Lake Zurich based rapper Alpha Singh is back with his latest release, ‘The Rain EP.’
The follow up to his debut album, 'The Saga Continues', this was released on the 7th, and the first track titled ‘Midnight Marauder’ from the EP is available to view on his YouTube channel.
Alpha Singh joins me again for another round of QnA as he talks his first semester at the UIUC, spending time between studying and working on his latest release and who he is a fan of in the Chicago rap scene.
Hey Alpha, hows it going?
Good. Really good. I’ve been keeping busy with this new release.
You have just completed your first semester at the University of Illinois right? How is your time at the university going? Are you studying hard?
Haha, I've been studying, yes, among other things… I’m pretty happy with how my first semester went.
From completing your first semester and working on your EP, have you found it difficult balancing education and music together?
Oddly, not at all. Music is just something that I’m forced to do. Honestly, because I’m addicted to it. It helps me express what’s on my mind and just releases so much stress. I’d say I spent at least an hour a day just jamming out in my room and my roommate can attest to that I’m sure.
Last time we spoke, you were planning to perform at the Lions Roar 5 Festival that took place in Toronto. Please reflect on your time there.
Lions Roar 5 was phenomenal! So many people came out for the show, it was a great atmosphere. Everyone showed support! It was good to see such a versatile line up of acts. Most importantly though, I got to meet and chill with all the artists and YouTubers from that area that I had been watching for years! It was exciting and overall a great experience. Hopefully I’ll be back in the future.
You mentioned that you would like to work with King and Sikh Knowledge. Have you tried reaching out to them, or plan to reach out in regards to a collaboration?
Not yet, but I am definitely inclined to now that I have released a project that I’m proud of. I’m going to give it some time and let the project build a bit. Hopefully if the EP makes a splash, I’ll be able to work with Sikh Knowledge among many other artists that I’d like to collab with.
With Chicago’s thriving rap scene, do you listen to much of the artists on the scene? (Guys like Chance the rapper, Chief Keef etc). How do you feel your music differs from what they offer as an alternative to rap music?
I absolutely love Chicago rap. With Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, BJ the Chicago Kid etc. rising in the industry. I’m looking forward to seeing where they will take their music. Chance’s ‘Acid Rap’ was one of my favorite albums of the year. To be honest, I’m really not sure exactly how sonically different we are. I feel like the styles, flow and influences are definitely quite unlike each other, but as to the quality of lyrics, I’m really unsure. On The Rain EP, I definitely chose a slower variety of instrumentals, and the production was very 90’s-ish. That’s something that you really don’t find on other Chicago based albums.
Aside from yourself, I also conducted interviews with two other South Asian rappers in Chicago, Rex and Shake who were complimentary when asked about you. Would you consider collaborating with them?
Absolutely! I would love to collab with either one of them. Hopefully we will in the future. They are both amazing artists and it would be a blast making a track with them.
Tell us about your latest release, ‘The Rain EP.’ What can listeners expect from your latest release, and does it differ from your previous release, ‘The Saga Continues?’
‘The Saga Continues’ was the album I released when I was only 16 yrs old. It’s been quite some time since then, and I've grown as a person as well as an artist. To be honest, looking back at that album, it’s not something I’m proud of. I think ‘The Rain EP’ really speaks to my abilities as an artist as well as my genuine values as a person. Both projects differ greatly in both quality of production as well as lyricism.
On ‘The Rain EP’ my listeners can expect a more mature level of written material as well as a better produced end project with a continuous theme.
Your latest music video for the single ‘Midnight Marauder’ has you making ‘sonf tea?’ How did you come up with the idea for the name and video?
To be honest, I didn’t want to make another ‘typical’ rap/hip hop video. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I just felt the need to do something different. I spent so much time on this EP, poured out my heart, my struggles, failures, stresses, as well as my happiness. I just wanted to make the video as real as possible. The Rain EP embodies me as a person and I felt that the Midnight Marauder video needed to describe me honestly. Hopefully to show the viewers a glimpse of my life. Thus, I just filmed some simple shots of me making my usual morning chai and then sitting down at my desk, getting to work.
The name ‘Midnight Marauder’ is originally from a Tribe Called Quest album which got sampled into a Logic track, also titled Midnight Marauder, which was also sampled from a track from Atmosphere. Though I did not create the name myself, it’s something I definitely felt compelled to title the track. I did most of my writing and music editing late at night, and so even though the music video was filmed in the morning, the meaning behind the song represented the hours upon hours I had spent losing sleep to create The Rain EP.
Thank you for your time Alpha. Wish you success on your latest release!
No, thank you man! I appreciate your continual support!
The single ‘Midnight Marauder’ from Alpha Singh's 'The Rain EP.' This single and the rest of the album is available to listen and download by clicking here!
For more on Alpha Singh, check out my previous interview with him by clicking here.
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