7.18.2014 - BET Award winner, XXL "Freshman Classman," and R&B newcomer August Alsina stopped by Q97.1 during the Afternoon Drive with Danny Salas to talk about the new album, "Tesimony," the tour, and lots more!
D - All the hits Q97.1 Danny Salas that’s me running the afternoon drive. I told you as promised we’re going to have a special guest live in the studio August Alsina in the building.
A – Yo what’s good man how you doing?
D – How you feeling?
A – Yeah this is my first time here. You know this is my first run, my first just really getting this experience you know because I always feel like you got to grow to these types of markets so it’s a crawl before you walk type of thing so I’ve been crawling but now I’m walking.
D –There it is man. Now you see I could officially say welcome to Fresno for the first time
A-Yeah thank you man I appreciate it.
D – Yeah so were going to like I said going to use this as an intro because like I said, people in the know anybody who any kind of internet access have already heard your name man but those who have not, let me know how August Alsina came from where you’re at now or where have you been.
A –Well it’s just to be really honest grinding and praying bruh. I’m from New Orleans and for me it was always 2 things…Very bad or very good and from those very bad situations I think they really built me up and got me prepared to be here you know. When people say you can turn your negative to a positive it’s really what I did and where I came from. It’s a different world growing up in New Orleans and just my lifestyle and background, all of that I put that into my music and the people can relate to it so I think that’s why me and the people who support me, my fans have the real deal connection.
D – That’s cool man, I’m glad you brought that up man turning negatives into positives I mean we don’t need to go into it right now but like I said anyone with an IPhone can look up the back story of August Alsina but we know your back story for your personal life but I want to get to jump ahead after all that negativity as a youngster happened. You’re still a youngster right now how old are you?
A –I’m 21
D –How does a dude from New Orleans, 21 years old, turn that negative into anything but more negativity?
A –Umm the thing is you just…I’ve always known what I wanted and you got to know what you want and trust it and go for it and you can take no for an answer. That’s with anything whether that’s a woman or a job
D –That got me slapped a couple of times of not taking no for an answer!
A – But you know it’s just you got to know what you want and your faith can never waiver you know because a lot of times in this society, it’s so easy for people to be negative than positive today and it’s like everybody is trying to pull each other down especially with this social media, it’s so easy to reach a person and I see so many people get caught down into the negativity the people are saying.
D –Well with that being said man, I mean you said it yourself its really easy for someone to get up on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and just say something negative. I imagine where you are and your position, you want to reach out to those fans and respond to your fans who speak good of you but how do you filter through that BS and kind of ignore the people who put you down?
A –You know umm I honestly don’t really get on. A lot of my fans get on me about that a lot saying I don’t talk to them enough over the internet but I kind of get on there to post a picture or whatever and keep it moving. I honestly don’t read what’s going on, on the internet because its 2 things about social media that I always tell people. You can always get caught up on the hype of people saying they love you and you lose your mind and get big headed and think that your more poppin than you’re really are and 2, you can get caught up or caught down into the negativity of what people are saying. For me to kind of have some balance, I stay away from it completely.
D –The happy medium right. Let’s talk about kind of the breakthrough for August Alsina man but like I said people been hearing that name seeing that name, seen you in videos for the last couple of years but the one kind of the breakthrough joint where people was like whattt and taking notice was that joint with Trinidad James “I love this” the clean version.
A –My very first single, umm I always knew that was the very first thing I wanted people to hear from me because it’s just an introduction of who I am really not only as an artist but you know as a man. Basically the song is the good, the bad, the ugly everything I love it. The grind the struggle I love it.
D –Do you come across with this joint was the intro to August Alsina. Did you get…I don’t want to say backlash but did you get the vibe that people were like what I was expecting him to be a gangster rapper and talking about blunts and hoes. I know there’s some R&b-ish to it.
A – Of course a lot of people thought that I rap when that’s not what I do. I think man this industry has found a way just like the rest of the world and anything else; they found a way to put a stereotype on artist. A stereotype as to where you’re really not allowed to have creative freedom in what you do and I think that’s why a lot of people have so much to say you know.
D –People are looking at the image first rather than the concept. I feel you.
A – Yeah so it’s a beautiful thing for me though because so many people underestimate me and they still do. It’s funny because when people come to my shows, I didn’t expect it to be this you know so I mean I like it man I love being the underdog I love it.
D –So you do consider yourself as the underdog?
A –Of course!
D – We have seen dudes singing hooks on rap songs; we’ve seen cats trying to do what you’re doing right now so you think you see yourself trying to trump them?
A –Of course because you know what right now it’s far from the time for me to feel myself or to feel I’m more than anything from the next person. I tell people I’m humble enough to tell them that I’m not better than the next man. I’m definitely wise enough to know that they aren’t like me and we aint the same. I’m one of a kind; I’m cut from a different fabric. So I do what I do no matter what comparison anybody may make about me and the next man I’m me and they can never be me and I can never be them and I know that I still have a ton of work to do. People are rich man, Chris is one of my best friends and he is rich!
D –How many times have you asked him for a loan?
A – Never! Haha I can’t bring myself to do it because I’m hustling and grinding.
D – I’m like man Chris I’m hungry pick up! Haha
A – You know it was funny because just the other day he was saying lil bro you got to get you a Lambo…You want to buy it from me because I can’t afford that right now.
D – That’s cool man that’s some deep stuff right there man just believing in yourself and just keep doing what you’re doing. I mean I heard in interviews I heard you say “I’m not a role model” but man that’s kind of something people can look up to man just the kind of stuff your preaching.
A –Yeah I say I’m not a role model because it’s not my job like you’re not my kids, I’m not your father. I’m 21 and I’m going through life just like everybody else.
