GET FAMILIAR: Alpha
Alpha is a standout young rapper from Windsor, VT — which is getting to be an old story now. Also home to fan favorites XP and Jarv, the small town has raised a lot of talent over a short span of time. His style is earnest, East Coast bars, often with nicely articulated multi schemes, 90’s as fuck. He’s been building a bigger rep in 2019 off a string of solid singles, most recently the knockout “Art of War” with Yung Breeze.
Alpha also placed strong in the first annual VTHH SUMMERSLAM 2019, with real, live, dedicated fans from around the state. So it was definitely past time to talk shop with the man behind the myth. As you might expect, he turns out to be humble, honest and focused.
VTHH: You've been making much more calculated moves than most rappers your age, and your quality control game has been on point. Who mentored you on the game?
Alpha: Yung Breeze was the first one to really record, mix and master my music where I felt confident enough to put it out there. He was also the first one to do a real show with me, and try to bring me into the social part of it all. I went through a lot of rough patches in life with dropping out of school, struggling with a job and no car, losing my dad, financial issues, etc. XP for the past couple of years has been my most solid mentor and continues to stay that way because of our similarities in the choice of beats and lyrics we use, we’re not a group and never will consider ourselves a group, but we been makin' a pretty good team.
VTHH: What was your local scene like when you were starting out?
Alpha: Well, I'm only 19, so the scene when I was first starting out was basically the same as it is now. Marshal (XP) has always been my favorite artist in VT since I was young, and before I met him I already thought this so I promise: no favoritism. Yung Breeze was, like I said, the first to really take me serious so he was a big impact on the scene for me and still is. The people who stood out to me growing up and in my process of who I've become music wise are ; XP, Yung Breeze, Raw Deff, Jibba “The Gent” and Eyedos.
VTHH: When do you feel like the formula clicked for you? Have you been plotting on this for awhile, or was it a recent thing?
Alpha: I posted my first track on Soundcloud 3 years ago, I was in school and I had a lot of attention and fans at that point from my peers. It was really easy to see people in assemblies, lunch, in the halls or the classrooms and show them my music. When I dropped out I realized a lot of those people are still there, but a lot of them have fallen off the face of the earth. I have a pretty decent following in VT and NH but nowhere compared to my goal.
I have now FULLY UNDERSTOOD as I get older and more mature that I need to invest in my music such as buying beats, graphics, promotion ads, putting my music on Tunecore and even spending a couple hundred for features I've always hoped to have. If anyone has a goal you want to reach in the entertainment industry, you need to invest in yourself, PERIOD.
VTHH: As a young artist coming up in the scene, do you feel like people are accessible and open or has it been a slog for you?
Alpha: I'm not saying I'm great because I know I still have a lot of work to do, but I think the older artists and/or fans in VT and NH see potential in me, so they support me, and I'm more than grateful for every one of you. If someone supports me, I support them, I'm a firm believer in giving respect before you can receive it.
VTHH: Do you think of yourself as a Vermont artist or a New England artist?
Alpha: I think of myself as a Vermont artist currently because of my following, I don’t have fans from all over New England but that actually is one of my main goals, to change the status of a "Vermont Artist" into a "New England Artist" To get known in the rest of the U.S, all us VT artists definitely need to venture out on the level of NE rappers such as Termanology, Millyz, Joyner Lucas, etc.
VTHH: In terms of the overall sound, what is your plan for the debut LP you're working on?
Alpha: My first debut album, "Brain On Budz," is going to be a lot of fun to make. I am thinking about every song in depth with a very strict beat selection and all I'm gonna say is there’s some great plans in the works with SkySplitter. I also have other local producers , such as THEN WHAt, Loupo, and Mr GoodBarz in the potential producers I will buy beats from for this project, which this is the first time some of them are hearing this. Don't worry , I'll be in touch with you fellas soon!