Prince Airick is a American rapper with the world at his feet. Equipped with some of the cockiest metaphors to enter the void in current popular music since Minaj’s ‘Playtime is Over’, the Ballroom inspired artist possesses both a timeless personality and song-writing ability that has underpinned his rapid ascension into the rap game with just two released single’s alone.
The 26-year-old strikes a delicate balance with his offensively tenacious attitude and cunningly commercial lyrics, which has lead him to receive support from an international audience very quickly. After putting out his first single online, the musician started a viral dance challenge called the #GoAwfChallenge, appropriately named after his first single ‘Go Awf!’ that has since gained millions of views throughout social media, launching him into the music arena.
But that hasn’t changed Prince one bit. He remains completely focused on not only bringing forth his debut EP but also connecting personally with his growing online audience as he continually receives fan mail from new listeners dancing to his songs either in their living room or places like the Great wall of China. As he navigates through the intricate NYC musical landscape in hopes of finding all the right elements to launch him into stardom, I talked to Prince about how he feels about new-found fame, his musical influences and the internet.
Talk me through your first single, ‘Go Awf!’ and a little about the process that lead to the visual.
Well, I came up with the concept for the song while listening to the beat repeatedly. I had one of those Oprah “ah-haa” moments and was like, wait… this the kinda shit make a bitch go awf. Lol. With that, the bars just kinda fell into place. Everyone I rehearsed it in front of was enthralled, and all the excitement and energy I received carried over into the visual. There were specific concepts I envisioned like the hands holding the gold frame, hot guys, and the throne. I brought these concepts to my bestie Ali who does photography/creative direction, and we brought it to life!
How would you say your musical sound was influenced?
It’s influenced by classics firstly, considering I played the clarinet for 6 years. I learned terms and execution of things like staccato, crescendos, etc. And my lyrics and overall sound are an infusion of the ballroom scene, hip-hop and pop culture in general – as well as my everyday life being black, gay, and a contemporary artist living in Brooklyn. Woop, woop!
With that being said, how do you feel about the resurgence of Ballroom culture in the media as seen with Ryan Murphy’s ‘POSE’ and Calvin Harris & Sam Smith’s ‘Promises’?
I love it. I love seeing these concepts brought to the forefront with QUA-LI-TY. That is the ultimate goal, and to see it coming to life before my very eyes, let alone being a part of it means the world to me. I am deeply in love with our culture and want to see IT as well as it’s prominent members THRIVING. The more the merrier, sis.
Who is an artist you listen to that people wouldn’t expect you to?
I listen to Corinne Bailey Rae day in and day out. She’s one of the loves of my life.
Who’s your biggest musical inspiration?
Nicki Minaj. Her drive, style, and lyrical composition is what I aspire to every time I put the pen to the pad. Iconic shit.
I know you’re just at the beginning of your career, but I’m sure you’ve already begun to experience some sentiments of e-fame. What are your thoughts on fame and the industry so far?
Fame seems to be very fickle. I’m not chasing it at the moment. It’s more to me about executing goals that are spiritually delivered to achieve and maintain both happiness and success. As far as the industry, it’s a tough one. Haha. But I think anything worth having is worth the fight to get to it. Y’know ?
What’s been your favorite moment so far?
I feel so peculiarly validated from that one minute floor performance that it’s crazy. I’ve been on a permanent high ever since. Another Icon.
What’s in store for you the rest of the year?
Finishing up this project, definitely! I’ve got some really cool features I’m hoping to secure & help me complete the sound Quality sound I was talking about earlier. Hm, Continuing to build visually, and more LOVE!