Albi X talks authenticity, inlcusivity and positivity in a sit down interview

At HYPE, we love bringing some of the dopest acts in the form of interviews. Today, we have a special guest to introduce to you guys and he goes by the name Albi X. He is a dope rapper from Germany with family roots in the Congo. Albi X’s music spreads messages of positivity, authenticity and inclusivity. The Africa Rising Music Conference is flying the talented rapper from Germany to South Africa on the 27th of May if you want to catch him live!

When I interview an artist have recently become familiar with, I like to start at the very beginning of their musical journey. With that being said, what would you regard as your earliest memory of music?

My earliest memory of music was probably from when I was 3 years old. My dad would also play gospel music for me and he would also used to take me to the church and I would play the drums. That’s where my love for music began. 

 

When I was conducting research for your interview, I came across a common theme in your music, which is diversity and your African heritage. Could you please share a bit about your ethnic background and your upbringing?

Well, both of my parents are from Congo and my parents made sure that I knew about my Congolese heritage. As I grew older, I also saw the importance of knowing about my own culture. I think that’s the reason why I rap in my mother tongue. I am proud of my heritageAMPD

 I love how your heritage and energy translates into your music.

Yeah, energy is super important for me. When people listen to the messaging behind my music, I want them to understand it’s okay to love the person you are. I want people to walk away from my music and have a high level of self-confidence. So the energy in my music is one of the ways I express those sentiments. 

How important is it for you to approach themes of discrimination through a positive lens when it is so easy to approach it with aggression? I used to get bullied a lot when I was a kid and it was a painful experience. However, I took those moments as character building opportunities. They have made me strong and they have shaped the person that I am today.  On the other hand, music is one of the things that helped me get through a lot of those tough times. You could say that music saved my life. 

What does inclusivity mean to you and how can one be an ally to inclusivity?

I know what it’s like to be bullied and made to feel like an outcast. For me, inclusivity means that you accept everyone for who they are and celebrate the differences that make us unique. That’s the key message behind my music and I see myself as a voice for the

I watched a few of your performances and your energy immediately stood out. Can you tell me how you feel when you are performing?

I can tell you all about that! Performing in front of a crowd is like therapy for me. That’s when I feel the most connected to the crowd and that’s where my messaging is at its strongest. I remember the first time I danced in front of my peers who bullied me. They suddenly saw me as someone that’s cool. That was the first time I felt seen. Music and dancing literally saved me from bullying and discrimination. 

What do you want people to take away from your music?

I want people to walk away feeling like anything is possible. I want people to know that if they have a clear vision, they can accomplish anything. I also want them to know that all things can be achieved through love and positive energy. 

“Bibamba” is your most streamed song. Can you tell me about your inspiration behind it?

“Bibamba” is a song that was inspired by my brother who has a similar name to Bibamba but it was also inspired by Awilo Longomba, who also has a song titled “Bibamba”.  Growing up, my mother used to play a lot of his music in the house and creating “Bibamba” was my way of paying homage to him. Eventually, the song made its way to Awilo Longomba and he reacted to it. 

Over the span of your career, how have you grown as an artist and a person? 

When I started rapping, I was rapping in English. I enjoyed rapping in English but it was difficult for me to express myself as it isn’t my first language. Eventually, I started to rap in Lingala and that’s when everything started to make sense to me. I started to find my sound and things started to flow. I also incorporate, English, French and German where possible.

 

If I were to introduce someone to your music, which song would you want me to play for them first and why? 

Well, that is easy! My favourite song by far is “C’est ma vie”. The song is deeply personal and dear to me. I remember the feeling I had when I was recording the song in studio. Whenever I feel down, I listen to “C’EST MA VIE” to lift my spirit. It’s that song that reminds me to never give up.

If you were to host an event called ‘An evening with ALBI X’, what attributes and worldviews would the people in that room have?

That’s a tough question. I imagine that there will be people from all walks of life there because of the type of music I create but I would much rather describe what my dream performance would look like. I imagine myself performing with a choir and a band. I imagine myself to be wearing a classic suit and the dress code for attendees would be in line with that. That sort of atmosphere would be really cinematic. 

 

In closing, if there is one thing you could say to your younger self, what would it be? 

I would say, “I am proud of you. I know you have been through a lot, but it is okay. I want to remind you to always believe in yourself and manifest your dreams, and remember, if you have a vision then no one can get in the way of that.”.

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