Q&A with Viral Rapper & Musician Alan Z
Alan Z is a musical artist and actor with an audience of over 100K in cumulative social following, generated from his high-energy live shows and viral videos on Instagram and TikTok. His music has been featured on Netflix, The CW, FOX 5, Wish Bus, ABS-CBN, and more. Alan Z has worked with the likes of Dante Basco, AJ Rafael, Ruby Ibarra, Ronny Chieng and other well-known entertainers. As an actor, he has filmed with Nicole “Hoopz” Alexander, international model Jeremy Meeks, and Bollywood actor Aryan Vaid. Alan Z utilizes his platform to position himself as an unstoppable force in music and acting and empower the Asian American community.
1. Tell us about your background. Have you always been interested in music?
Alan Z: "My musical journey started in my teens: rapping at the age of 12 and singing at 15. I loved writing, so penning songs was the ultimate form of self-expression in my childhood years. When I entered the music industry, I was scouted by many prominent producers and label execs who recognized my talent. But their issue was always the same: my race. They made it seem like being Asian was the ultimate drawback and impossible to market. Then K-Pop blew up in America and suddenly, their tone changed.
I would say my interest in music has always been there, but being in the industry stripped away the wholesome innocence and raw passion I once had for it."
2. How would you describe your music style?
Alan Z: "I would describe my music style as a mixture of hip-hop, R&B and pop. At the core, I'm a rapper's rapper: a lyricist that values the craft and technical aspects e.g. bars, cadence, intricate flow patterns, wordplay, multi-syllabic rhyme schemes. But because I also sing, I bring a melodic element to my music. There are plenty of songs where I don't rap at all, and it's just straight R&B with a dash of pop. My hip-hop side understands brings out the technical dexterity and lyricism, while my R&B and pop side provide the songwriting structure and catchy tunes."
3. What project or song do you feel most proud of?
Alan Z: "My favorite songs that I've released so far is 'Not Adjacent' and 'Pull Up.' Project-wise, I like 'Face Value,' because it was a concept album that featured the likes of Ronny Chieng, Dante Basco, AJ Rafael, Ruby Ibarra, Ann One, and more."
4. How do you think AI music tools will change the music industry?
Alan Z: "I think AI music tools will inspire new ideas and help break writer's block for those who may feel stuck.
However, these tools can also be exploited and make it worse for the artists if it's used for the wrong reasons. So it's a case-by-case basis on whether or not it can be beneficial or detrimental."
5. What inspires you and your music and work? Where do you find creative inspiration?
Alan Z: "I draw inspiration from real-life experiences, conversations, muses, and other creative works. My favorite artists include Eminem, Michael Jackson, The Weeknd, Tonedeff, Substantial, Chris Brown, Amine, Jay Chou, etc."
6. What advice would you give to aspiring musicians who want to break into the industry?
Alan Z: "Keep your focus on your work and your purpose, rather than get lost in the frivolous BS like clout, industry politics, and online drama. Also, people will give you all types of opinions under the guise of 'advice': it's up to you to decide what works for you and what to ignore."
7. What is something surprising about yourself that people may not know? Any secret talents??
Alan Z: "I play basketball and I'm a fan of anime. My favorites are Hunter x Hunter, Attack on Titan, My Hero Academia, Demon Slayer, Yu Yu Hakusho, and Samurai Champloo."
8. Which artist(s) would you love to collaborate with someday?
Alan Z: "Eminem, Lil Wayne, Usher, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Method Man, 50 Cent, Rihanna, Bruno Mars, The Weeknd, Jack Harlow, Wynne, Jay Park, H.E.R, Joyce Wrice, Higher Brothers, SZA, Sabrina Claudio, and so many more."
9. What's your astrological sign?
Alan Z: "Libra. My birthday is October 8."
10. Do you have any current or upcoming projects you'd like to share?
Alan Z: "I am currently on a project, but in the meantime, I will be releasing new singles and EPs. For those who haven't heard my music before, I would recommend starting with 'Not Adjacent,' 'Pull Up,' and 'Chill.' Here's my essential links where you can find my music, my IMDB (I act as well), Famous Birthdays profile, and where you can book me on Cameo: https://fanlink.to/alanz"
Where can we find your music/projects?
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/alan-z/483334187
Where can people connect with you on social media?