The New York native’s second album presents grim reality and stark truths through a prism of reflection and introspection.
Originally from New York, musical artist ASARU brings a fresh sound and perspective to the Arkive arena. The Tampa Bay-based creator amplifies his reach experimenting with original sound, and his spiritual attunement proves to be a reliable component of his work. ASARU dropped his most recent album “All Praises Due” late 2021, and we were lucky enough to sit down with him to gain insight on his artistry and discuss his process. “I was searching for healing and a spiritual foundation amongst all of it,” ASARU says of his motivation for the project.
The album opens with “Amen” an honest, energy fueled track that contains harsh truths surrounding COVID-19, BLM protests, and offers personal recollection from ASARU of his experience as a Black man in present day America. This emotionally charged opening provides a strong glimpse of the project subject matter in full and seems to prelude our next track. Leading into “Pray” a smooth, lo-fi-lauded piece that offers warmth while pleading with us “pray for me just pray for me”.
Hauntingly honest and boasting of tuneful originality, we shine a spotlight on “All Praises Due”. The New York native’s second album presents grim reality and stark truths through a prism of reflection and introspection.
“Need Sum’n” is the next track, which is upbeat, catchy, and boasts a sound you’d expect to see your faves dancing to on an episode of P-Valley. Following this bass boosted symphony is the melodically bubbly title track “All Praises Due”, our initial inspiration. Our closing tracks ring true as soulful, breezy, jazzy, “Underdog”, “Hallway” and “Everyday” each offer a peak into ASARU’s psyche before leaving us with the confident and candid “Look What He Did/Amari”. As the album ends it leaves a sense of ingenuity and solace. ASARU’s passion is matched by his delivery and skill and the album doubles well as a soundtrack of his life story.
ASARU’s sound has always been rooted in grassroots New York hip hop and what you hear in his tracks represents what influences him musically. Transparent as he dares to be, ASARU focuses on making the music that makes him feel good. The birth of “All Praises Due” began as ASARU found himself undergoing trials and changes that forced him to look inward. Family issues and traumas were resurfacing, and his mental health was at its lowest. He watched the world slowly turn into what seemed to him like Babylon between the COVID-19 pandemic, observed racial tensions at an all-time high, and witnessed the desensitization of society as a whole. “It was all profoundly bothersome for me,” relates ASARU. “I had to strengthen my connection with the highest. In response, after months of therapy starting from May of 2020, “All Praises Due” was born.”
“Music makes things make sense when I don’t always understand things.”
With this being such a strong push to create and process, one wonders just how heavily does the spiritual influence ASARU’s life? Direct from the source – It influences everything from his decision-making to his music, how he chooses to love someone, the message he wants to spread, everything. “I probably wouldn’t be doing this interview if I didn’t maintain a sense of spiritualism,” ASARU shares candidly. “I may [have been] dead or in jail, a typical statistic for the young Black male in America.” 22 years young, with every waking moment, he realizes he has much to learn. “I’m not perfect. I have flaws just like the next man, woman, and child,” notes ASARU. He’s been through a lot and leans on the Most High for guidance, strength, and perseverance.
“It’s gotten me farther than I’d hope. I want to say by the time I leave here that, I have fulfilled my divine purpose. I want to try my best to do this life thing correctly.”