You may have previously seen an artist by the name of A.M. SNiPER… well now he’s officially going A!MS. While his musical roots lie somewhere in the midst of rap and R&B, his genre-bending style allows him to thrive in his own lane on his own time, equipped with tropical accents that resonate with audiences on an international level.
With his undeniable buzz and fanbase across the UK, Europe, and his homeland Cyprus, the rising star continues to kill it independently, spearheaded by singles “Yea Yea Yea” and “Run.” With each release, A!MS spits braggadocious bars about his lavish lifestyle as both a musician and entrepreneur, here to become one of the greats.
He states, “A!MS is a vibe. A!MS is the waviest, rap artist and mogul out of Europe. Whoever’s from Europe reading this, they should know that already. On the States side, I’ll be coming soon… you wait.”
Now, he returns with his best music to date, starting with “Honor” tapping Projexx, Julian Marley, AV Allure and superproducers Cool & Dre.
AllHipHop: When did A.M. SNiPER become A!MS and why?
A!MS: I’ve got a beautiful 4-year-old daughter, her name’s Melody. The way my music evolved, ever since I became a daddy I felt I needed to remove the violent connotations that come with the word Sniper. I started with street rap so grime music, garage music, but on the more aggressive side. Mosh pits and all that beautiful stuff before social distancing. We went from that to removing the violent connotations. It felt right to get rid of the word Sniper. With A!MS always leveling up like that, it’s like putting a silencer on your rifle.
AllHipHop: Why are you the king of Ayia Napa?
A!MS: I’m not just the king of that, man they’re trying to shrink my kingdom. [laughs] Ayia Napa is a resort where a lot of people come to party. We come from pirate radio stations. I don’t know if you’re familiar with how London was set up with the music scene, but there were no platforms so we had to use pirate stations to break our music and our sound. We’d go within an estate, set up an antenna, then we’d use the pirate station to send frequencies. People were looking for the shows so that’s how London was vibing in the early start of the millennium. We come from that background, then we brought that vibe to this resort in Cyprus where I’m at.
My family had a couple clubs here, I come from the nightlife scene. I’m very familiar with setting up the parties and promoting. We set up a lot of parties. We went from that to creating all this lifestyle and entertainment resort, that’s why everyone comes to Ayia Napa. It’s a summer version of London. Now, there’s not a lot of people being able to fly due to the pandemic, but Cyprus and Ayia Napa in general has become more global so you get a lot of Russians, Italians, Americans. It’s 40 minutes from Santorini and Mykonos, but it’s more the fun side like the Queens and Harlem of the Greek Islands. Mykonos and Santorini are boujee. Ayia Napa you come here, it’s a little bit grittier. You still get the boujee spots that you get all over the world, but out here it’s more a vibe. If you love hip-hop, rap, dancehall, bashment, the whole island vibe… it’s very Mediterranean. What Jamaica is to the States, Cyprus is that to Europe. I’m an island boy.
AllHipHop: Biggest influences growing up? Who were you listening to?
A!MS: At the moment, Uncle Joe Crack the Don Fat Joe. He just dropped a new one with Remy Ma. In terms of States side, I’m vibing a lot with the whole Cool & Dre camp, DJ Khaled, also Cool & Dre are co-executive producers on my album. Cool reached out to me when I started doing music out here, they saw my ways. Cool’s always been there for me like a mentor so I’m very connected with my big bro sonically. I’m listening to Dax. That’s someone I’ve got no agenda, we know each other and we’re cool. We have conversations every now and then. We’re not homies like that, but I f### with his music because he’s a very skillful and talented rap artist. Who else? Projexx, who’s on the latest single I’ve got, “Honor.” I like his sound, he’s going to have an amazing career as well. That’s about it right now, I haven’t had a lot of time to listen to a lot of music.
AllHipHop: How would you describe your sound?
A!MS: My sound’s very exotic. When you see those people with the nice cars, the Ferraris, the Lamborghinis, they import them out of where we come from and that’s what my music is like. When you f### with A!MS, you’re listening to Lamborghini and Ferrari music. You’re not listening to a Chevy or a Ford not that there is anything wrong with a Chevy or a Ford. I really want to show you more, but I’ve only given everyone one record with Projexx, Julian Marley, and AV Allure. But when the album drops, it’s amazing. I vibe to it and it gives me goosebumps. I’ve been making music for a minute so when it gives me that type of goosebumps feeling, I know it’s going to travel a lot more than me. It’s probably going to travel a lot more than all of us until they lift these restrictions to be fair.
AllHipHop: “Diablo” has 10 million views on YouTube, did you think it would blow up like this when you first made it?
A!MS: Hell yeah, it should have more. It should have a lot more. The same way I know “HONOR” is a vibe and the same way I know the album’s going to bang, people are not deaf. We make music. It’s like saying “do you know if a kid’s going to like ice cream?” If their flavors are strawberry, chocolate, and banana ice cream and you give them strawberry, chocolate, and banana ice cream, are they gonna like it? Yes, they will. No matter what temperature, no matter what’s going on, they’re going to love the music.
AllHipHop: Best memory from the video shoot?
A!MS: The dinner table scene because we had a naked girl and she was buff. She’s my homie, she’s got a family and all that. There wasn’t nothing cheeky or naughty, it was the idea and she had to put up with us. It was dope. Since that time, I’m still eating the grapes. [laughs] She had fruits on her and I’m still eating the grapes.
AllHipHop: How did “HONOR” come about?
