There’s certainly a refreshing buzz in Hawaii hip hop at the moment, so the release of this album couldn’t have come at a better time, I heard your CD release party was a success, how you feeling?
I.A.: I’m really excited but I’m in major promotion mode right now, just trying to make sure I get as much attention as possible to the people out there. The Hawaii Hip Hop scene has been giving me a lot support and that’s been keeping the motivation high.
In my mind, whenever an artist puts out an album, it’s like a personal work of art that they want to share with the world, what new aspects of yourself are you trying to share and show the rest of the world?
I.A.: With this album I not only wanted to take my music to a more mainstream level but also do more personal tracks like “Ohana” and conscious tracks like “I Be On That”. Taking my music to a deeper level of emotion was important for me on this project.
Break down “Beyond Paradise” from the song writing process to the recording… etc.
I.A.: The writing process was written out of a lot of personal experiences that I’ve gone through in life and the experiences I’ve gone through in the music biz. I took a little while longer recording this album other than my last 2 albums because I wanted to make sure that I got out the ideas I wanted and how I wanted to say it. The artist who came through for collaborations definitely made a big difference in giving the project more color and perspectives.
How much did your “haters” and naysayers influence the content of “Beyond Paradise?”
I.A.: Its funny that you bring that up. The song “I Be On That” on the album was aimed strictly on that subject. That’s the reason why I collaborated with artist Creed Chameleon and Kwalified MC on the song because most wouldn’t expect us to be on a track. We’re somewhat classified under different hip hop sub genres and it was like bridging a gap as far as our sound goes. The content on the song is aimed at our personal struggles being in the business and our perservenece to get passed it.
Motivation: Where does your motivation come from?
I.A.: My family definitely gives me the most motivation. Especially when my kids are running around singing my songs and getting excited. Second I would have to say the over all love I have for the hip hop culture is what keeps me going. Passion = Motivation
I heard you have quite a sneaker addiction, discuss.. and who do you think your closest rival may be?
I.A.: YES, I’m a major sneaker collector. I’ve been collecting for atleast 10 years, mostly Air Jordans and some other Nike collections. Youtube my sneaker videos to get a real glimpse of the madness!! Haha. Hawaii actually has a huge sneaker collecting community and hip hop heads like Tassho Pearce, DJ Yogurt, Stu(Audible Labrats), and Kai(Street Society) are heavy in it just to name a few. If anybody wants to have a sneaker battle holla at me! haha
Unlike other Hawaii rappers, you have a growing fanbase among the youth of Hawaii, talk about that connection you have with the youth?
I.A.: I feel great knowing that I can influence the youth in a positive way through hip hop, that’s definitely a part of my motivation that I forgot to mention earlier.
When it comes to an emcees fan base most Hawaii emcees kind of have their own lane and target market, what “lane” are you in homey?
I.A.: I want to be relative to all sub-genres, and versatile because I’m also a fan of the music I make. I enjoy exploring new styles and perspectives and not having one certain sound or one dimentional.
What local hip hoppers do you admire most?
I.A.: I have many favorite songs from certain artist, but it’s the movements that I admire most from Flip The Bird, Tiki Ent, Siq Records, Angry Locals, Prolific Unknowns, Slapp Symphony, Gritty Fitty, Laborynth just to name a few.
Next single? Video?
I.A.: That’s top secret, If I tell you I have to tie you up and feed you 10 lbs of haupia… CHEEEE HUUUU
When its all said and done, what will make “Beyond Paradise” a success for you?
I.A.: Getting Kalani Wilhelm A.K.A. ASIATICMAJIC to give the album his stamp of approval!! haha
Available on Itunes and Hawaiitunes.com