North Carolina rap artist, songwriter and producer Aasher is back with a captivating single titled “betray me.” The track arrives just over a year since the release of his debut album, S.H.I.F.T., which has garnered more than two million streams and helped him sell out an eight-city U.S. tour earlier this year.
Written by Aasher himself and co-produced with Netherlands beatsmith Woodpecker (who has worked with Young Thug, Lil Tjay, $NOT and Flo Milli, among others), “betray me” ushers in an exciting new musical universe for Aasher as he begins to inch toward his highly anticipated sophomore project, which is arriving early 2024. AllHipHop caught up with the Charlotte native to discuss “betray me” and plans for 2024.
AllHipHop: What’s the story behind the title of your new single, “betray me“?
Aasher: Betrayal is something I experienced not too long ago that changed me personally and creatively. In the hook I said “do not betray me,” so “betray me” felt right.
AllHipHop: “betray me” is described as representing a rebirth for you. Can you elaborate on this personal and artistic transformation?
Aasher: It changed me personally because it made me not want to trust anyone and overall. I just move a lot differently. Artistically, it transformed me to try something new with my sound and production. Made me want to truly push the envelope and innovate something new.
AllHipHop: How do you channel personal experiences of betrayal and anger into your music without letting those emotions overwhelm you?
Aasher: Sometimes it does get overwhelming to be honest, but I try my best to separate the feeling from the expression.
AllHipHop: With influences like Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West, how do you maintain your unique voice and style in your music?
Aasher: By being myself. I, more so, study their careers and certain things musically. Also their mindset to push the envelope and innovate. I don’t try to sound like them. All I can be is Aasher.
AllHipHop: Can you discuss the evolution of your sound from your debut album S.H.I.F.T to your upcoming sophomore project?
Aasher: Absolutely! it’s a lot different, this era of Aasher is a lot different from anything i’ve ever done. My first project was soul sample heavy and extremely dark to where this project is a lot brighter and more modern to futuristic sounds. I want each project to sound different from the next so this new era is extremely exciting to me.
AllHipHop: What was the experience of selling out an eight-city U.S. tour like, and how has it influenced your approach to music and performance?
Aasher: I absolutely loved it! Performing the art is the best part of it all, it’s just so fulfilling so to sell out my own tour was amazing. Super grateful. It definitely influenced my approach on my upcoming project to have catchier music, standout hooks, standout parts within the songs that people can sing/scream and remember. Definitely a big part of this new project and cannot wait to tour it in 2024.
AllHipHop: How do you approach the storytelling aspect of your music, and why is it important to you?
Aasher: My approach on storytelling within my records is keeping it real. Telling the truth even if it’s uncomfortable, it’s the only way the people can relate. Also try to make it interesting by having different perspectives in one story and making sure the production helps tell the story for you as well. It’s extremely important to me because I love writing stories. it keeps people on the edge of their seat and forced to keep up with the music instead of it becoming background music. Also, the art of storytelling is getting more and more lost as time goes by so it’s important to me to keep that element of hip-hop and music within my art form.
AllHipHop: Talk about your journey in the music industry from starting at age four to now being compared with artists like Jay-Z?
Aasher: Funny enough, it started at one year old [laughs]. That’s when I recorded my first song. It’s been a crazy journey, lots of self discovery and discipline. I’m always compared to these huge artists, it’s such a blessing but with this project and as time continues, I want to be compared to Aasher. From recording with my best friend and brother in the closet discovering different sounds and training myself to write and record songs to now mastering a lot of that and getting to a point where people love the art I put out has been crazy. Eight years of being consistent in working on the craft and I’m only 21, which makes me mad excited for what’s to come.
AllHipHop: What can fans expect from your highly anticipated new project in 2024?
Aasher: They can expect a quality body of work from front to back, a relatable message and me pushing outside of the boundaries most people put me in. expect a different side of Aasher and expect greatness.
AllHipHop: How do you balance the roles of being a rapper, songwriter and producer in your work?
Aasher: I’m not sure if there really is a balance. I just do whatever is needed to meet the end goal, which is greatness.
AlHipHop: What are some key lessons you’ve learned in the music industry that you would share with aspiring artists?
Aasher: Just keep going. At times, it will get foggy and dark and you won’t know where you’re going or why you even continue to still pursue music. but you find out who you are when things get challenging which to me is exciting because now you know you’re prepared for anything. Just keep going. also study the greats of our artform and see how you can push the envelope and standout. Lastly, you are the greatest you. don’t copy nobody else, don’t do stuff because your favorite artist did it. be authentically authentic and you can never lose.
AllHipHop: How do you see your music evolving in the next few years, and what are some goals you aim to achieve?
Aasher: Honestly there’s no telling, but I know it won’t be like anything I’ve done previously or anything I’m working on now. I will reach into different genres and create something beautiful. Some goals I aim to achieve is to have my upcoming project chart on Apple Music and top 200 Billboard charts, win some Grammys from it and a sell out tour. A festival run as well, but overall to impact the world with my art.
AllHipHop: Can you share a memorable moment or a turning point in your career that has significantly impacted you as an artist?
Aasher: When I was diagnosed with lymphoma in June of 2020 and I couldn’t walk, it literally made me sit down and understand the mission I’m on, and how to approach it. It changed everything so now greatness is the top priority.
AllHipHop: What message do you hope fans take away from your music?
Aasher: From my new music, I hope they take away not to let their ego control their lives. You have to kill it before it kills you.