With roots that go deep into the New York hip-hop scene, ASARU's journey from making cassette tapes at the age of 3 to crafting intellectual, rugged, and street-wise music is nothing short of inspiring.
Where are you from and when did you first show an interest in music?

I think music has always been an interest for me since an early age. Although I’m 23, I remember at the age of 3 or 4 making cassette tapes singing various songs on my stereo with the mic I had connected to it. I started writing rhymes at 9, and ever since then I was on a rap mission.

Is your family supportive in your decision to become an artist

My parents are definitely supportive of my ambitions, my pops bought me my first mic that I ever recorded my original material on. My mother has been a huge support as well.

How are you working to become a not-so starving artist? Do you make music full-time? What’s paying the bills?

I currently am working a 9 to 5, as I believe some or most of the local acts are as well. I spend time between the two hustles equally, I’ll also be releasing some new merch along the way real soon. I recommend anyone to really try their best to make an honest living while on the grind. It’ll alleviate problems that don’t have to be there plus not everyone is cut out to be a street on the corner in order to survive. That comes with more permanent consequences than you working a regular job to sustain.

What connects you to your peers who make similar types of music? What do you think sets you apart?

I think when you create music with substantial value, you attract those who appreciate it whether it’s an artist or a regular person on the street. What sets me apart from a lot of artists in the city of Tampa, is the fact that I’m a New York native who overall creates traditional New York hip-hop music. I don’t want to sound like anybody else. I’ve been inspired by various different regions musically however my background is in lyricism, consciousness, technicality, wordplay, flow and edgy-street rap.

Describe your music in 3 words. Now describe yourself as an artist in 3 words.

I would describe my music as intellectual, rugged and street-wise. As an artist I would describe myself as introspective, cutting-edge and polarizing.

"I just want my music and art to go beyond the normal expectations."

What are some of the current projects keeping you busy? How many unfinished works do you have in the vault at this very moment?

I just released my EP set titled: “As Are You…” It’s a play on my name. There’s a lot of dope songs on there for a 6-track project. ‘95 Esco is my favorite. I’m also working on other projects with different producers such as GuyAverage, based in Tampa and BlkGod9, based out in LA. 

What does “success” look like for you as an artist? Do you have any dream collaborations?

Success as an artist to me looks like the ability to tour, create and be financially free where not only the world knows who I am but also where I have the ability to take care of my family, friends and myself. My dream collaborations are to work with JAY-Z, Nas, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Sadé, Erykah Badu and Stevie Wonder.

Do you have any habits that help or hinder your progression as an artist? What are some of your biggest challenges?

Perfectionism. Straight up… I have a habit of wanting things to be so perfect from production to a simple line in a verse I write. I have to tell myself constantly, to just let the words flow naturally and when I do that’s when the music comes freely. I just want my music and art to go beyond the normal expectations.

What do you do when you’re not creating? Do you have a preferred method of escape?

Meditation, spending time in nature, a good book, sipping a nice glass of wine and spending time with my loved ones. I find that it’s necessary at times to pause and be present. So many of us in the creative scene are looking to reach that next level or next phase in our careers that it’s easy to forget that we’re human. Sometimes taking the time to chill and really take in how far you came is a necessity. 

Anything else you want to share with us?

“AS ARE YOU” the EP is here… go peep that, stream that, BUY IT.

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