The music industry is constantly emerging with new talented stars. Alan Z is a fast-rising musical triple-threat star that’s making a lot of noise from Atlanta. Not only does he sing and rap, but he writes radio-friendly songs as easily as he does battle rap bars.
With the release of his new EP “First Time’s The Charm” dropping on October 8, he is set to take the world by storm, one fan at a time.
We recently got in touch with the talented artist so his fans and viewers can get to know him a little better and learn what he’s all about.
Check out the story of Alan Z:
Jackfroot: What is your ethnicity? Where were you born and raised? And where do you currently reside?
Alan Z: I’m Chinese-American. People always think I’m Korean for some reason
though. I moved around a lot as a kid, from England to Singapore and then later
United States when I was six. I spent my childhood in Maryland and Seattle, but
after high school I moved to Atlanta, which became my new home.
How did you get inspired to get into music and at what age?
I always loved writing as a kid. I knew instantly that I wanted to do music
when I heard Eminem in elementary school. To this day he is still my biggest
inspiration. I started rapping when I was 12 and I began to sing when I was 15,
mainly to get girls. I was always an outcast and got picked on, so music was my
way of expressing my frustrations, ambitions, and dreams.
How would you describe your style of music or who would you compare the
Since I sing and rap, my style is a mixture of pop, R&B, and hip-hop. If Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson, Eminem, and Chris Brown did a fusion dance, the result would be Alan Z. It’s hard to pinpoint just one style, because like Bruce Lee said, my style is no style. It’s formless like water because I create music without boundaries and limitations.
Can you list some musicians/artists that have inspired you?
Eminem, Michael Jackson, Chris Brown, Childish Gambino, Bruno Mars, Usher, Trey Songz, The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, 2Pac, Lil Uzi Vert, Royce da 5’9”, Usher, 50 Cent, Crooked I, Migos, Dumbfoundead…
What were some challenges or obstacles you’ve faced or had in your music
career so far?
My music career has been an uphill battle. An emotional roller-coaster, if you will. The biggest obstacle I’ve faced throughout my journey is the obvious one: my race. I’ve worked with influential producers and managers in the game who discovered me off the strength of my music, but every time it got close to me actually debuting, they pulled back and made excuses because they were scared.
They were afraid of how people may dismiss me for being Asian, so they let their own paranoia override their confidence in my abilities, which was what they were drawn to in the first place. Not gonna lie, it made me hate myself for a very long time until I cut off everyone who hesitated to promote me due to the color of my skin and then I just paved my own way. One day, being Asian will go from being my biggest challenge to being my biggest superpower when I make it.
Watch his music video for “Distance”
So why are they calling you Mr. Steal Your Girl?
It started as a joke because my friends knew I loved Trey Songz’ music
when I was in college. But then as my following began to grow, I noticed the
majority of my supporters were women. Then I jokingly turned “99% of my fans
wear high heels” into my catchphrase, which spawned from the Canibus vs. LL
Cool J battle in the 90s, when Canibus used that line against L. From that point, it
felt like I spoke it into existence.
Asian parents usually want their kids to go the average typical career route of
being a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. How did your parents first react when they
found out about your career path and how do they feel now?
It was pretty bad at first, because I told them I wanted to be a rapper when I was 13 years old, and I didn’t plan on going to college. They were adamantly against it in the beginning, so I used to write raps secretly in notebooks tucked inside textbooks and SAT prep books. Then I decided if I could learn to sing, I could possibly win them over.
I started singing and I went to Emory University in Atlanta, and when they started seeing me making so much noise in the South, they supported my career path. I had to show them how serious I was and that I could financially support myself even while doing the seemingly impossible, which was being successful as an Asian-American artist in the American music industry.
Are you doing anything else when you aren’t working on music?
I act and I write skits and video treatments as well. Other than music, acting is a huge passion of mine. I’m currently playing a lead role in an upcoming web-series in Atlanta called “F.E.A.R.” and I have done skits with YouTubers like JCrisisTV, Bao Le, and more.
What is the biggest video project that you’ve ever worked on so far?
My latest release “Touch And Go” is my biggest video project so far. My
best friend Taaj and I have been talking about the video concept since 2015, and
I finally brought it to life this past summer. It features three different girls as my
love interests, and each girl reflects a different time and experience for me. Be sure to watch it if you love upbeat music and beautiful women.
When ATL meets NY: Watch him rap in front of Juelz Santana
Who are some people that you’ve worked with and collaborated with in the past? Who do you want to work with in the near future?
I’ve worked with a lot of different artists, including Korean-American rap veteran Shogunna (we did a song together called W.O.K.E. on his new album The Daily Dose), Raphael Saadiq, Shanice Wilson, SALV, and Dio. I recently also did two songs with legendary producer CHOPS for my new EP “First Time’s The Charm”.
CHOPS was a part of Mountain Brothers, the first Asian-American group to get signed to a major back in the 90s, and he later produced for artists like Kanye West and Nicki Minaj. So it’s pretty dope he produced two bangers for my new project. One day, I’d like to work with Eminem, Bruno Mars, Rihanna, Trey Songz, Lil Uzi Vert, Migos, Dumbfoundead, to name a few.
What is your stance on interracial dating?
I’ve dated mainly black girls and Latinas my whole life. However, I like women of all races. I find beauty in every type of girl, whether she’s black, white, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, or mixed.
What are some tips/advice you would give someone that wanted to become an artist?
If you want it bad enough, be consistent and keep a tunnel vision on your goals. Don’t worry about what others may say about you, just stay focused on your own paths. Outside opinions don’t matter.
How do you come up with the song lyrics or decide what to write or sing/rap about?
Most of my song ideas and content comes from real life experiences or things I want to manifest into existence. I’ve had a pretty messed-up childhood, so I draw on that a lot when I want to vent. I also have an ear for making female-friendly music, so I create catchy bangers that I know girls will turn up to.
What are some upcoming projects people should look out for?
I just finished my first official project “First Time’s The Charm”, which is a 7-song EP that includes “Distance” and “Touch And Go”. It’s available now for preorders on iTunes, Amazon, and my Savage Native store on Big Cartel (for physical copies). I plan to film more music videos from my EP, and I’m constantly working on new music.
Thanks for tuning in to this interview.