Q&A: Alfred Abalony on Gaining Inspiration, His Artistic Process, and More
BY KOBI ROSS
Emerging West Coast artist Alfred Abalony has succeeded in attracting many to his work, with his pool of fans and listeners ranging from outlets such as SoundCloud, iTunes, and Instagram. The support Alfred received from his recent (and first) show at California Cozy proves that people can’t seem to get enough of his music, and that his unique twist on the new wave sound of hip hop and rap truly has people hooked. Keep reading to get the inside scoop on Abalony's inspirations, creative processes, and more.
So Alfred, you seem to be pretty well-known in the Inland Empire in Southern California. Are you originally from out there?
Yeah. I was born in Pasadena, but I moved over here when I was around 5 years old. Been stuck here ever since, haha.
How did you start getting into music?
I was in middle school. My brother was a house party DJ at the time, and he was always putting me on to new music. Eventually, he got FL Studio on our laptop, and I asked him what it was -- he showed me the basics and I've been going forward since then.
Do you have any specific inspirations that drive your music?
At first, my main drive and backbone was to show nothing but anger and all the new experiences I was having as a teen. Nowadays, I feel as if my only purpose is to reflect on my past, and claim my future through words and sound. Present moments are in there too, but a song for me always starts with a memory or a dream.
What is your music process like, from writing to recording? How long does it typically take you to record, and what are your sessions like?
It's honestly scary to me how much this varies. I can either finish an entire track in an hour or 2, or sit on it for months, opening it up every now and then. But, no matter what, every track starts with a beat. I make a melody, make drum patterns, and then I'll let it loop for a couple hours through the speakers so I can get a feel for it. I'll then start singing melodies, writing the first words that come to my head, and keep repeating it. This process can take a couple days, to a couple months. Once I have everything, I'll begin recording. Recording usually takes a couple minutes or a couple hours, depending on how my mood is. A lot of my sessions really just consist of a short ass beat on loop forever.
Most of your singles are in the Hip Hop/Rap category, except for your song "Samantha," which is under Dance. It also has a more “lovey” approach. What's the inspiration/meaning behind the song?
At the time, I was talking to a girl named Samantha. Our relationship was quite odd in the sense that it never really existed. It only came to light whenever we saw each other, which was very rare and always in a group setting. We talked maybe twice on the phone and our entire text message thread was no longer than three or four thumb scrolls. What I'm getting to is, throughout all the time of not really talking or seeing each other, I began to think restlessly on the potential of what me and her could be. I envisioned different scenarios of us, I felt like we had to be together.
Eventually, we began to see each other more often and I started to realize I had fallen in love with the idea that I had of her, instead of who she really was. Not that she was a bad person at all, but when you have such a solidified idea of someone and they don't meet any of the expectations, you start to feel kinda crazy. So, I went home one day, made a beat, and just started speaking all the things I felt towards her. Most of it is really just my own ideas of what she was doing with me and who she really was. I don't think I'll ever find out the truth.
You performed at California Cozy, right? What was that like?
The event was surprisingly really fun. I had been nervous a couple days before, considering it was my first performance, but I had a great time regardless. It felt kind of surreal seeing so many people support me like that, I became real comfortable with it though.
With creating music and performing, do you prefer one over the other?
I can definitely say I prefer performing over making music. There's something kind of beautiful to hear people scream lyrics that you wrote in your garage.
The music that you have out right now are all singles, do you plan on putting together a collection? When can we expect some visuals for your music?
Yeah, I'm currently working on my first mixtape. I can't give any dates, but I can definitely confirm that it's releasing in the next few months. The only visuals me and my team are working at the moment is for a single off the tape. Stay tuned.
Who are some artists that you would like to collaborate with in the future?
Kanye, Toro Y moi, Famous Dex, Jai Paul, Lil Uzi, Christopher Breaux, Playboi Carti, Travis Scott, Young Thug, Migos, and Kanye, to name some haha.
If you had to put your style of music in a category with three other artists who would they be?
As of right now, if I really have to say, I'm like Kanye, James Brown, and Daft Punk.
Are you involved in anything else besides music?
I'm always trying to keep my creative mind in shape, so I'm always dabbling in different crafts. Whether it's taking photos of my friends on disposables, sketching out ideas for outfits that I think could work, or going on Photoshop and making a variety of color palettes. I always want to achieve maximum creative control on anything that I'm working on, so I like to make sure that my mind is always refreshed with new ideas for song covers, font choices, color schemes, etc.
Where can people find your music besides iTunes? Are there any other sites or any social media that they should be following to stay up to date with your music? Is there anything else that you would like for people to know about Alfred Abalony?
All my music is available on all streaming platforms, including my SoundCloud. My Twitter is basically dead, but if you want to keep up with the next phase of content, find me on Instagram. My website is in progress, stay tuned.
Lead Image Credit: Alfred Abalony