Interview: Electronic and Hip Hop Music Producer, AF THE NAYSAYER
AF THE NAYSAYER may be a new name to some but he’s becoming a force in the electronic and instrumental hip-hop arena. His soul-hop sound was best described by Atlanta producer, DISTAL as, “Layered, intelligent design with simple and digestible delivery.” He’s already done 300 shows with artists such as Durazzo, Prism House, Glitch Mob, and Quantic just to name a few. The New Orleans-based, Los Angeles-bred producer is an ambassador for Red Bull Music Academy as well as the founder of beat maker showcase, Dolo Jazz Suite. I had the opportunity of digging deeper into AF THE NAYSAYER.
Q: That’s one heck of an introduction. Tell me a little more about AF THE NAYSAYE outside of the bio.
AF: My name is Amahl and I’m stoic by nature. I follow a regimented routine and I can be difficult to approach at times but I make a point not to take myself too seriously.
Q: *exhales* Phew I was a little nervous for a sec. As someone who seems very direct and blunt, how did you get into the broad, imaginative genres of electronic and hip-hop music?
AF: I was introduced to electronic music through a combination of seeing artists like Black Box, Inner City, and Ten City on BET’s early afternoon programming and listening to Yuzo Koshiro’s work on Streets of Rage II. As for hip-hop, it was always playing around the house growing up so I can’t put my finger on one particular event. I will say that the first rap video I remember seeing was RUN DMC's "King of Rock". The first rap album I bought with my own funds was “The Score" by The Fugees’.
Q: RUN DMC and The Fugees are classics! Let me shift gears a bit. You've been on tour and opened up for numerous artists. The show is over. Are you partying and turning up or getting some rest to refresh for the next show?
AF: I’m not one for partying; I'd rather get proper sleep. This is my job. I try to not let my personal enjoyment get in the way of my career.
Q: *wipes sweat* Whew you’re one tough nut to crack but I completely understand. Most days after clocking out of my 9-5, I’m in bed by 9. Everyone talks about ‘making it’ these days. What’s your idea of ‘making it’?
AF: When flying first class is always an option (laughs). In all seriousness, being able to put half of my paycheck in a savings account and still have enough to take care of my day-to-day expenses.
Q: There’s a laugh! Believe me, my Finance degree feels you on that. Last question and I’ll let you get back to your regularly scheduled routine. Your latest project, Armed Wing Battle Unit kind of reminds me of music from the game Megaman. Do you play video games? If so, which ones?
AF: I used to be heavily involved in the fighting game community from 2002-2006,competing in regional and national tournaments. In that sense, I’m a semi-retired gamer. Once in a blue moon, I’ll play a Japanese import Mega Drive game (Sega Genesis), but the last game I played with the intention of completing was Grandia on the original Sony Playstation. These days I’d rather spend my time working on music or meeting up with friends than play video games but they will always hold a special place in my life.
Check out AF THE NAYSAYER's latest tracks on Soundcloud!