Austin Kassabian, 19 year old Youtube rap sensation, better known as AK, is taking the sound waves by storm. He sits down to talk to MR. WARBURTON about how he got started making music and his transition from doing cover mixes to becoming a bonafide recording artist.
Photographer: Storm Santos
Stylist: Whitney Middleton
What drew you to YouTube and how did you get started?
AK: My best friend, shoutout Mike Ugarte lol, told me I should try YouTube as another platform for my music. I figured since I already had stuff on SoundCloud, why not give it a shot.. Thank God I did because it changed my life.
You went from being the “cover king” to writing and performing you first single, LOVE ME, was that cathartic?
AK: It was really special for me to make that song from scratch with Jimmy Duval, but before the original music, I treated my remixes as if those beats were my own. I’ve never held back what I felt or what I wanted to say. I guess the main focus for me was bringing that honesty and transparency over to the original music. At this point I’ve gotten to a place where I am pretty comfortable with who I am and what I feel. Expressing myself through my songs I create by myself is extremely therapeutic and rewarding for me.
Hip Hop to Flow, where does your heart lie?
AK: My heart lies in the freedom of expression and creating. There’s no right or wrong way to do either of those things. Those are two things that are really important to me.
Tell us about your newest single CLOSED OFF?
AK: Closed Off is my 2nd fully self-produced song and I’m very happy about it. The feedback from fans is incredible. It makes me even more stoked to release my next song ‘Oooo’. I think fans are gonna lose it when they hear it and see the visual along with it. Everything about this upcoming EP ‘On Me’ has me more excited than I’ve ever been about past releases. I’m just in a really good space right now mentally and creatively.
Who are you worshipping and want to collaborate with?
AK: I worship God. But I look up to J-cole, Young Thug, Wayne Akon all those guys I grew up listening to. As for new artists, I just recently got put on to Lil Tjay. He’s one of my new favorite artists out right now for sure. I definitely want to work with him because I feel like we could make something crazy.
What do you want to do for your 21st birthday?? Dream night? Are you on stage, Hobnobbing with stars or alone writing?
AK: Actually, I have no clue! I will probably wait until the day gets closer to figure all that out. I’ve never been one to go too crazy on my birthday, but 21 is a big year so we may have to do something pretty special for that.