Interview: August Alsina
MTV’s The Wrap Up caught up with one of the hottest acts to come out of the US – August Alsina. We sent out Suave to catch up with the New Orleans native during his London visit with LiveBase. Keep reading to hear August talk 'Testimony', swag, and travelling through Europe.
The Wrap Up: Hey August! How are you finding London?
August Alsina: I haven't really had the opportunity go and sightseeing yet. It's been right of the plane and straight to work. I still ain't been to sleep yet!
TWU: [Laughs] Life of an artist on tour! But if you do get the time, make sure you explore London, I’m sure you’ll find some cool threads.
August Alsina: I think I'ma have to - my bags didn't make it here off the plane. So I gotta find me something to wear - this is all I got.
TWU: Stress! Let’s talk about your album ‘Testimony’ - you have some big features on there.
August Alsina: We got Rick Ross, Jeezy, Fabolous and Gotti on the album. A few people, but at the same time I really didn't want too many people because this is my first album. I wanted to show people that I could hold it down on my own and let them get a feel for me, before I go to grabbing a million.
TWU: Who did you look up to as an inspiration whilst growing up?
August Alsina: As inspiration? I'll tell you what really inspired me, being from New Orleans and seeing how big Cash Money blew up. That showed me, because those guys were in the hood. It showed me that anything was possible - that was inspiration enough for me.
TWU: Speaking of Cash Money, they did have an interest in signing you...
August Alsina: Yeah, for a long time that was my heart, where I really wanted to be at. I sat around and waited for them. I met with Big and Slim a few times actually. You know, sometimes people are focused on what they want to focus on. There’s not much what you can do to take their focus off what they focus on. It's all love though, for the whole Cash Money family.
TWU: Yeah, you can still work with them and be affiliated.
August Alsina: Of course, of course.
TWU: I can see that you're quite swagged out right now.
TWU: You call these plain clothes?! I want me some plain clothes! What kind of brands are you into?
August Alsina: It depends, because I'm all over the place, I feel different ways sometimes. Like, sometimes you can go with the name brand stuff - super fancy stuff. And sometimes I'm kicking it in whatever. If its dope, its dope. I can get it from the swap meet and if it's dope, I'ma rock it.
TWU: How do you feel about performing in London?
August Alsina: This is my first time in London and I'm looking forward to seeing how far my music can reach and how far it can touch people. I was in Germany a while ago and did a bunch of shows out there. A lot of people knew the words to my music but couldn't hold a conversation with me - it was a language barrier - I found that super cool.
TWU: Before you leave, tell us a little more about ‘Testimony’.
August Alsina: It’s basically my life in the form an album; where I come from, my culture, my story, my background. Usually when somebody gives a testimony it sparks somebody - it touches somebody, it inspires somebody else; gives somebody some inspiration. So really that's what my hope is for the album, to touch somebody.
So long as somebody can relate and get some motivation and inspiration. If I'm not the m****f***er to change the world, then I'm definitely gonna be the m****r***er to spark a next guy who'll change the world.
TWU: Inspirational stuff, I’m sure people will gravitate to you even more. You've done that with your EP and mixtapes too. I’ve noticed with some of your previous interviews where you were touching on some emotional topics such as your brother. Rest in peace.
August Alsina: Yeah my album actually dropped on April 15, which is my brother’s birthday. It’s tatted on me. So I'm doing everything in my power to bring him back around. It's been bitter sweet, more bitter than sweet. If my brother wasn't... If somebody hadn't killed my brother, I wouldn't be here. That was a wakeup call and a life-changing situation for me. At the same time, if Jesus was to come down right now and say 'listen, you could have your brother back right now if you give up all this s**t’, I'd give it up in a heartbeat.
Words: Rico Lewis (@SuaveForte)
Online Edit: Maz Khan (@MazHalima)