Meeting Airliftz for coffee is like meeting a friend, even though that was the first time I saw him. Tremendously friendly and so down-to-earth in fact, we went shoe shopping together after this interview (He’s a big sneakerhead). But we’re not here to talk about shoes, we’re here to talk about why he’s stoked to perform for Good Vibes, origins on why he started rapping, as well as a weird source of inspiration for his EP.
Firstly, congratulations on coming home from your tour! Tell me a little bit about what happened during your time travelling.
It was amazing, because we went to multiple places, China, Macau, Thailand, and Singapore and everything went great! The crowd too was pretty amazing, but it’s not a big crowd y’know, just a small one, but to have that small crowd for Malaysians, as a new and upcoming artist means so much to us. It was pretty tiring as well, because on that tour, we didn’t take flights, only on trains, so like one night trains, here from Manzhou to Luoyang, it’s a pretty new experience for us!
What inspired you to do rap? What were your influences?
Well I’ve been listening to rap ever since I was a kid. I got most of my influences from my brother, listening to Bone Thugs and Harmony and I was like oh s–t, this is crazy. And then like I remember when I was a little older I started to listen more of Super Duper Kyle. Back then I was 14, he hasn’t put out any albums yet, he was just doing mixtapes and videos and put em up on youtube which is crazy, and that’s what inspired to become one of them, sort of. [laughs]
Tell me a little bit about your new EP, Bagel.
The Bagel EP? Okay let me start out from where it all started lah. So Bagel started out from a song we wrote, cos we had this cool ass salmon bagel from Molecules Cafe in Kota Damansara in Sunway Nexis, so that bagel was what inspired me and my producer Ross to make the song called Bagel, cos I got so inspired by that bagel! So I went back to the studio then Ross asked me, “Hey dude, what song do you wanna write about today?” And I was thinking about that bagel all the time and so let’s write a song about that bagel, so that’s how it happened!
How do you feel about playing the premier music festival in Asia?
You mean Good Vibes? AHHHHH hahahahaa. I mean I never thought that this was gonna happen because I remember talking to my friend last year, because I was there at Good Vibes last year cos I wanted to see Alina Baraz so bad and then I was just talking to him like “Dude that would be so dope if I get to perform on the big stage in Good Vibes.” And then like this year it happened, and I’m like……..Yo. I’m out of my mind, like I’m so hyped up and so happy, so that’s how it is!
Will you be playing all originals or some covers included as well?
Well, mostly we’ll be playing originals, because like covers, I’m still thinking of doing some covers, but I feel the like the originality or the realness is not there, so I’m just gonna perform every single song that I do, unreleased included!
What is it like working with Jin Hackman, and how has he influenced your career?
It’s a blessing mate. I’m so blessed to be working with Jin Hackman because like he knows hot handle, to arrange and manage me, not just me! You know he has this thing going on, Raising The Bar, and from there you can see how good he is in arranging and managing things. Being with Jin, he taught me a lot on how’s it like being in the studio, how’s it like to be getting on shows. It’s crazy dude! I mean, Jin is a blessing man hahahaha.
Malique just came out and contributed his vocals for the SEA Games song. What do you think about that, from your perspective?
Oh, I never knew! Shit, really? Well, a legend is always a legend, nuff’ said hahahaha. I don’t wanna add anything to that. I mean like, to us Malaysians, Malique means a lot to us, in hip-hop music, well not even hip-hop alone. Ask anyone who’s Malique and they’ll instantly know. He’s one of the OGs.
As a rapper who has observed the yesteryears, what do you think of the rap scene today compared to how it was?
Well, back then I feel like from what I know back then from old people, they say that we’re so lucky that we can put out songs like on social media. Back then they had to hustle, they had to sell cassettes and roam around to spread their music. So I feel like comparing the old one to the new one, I’d say the scene now is getting better and better, can’t deny that. But at the same time nowadays sometimes you get a little less appreciation with what we’re doing? Because hip-hop is still seen as the ghetto music of the bla bla bla bla, with cursing and all. So it’s hard to put out our music, even on the radio, like you cannot say this, you cannot say that. So it’s kinda hard to get in that direction. But from what I’ve been doing, things have been going pretty well!
Do you have any future plans?
I’m hoping there would be more tours la, for now. Hahahaha. Just praying to god please make this happen! The new album is already in the works, I’m not sure how many tracks are gonna be in, I don’t have the titles yet. So that’s the whole future plan for now!
Do you have any message for your fans?
I don’t know about fans man! I’d like to call them friends better, cos y’know like you’re bragging about it like “Hey I got my fans around me” hahahaha, but thank you so much for the love. It’s an amazing support from what I see. Ya’ll never stop pushing me up all the way to the top, so thank you so much! Love you all!