While most of us started off the year with a list of impossible resolutions, AU started 2018 fast with the release of “NineEighteen“, his newest mixtape executively produced by Tyler “King Gas” Gaston. The last time we connected with AU, we revealed an unfortunate event going on with him at the time. We reached out to AU and conducted a Q&A which focused more on getting to know more about him, his music, and his goals. Check out the Q&A below:
Q: Tell us a little about yourself?
I was born March 1989 in Phoenix, AZ. I am one of five kids. After spending some time living in South Phoenix, my family moved to Sacramento, CA, then Spokane, WA before moving back to Phoenix in 2004.
Q: Which place did you feel most comfortable growing up? Which do you consider to be home?
AZ was always in my blood! Even when I would move away for so long, I can honestly say that I was homesick the entire time. As a kid, however, I spent just about every Winter, Summer, and holiday in Phoenix. So I am a native, technically. I have the birth certificate to prove it!
Q: What High School did you go to?
I attended Centennial High School in Peoria, AZ.
Q: What happened after High School?
I was fortunate enough to receive a Division I scholarship to San Diego State University. I played Tight End there from 2007-2011.
Q: BCV featured a piece about you previously. What’s happened since then? Any good news?
Since our interview, the blessings poured in. I released my sixth mixtape “NineEighteen” which I recommend everyone go stream! I received a job, still in education, making more and with a larger role. My music business is continuing to grow and, with that time off, I was able to start my online store. Merchandise coming VERY soon! I am just continuing to build my brand and company my way and how I envision it. I also will be going on my first tour this summer, which is a super blessing!
Q: The article also mentioned that you played football. Tell us more. What were your stats? Any highlight vids?
Yes, I did play football. Growing up, my parents would not allow me to play until I was in the 8th grade. From there, it became my first real passion… leading me to eventually get a full ride scholarship. My college football experience was a bittersweet one as injury ended my career early. However, I think it was a blessing in disguise because by the end of my career, anger drove my football career; the passion was gone. I learned the reality of the football business, which is like “modern day slavery”, in my personal opinion. But, that’s enough about football. I don’t really like talking about that part of my life.
If people would like to find my football highlights and stats they can search “Alston Umuolo” on YouTube or Google.
Q: How did you get into music?
As a kid, it was normal for me to perform in front of my family. I can still remember performing “Jump” by Kris Kross in front of my family. So, music has been in my life [for a long time]. But, I would say 2008 is when I started contemplating on doing music seriously.
I’m a part of an organization called “DAH”, as you may hear me say in my songs. It is based out of Southern California and comprised with some of the strongest brothers and sisters I have ever met till this day. They got me started [in music]. They gave me the confidence; in particular, my brother and best man, Davion Mauldin. From there, honestly, I was inspired by Dom Kennedy and Ty Dolla Sign. I felt they had saved me at a time [that] I needed saving. So, I made a promise to myself to pay it forward with my talents and bring the same energy and vibe to my fans and listeners.
Q: You also have a podcast, right? How long have you been doing it?
Yes, the podcast is called FAN Talk. I don’t like to brag, but when it comes to AZ podcasting, I like to think that myself, along with my baby brother, Winna, are one of the forefathers.
FAN talk is a sports and hip-hop based podcast. We felt that sports and hip-hop now, more than ever, feed off of each other. So, our goal was to talk current events, but over time it has turned into a full blown cultural podcast with over 300 monthly listeners. We just had our 2 year anniversary this past February!
Q: We see that you have a mini-series titled “Day in the life of AU.” Tell us about that.
Yes. First of all, shout my brother and camera man, Chris. I call him “Cy young” or better known as “Young Lenz Up.” He came to me with a vision understanding I’m not a club hopper; I’m rarely at events, but I am respected, so we wanted to let people in on my life. I’ve learned that people listen and follow people they like, so I wanted to share who I really am so that there was more of connection to the music I make.
Q: Are there any new projects that you have out currently? Tell us about it?
NineEighteen! NineEighteen! NineEighteen! I know we are in a new era of Hip-Hop where music that has been out for two months is considered old, but this past January, I released what I believe is my best body of work to date in NineEighteen. It’s available on all streaming platforms (Au Music). Everyone who has listened has not been disappointed! However, I am already working on my next project and I expect to release the first single off that mixtape Mid-March. In the meantime, do yourselves a favor and go stream NINEEIGHTEEN.
Q: I know artists don’t like to say that they have a favorite song on their album… So, instead I’ll ask which song do you think people would relate to the most?
I feel like I’m known to bring that positive uplifting vibe to people when it comes to my music. I take pride in making storytelling, feel good music. The song I think people would relate to the most is “Real Friends.” I wrote it at a time that life wasn’t going as planned. So it showed a side of me that I feel all people can relate to and have [experienced] at one point in time.
Q: Where can people find you, your podcast, music, and mini-series?
Music: You can search Au Music anywhere even on google and access my music. Please go stream NineEighteen! Tidal, Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music, you name it! It’s available!
Podcast: Soundcloud & Apple Podcast – “Fan Talk” – The Official Fantalk IG is Fantalk0801
Mini-Series: “Day in the Life of AU” – Youtube: AU MusicTV
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