A!MS: Cool & Dre made the beat with Reid Waters, Dim Crux, Nahuel. They sent me the vibe, they sent me the beat. The hook was written by BEAM, who was on Justin Bieber’s album recently. I heard the hook and Projexx was already on the record, I said “I’ma get one of my artists who’s signed to my production house/sound system to sing the hook with a more London twang on it.” I laced my parts, Cool heard it and said “Yo, this is fire. You’ve got to drop this first to rebrand with the A!MS thing because they’re gonna get that you’re coming on a more wavy, exotic sound.” We’ve got Projexx who’s a new dancehall artist who’s fire, everyone here knows him because he’s on Wizkid’s album. We’ve got AV Allure who’s brand new, this is one of his first singles. He’s going to have an amazing career through our imprint as well.
I said to Cool “you know what, I need to get Julian Marley on there man.” Everyone was new and fresh. I reached out to Julian and said “we want to hear a bit of that Marley spirit. We need a sprinkle of that reggae light,” because they represent the light. The light workers. We hit up Julian, he said “yo, I really mess with the flow.” We got a nice sprinkle there. It felt like a moment because the whole world at this point in time, everyone’s trying to find ways to segregate people. On this record, you’ve got someone praising God, someone praising Allah. You’ve got a Rasta man. At the end of the day, we’re all one people. It felt so good to have so many versatile characters on the same record and it smashed. You had the Chino guitarist, you had Cool & Dre. I like when people come together to create, it’s beautiful.
AllHipHop: What was your vision with the ski masks? What was the meaning behind that?
A!MS: The director Jay Parpworth said, “man, let’s go for stealing from the rich and giving it to the poor. Let’s do a heist, then roll through London and give away the winnings to all the people. Pull up to them and start giving all the money away, some Robin Hood flex.” I said “Yeah that’s neat, I f#### with that still.”
The sound is so summery so when the video starts with the helicopter and the masks, everybody’s expecting me to come on some grime or drill flex, because that’s what everyone’s doing in the UK at the moment. Even though I come from that environment, that’s what we wanted to do but there’s a dope twist to that story on the next video “iLIKE” and which is “Pure Summer Waves” and how the album as a hole unfolds. Everyone’s going to be like “Ah, now it all makes sense.” I’m not dropping visuals for one record, it’s the whole holistic approach to the actual full body of work. It’s all about the album, because I never dropped one. It’s my debut album so I’m gassed about it. I’m looking at that more than just one video. The previous records were just singles, they were treated differently. This one, we want to build it to the point where it all makes sense to the story when the album drops.
AllHipHop: What can we expect from the album? How have you evolved?
A!MS: Everything I’ve done in my career to date, and I’ve done a lot: multi-Platinum albums, all types of trophies that 99.9% of my peers won’t get to see because it’s not easy to achieve certain things. As a workaholic, I never like to turn back and look at a job done unless I’m happy. The next day, I wake up and I keep going forward. It’s not because I’m not grateful, it’s my personality. I’m like that. Everything you do in life, there’s always a moment where it all makes sense. You can take a few L’s along the way, you can go through some down moments, but they’re a part of the process and journey. You’ve got to trust it.
With this album, it’s the beginning of where people will understand that when you’re raised on an island and you’re far away from the scene — the ins and outs to what people do like “Oh, this is how radio works. This is how Clubland works,” we didn’t know that. We had to build everything ourselves. What I did as an artist, I went public from day one. Even when my records were wack, I said “This is what I know, I’m going to try to put this out. I’m going to try to do this.” I had done all the research and development in public with my fans and my audience rather than be a project. You know how you hear people say “Oh, I’m developing this artist.” Or “I’m A&Ring this project. In 6 months, this guy’s going to be the next big blah blah.” I didn’t have no one to do that for us, so we’ve done everything ourselves. The label, the producers, the video creators, the writers, but out of that, I know I can do everything. That’s why I’m a sound man. I know how to put the beats together. I produce, I write. I’m an artist, that’s the priority. I am a Pharrell. I am a Dr. Dre. I am a Kanye. That’s what it’s showing and it’s inevitable.
AllHipHop: Any goals for yourself at this point of your career?
A!MS: I definitely want to win a Grammy, one way or another. I don’t know how, I just know that it has to happen so hopefully pray to the Most High it comes through. I want to see health and more love with my family. I’m proud of my daughter to bits. Today I had an amazing moment with my daughter where she wanted to go in the pool, but she’s been ill over the past few days. I said “Let me go outside and check the water and see the sun.” I turned around and said “Melody, you can go,” but she was expecting a negative answer from me. Even though I said “you can go,” her initial expression was to drop her lip.
Then she went “Oh my God, thank you so much my daddy, you’re the best daddy in the world!” She’d never done that to me before. Now, it’s game over. She knows me now, she knows the tricks. She’s a smart kid, I’m so proud of her. She’s going to be 4 in August, so between her being born and before Covid hit, I’d only see her 2 times a week. My family lives on the island so I was traveling to London, Athens, Greece, Italy. I wouldn’t be on the island. I’d come back, see my family for the weekend, jet back out.
Since the whole pandemic hit, I’ve been with her so much. I stayed on the island because it feels a little bit more normal right here. You can go to the beach, jump on some waves, just be vibing and living life instead of being caught up in the restricted London madness. My goal’s to see her learn from me, then for her to carry on and do what she wants to do for herself. It’s beyond music, it’s a way of life. What we’re building is a way of life, this is my legacy for her.
AllHipHop: Anything else you want to let the people know?
A!MS: If you ain’t following me @whoisaims, make sure you do that. The audience is worldwide so I know that at least my people are going to come on here and read it. I want to wish everyone to be safe. Keep your eyes open, your ears open. Think for yourself. Make the best possible decision you want to make for yourself without jumping into the hype or the bandwagon of what other people are doing. Everyone remember that you’re beautiful and talented as much as anyone else. No one’s above someone else, love and light to everyone.