that just puts you in the race. You know what I’m saying? So, really, it’s a blessing but it just means harder work to come is all.
What do you like and dislike most about the industry thus far?
What I like most about the industry is, it allows me the opportunity to do what I love and it’s a way that I can feed and take care of my people in my squad. I guess what I dislike about it is, as an artist, you kind of sign up to put yourself out there in front of people to be judged. I think people get it confused. They think that you trying to impress them but I’ve really never been that type of person who cares what other people think of me. So, that’s the biggest part [of what I dislike] but, you know, it comes with it.
When did you first start singing?
[I’ve been singing] for about six years and it’s crazy because a lot of people don’t believe me when I say that but it’s the truth. I was watching Sister Act 2 and I saw Lauryn Hill and I was like, “Damn, that’s dope.” I wanted to do it and I just stuck with it. It’s crazy because no one in my family has ever sung. No one is musically inclined and no one plays any instruments. It’s just a gift from God to save me from the negative things that I was doing.
So, you say “Sister Act 2″ is what inspired you to sing?
Very much. Very much so. Lauryn Hill was killing it, man. She was killing it!
How would you describe your style of music?
It’s straightforward and in your face. I’m a groove type artist and it’s a certain bounce that my [music] gives you. There’s no beating around the bush and no sugar coating it. It is what it is, you know?
Okay, let’s talk about your single, “I Luv This Sh*t”. You teamed up with Trinidad James to record that track. How did you get Trinidad to do the record and whose idea was it to put him on it?
Trin, that’s my guy. I had that song for about six months before he even touched it but I knew that was the first [song] I wanted anybody to hear from me. What’s cool about it is, he and I get tatted at the same tattoo shop and we have some mutual friends who had been trying to connect us for a minute. Then I heard, “All Gold Everything,” so it was a no brainer for me. The lifestyle he embodies is everything the song is about. So, I had to go get him. I had a session with Curren$y, I called him to the studio, played him the record and he hopped on it. I had to go to Houston. So, I left it with him and as soon as he was finished with it he sent it over to me.
What other artists and producers did you work with on the album?
We got a bunch of young artists that’s grinding and are on my team. We keep it in the family. So, it’s a dude named Cassius Jay, a guy by the name of Knucklehead, and The Exclusives, and we all are in the same camp. We, [also], got Curren$y, Roscoe Dash, Juelz Santana and of course we got Trinidad James on the tape. So it’s a good look.
What can we expect to learn from you on the album?
Actually, it might give you a little too much. When I was working on it, I struggled with that all the time. Like how much of myself do I give to the people? But, at the end of the day, [if I didn’t give them me] I would be cheating myself and cheating the people because it’s so many people out there like me that I could help. So, that’s really what it’s all about for me.
What artist past or present would you say inspires you to make music?
Tupac. Man, look at Pac. You see what Pac did for the world? You see what type of person he was? He made an impact on the world and he changed a lot of people’s lives. No matter how much people may talk bad about him, what he was doing was for the people. I salute him and if I could have ever did a song with anybody it would be Pac.