D –No kids?
D – Alright then you’re nobody’s father.
A –Nah I’m like exploring different paths and avenues and I think life is about messing up so don’t put me on a pedestal you know and then when I mess up its like oh whoa he was supposed to this such and such to me but no I never took that responsibility on you know.
D –That whole build you up to knock you down right.
D –Alright man well I want to talk about the positive. I want to talk about this new single you’re pushing right now. We talked about that one single that broke through with Trinidad James but right now we’re talking about this joint “Numb” speak up on this.
A – Umm it’s just a cool record it’s just a very fun record.
D –Don’t you say that about all your joints man? Haha August is just like its cool.
A – Man I just be vibing and this is one of those records that I was actually here in L.A. Actually I did this record last BET Awards I was here so umm me and Mustard and it’s just a fun record like its drink until you go numb and that could be just because you like to party hard or if you got something going on in your life where you feel like man I just can’t do it right now, I can’t deal with it right now so it’s just a very fun record and I’m proud of it. It’s just like any other record of mine, for some reason it’s like my records really take time to go where they’re going.
D –Alright man I think we should stop talking about it man and drop it on Fresno right now man.
A –You might as well man. You already know its August Alsina and this is my joint “Numb” on Q97.1 believe that.
D – All the hits Q97.1 August Alsina live up in the studio live in 559 for the very very first time and that’s the joint right there man.
A –Yeah umm I’m so happy to be here by the way.
D –I appreciate you man but kind of mentioned before we busted that joint that you were in L.A. and we got to talk about the ESPYS man you were a part of the ESPYS.
A –Nah I wasn’t a part of the ESPYS
D –Oh were you at the ESPYS after party?
A – I went to uhhh….
D –I heard a rumor that’s why right now at Q97.1 your voice isn’t 100% like it should be because you were partying all night.
A – Well it wasn’t too much. It was pretty chill. Me and Breezy was kicking it and a few its other people.
D – I’m not trying to incriminate you. I didn’t even see you.
A –Nah it was a cool time though. Very very cool.
D –I want to go back a couple of weeks before that to the BET Awards. The 2014 BET Awards at 21 years of age, dude form New Orleans, coming up from where you came up on stage at the BET Awards. How dope was that man?
A –Umm it felt incredible. We never got to shoot the video for our remix “ I love it” so that moment right there was just history for all of us and we feel so good about it that I think something else may actually may come out of it you know speaking to prematurely.
D –Alright I like teasers. We love teasers.
A – Yeah I think something can possibly come out of it but it was dope man cause I sat and watched the BET Awards all the time you know so like last year when I was there no one really wanted to holla at me but I promised it wasn’t going to be the same next year and I kept my promise but it was cool.
D –it’s a beautiful thing and again it’s just like a I said a little while ago I don’t want to bring up too much negativity and go online and look at the history of all the negativity but it was like the Ohh Shh moment of the BET Awards to have Trey Songz come out and join you on stage and then Chris Brown join you on stage just because of everything that has happened over the last few months and I don’t want to go into all of that because it’s been talked to death about that already.
A –You know them my guys and you know sometimes your homie and they got issues and uhh this is very new to me. Some stuff shouldn’t be presented to the world you know no matter how deep you feel about the situation. Some things just shouldn’t be presented to the world at all.
D –You know what the media just likes to blow stuff up. I’m speaking because I’m apart of it cause we love gossip, we love beef, we love celebrity beef man
A –I always say you love it until somebody gets killed because it really comes from that world and when it gets real everybody feel bad about it.
D –Coming up in New Orleans and making the cautious decision like...ima go the R&b route with cats like Master p and like Bird Man and Manny Fresh obviously having influences in New Orleans, how did you decide for yourself, I’m going the R&B route?
A – Well it really wasn’t my decision I guess it decided for me you know like I wasn’t blessed to be able to rap, I don’t spit. I just sing and I don’t know where they come from nobody in my family is musically inclined in any shape form or fashion. It just found me and I’m just running with it.
D –So let me talk about the album that dropped months ago because I know you’ve been on a huge tour all around the country hyping this album. The album is called “Testimony” it dropped in April?
A – Yeah April 15th
D - And almost immediately it had a huge buzz about it
A – Man and its still growing. All the time a lot of artist is still concerned with first week numbers or how many units they going to move or whatever but for me I always knew that good music and talent prevails and my faith never waivered with that either. I know that I’m a new artist and I’m still growing so my album is going to grow each and every day so it actually felt good to over exceed what people thought that it would actually do.
D – Yeah man if I was an artist man ill prefer the slow burn as suppose to the immediate buzz.
A –Of course don’t give it to me all that at one time because then you don’t appreciate it as much as you should. You know I’m working for it so yeah.
D –Well man just being as young in the game as you are, you speak like a vet. You speak like a seasoned vet who’s been doing it for a very long time who hasn’t been jaded by the record industry or anything else man.
A –Oh by the way kicking off my tour we linked up with Live Nation and I think August 17th we’re going to be in San Francisco at the Regency Ballroom so be there or be square.
D –It’s not only your West coast hit man you’re also going to be in San Francisco, and also an L.A. show on the 21st
A –Yes the 21st at the House of Blues.
D –Yeah beautiful thing about Fresno too is we are literally right in the middle of the bay and L.A. so one of those 2 stops man Fresno the 559 is going to representing and checking out August Alsina.
A –I appreciate that man.
D – So I know you have limited time and I appreciate you spending time with us and because it’s going to make everybody in this room happy were going to bust “Numb” one more time.
A –My man!
D –So last words for Fresno August Alsina live up in the studio let them know man.
A –Yes man listen I want to see yall at the tour. I aint going to talk to you too much so drop it.