An Interview with UK Rapper Al Webo [@AlWeboMusic]
Al Webo on His Latest Mixtape and More
Following on from the release of his latest mixtape, Re-Writing History, UK rap artist, Al Webo, has taken time to link up with us at Black Budget Entertainment and complete a brief online interview. During our discussion he talks about everything from his influences and childhood to the methodology behind his latest release.
For those not in the know, Al Webo is an independent Hip Hop artist, from the city of York, who focuses on writing somewhat auto-biographical lyrics which draw from his own personal life experiences. Al Webo also edits a large portion of his own music videos.
To the interview…
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My Name’s Al Webo, born in York. I’m 20 and recently become a father, i grew up with 4 brothers and my mum.
I grew up listening to Eminem/2Pac mostly. Growing up I was the youngest so observation was always a strong characteristic of mine, which later contributed massively to my ability/opportunity to create music.
What made you choose the name?
I chose Al Webo due to my younger years in secondary school, with losing my father I went into school with a lot of mixed emotions, I was a lot of the time, uncontrollably angry. Which been in a bigger school meant more “social problems”, I later found that people would try mocking me with “Al Webo” in a sarcastic way. I found out that people were mocking me for my angry/violent side. So I decided to use it and show how changed i am, but mostly to stand up against the childish names and overcome the fear of actually caring what people think.
How long have you been making UK hip hop for?
I’ve been writing lyrics since i was 14/15, I only started to really push when i became 16, feeling very difficult with school/college I found that music, was the right path to take and also, taught me a lot more than i ever did in school, or college. I’ve been creating tracks/videos/albums since i started.
Is there a concurrent theme with your mixtape?
Yea, I tried to get across, (with the variety of different beats,topics and issues) that like in our “history” anyone can Re Write it.
Whether it is me, (Writing my own history) or you or the next person, we all have our own way of thinking and I find after everything thats going on in the world, we truly struggle to think for ourselves or in an educational way. I also wanted to help people with considering what’s wrong or going on, a lot of people do not get informed enough, so i feel that spreading the message through music is an unstoppable force.
What made you choose the name ‘Re-Writing History’?
I wanted to create a album/mixtape that people will remember, I wanted to let people think that i’m coming with this stern idea that this is how history is and always will be, but i hope ( after they listened ) i created the chance for people to question what i say and hopefully themselves.
How do you find it being a UK hip hop artist in York?
Truthfully, very isolating and depressing. I live for hip hop, without having a father, it became a strong role model for me, taught me right and wrong. So when I came into the world as a different person trying a new lane, i found it very hard to deal with the hate and the hard work i honestly wasn’t ready for (in my first year or 2 I expected it to be easy )
Plus, I believe people who say they contribute to the UK “Scene” actually don’t, I’ve seen the “northern” music support and they haven’t recognised actual talent, just the “biggest” names that will get more publicity. (Obviously apart from Black Budget, Definitely true to what you say you do ).
Overall I have realized its the work you put in, that usually is equaled by the reward/pleasure of it been released.
As an artist, do you prefer performing live or recording songs?
I’ve actually only performed once in front of a crowd so cant really pin point which is preferred more because of lack of experience. I love the performing in front of people who have never heard you before but i also enjoy the time alone to really, lock into the zone of writing/recording/editing to create a real strong piece of music. I really enjoy rapping for a long time in front of camera (freestyle or pre written) on a real nice beat to express myself truly, no mastering or editing, just the raw passion on raw footage.
Who would you say has been your biggest musical influence to date?
Theres so many its actually scary. Obviously Eminem in my younger years, 2Pac as i was growing up but defiantly English Frank and Mic Righteous, from their music i gained hope, self belief and the energy to actually move forward rather than just talking about it. They taught me that music isn’t just record sales, swift punch lines and fast rapping, I found listening to them opened up my mind, giving me the opportunity to see that each person has their own struggle ( so also not to judge 1 another ) and we all have a way of recovering or at the very least, fighting back.
What made you decide to start to write and record music?
I first wanted to write and rap because i really needed some kind of outlet. For my own way of feeling better, not only about myself but the consistent issues around us which are failed to be addressed, I believe it gave me a voice.
So after looking, learning and watching videos to hear more and more genius art, i decided to give a go at a point in life where my brothers were growing up, departing from me and the family whilst i was still coming to coping with life. I had a black hole which my father then my brothers left, only way to explain why i did start music is, that the hole is now repairing itself.
Who is your favourite rapper on the scene at the moment?
I have never felt i had a favourite but if I’d have to pick, it’s English Frank. I choose him because he was one of the first UK hip hop artists I listened to properly, but also because hes not afraid to say what ever he feels, even after considering what he’s putting on the line, he’s not afraid to say, what’s true, happening and the fact that he’s been saying it since he started music. As I say, I couldn’t put one over another because i feel each artist has their own levels and in the UK especially, those levels can and will be completely different with the variety/skill of artists that are around. I’d like to say Mic Righteous too just because of the pure passion and lyricism he has to offer, both of these points to both artists are just a mere quick comment about them, if i were to try explain why they were both favourite and how, then we would be here for days.
Do you have any plans for your next release?
I’m currently concentrating on the day in dam event part 3, so when i get back from that, I will be working on “Re Writing History PART 2” which is already written, I also have an EP I’ll be releasing some point in the new year which I was lucky enough to purchase some of Last Resorts well and truly classic produced beats. Other than them specifics I generally just want to keep moving forward, releasing more and more content (whether freestyles or music videos) but you’ll definitely be hearing of more free mixtapes to come out.
Do you have a social networking links you want to plug?