Ready For Takeoff

Malaysian hip-hop wunderkind Airliftz is rapping his way to the top.

We sat down with Airliftz at Coffea Coffee in Bangsar for a quick chat.

The truth is, at this day and age, there isn’t any excuse for a Malaysian to not like any local music anymore. Gone are the days of simply resorting to “They don’t play my kind of music.” Nowadays there is a Malaysian artist spearheading every other sound on the home ground and all one has to do is go on Spotify and search.

Leading the charge on the rap front is young blood Airliftz, who rose to prominence under the tutelage of veteran emcee Jin Hackman. The verbally-talented teenager was first discovered by the seasoned artist when the former plucked the courage to perform on stage at an open mic event at The Bee in Publika when he was just 16.

“So I signed up myself for that because I thought why not? I remember I was so nervous because I was all alone and that was also my first ever public performance. Turns out everyone liked it and I felt so relieved because I forgot all of my lyrics when I got on stage,” he recalls.

After his first public performance at The Bee in Publika, the prodigious rapper was approached by hip hop veteran Jin Hackman to mentor.

“Then, after a few weeks Jin came up to me on Facebook and texted me like ‘Hey, dude, let’s get an album done’ and I’m like ‘Oh really? Okay! Let’s get that done.” So yeah, I started to hit the studio when I was 17.”

The now 19-year-old then promptly released a single called ‘Shine,’ recorded in Jin’s studio in Damansara. Albeit only being uploaded onto Soundcloud, the track garnered the buzz Airliftz needed to move forward with his musical career.

Airliftz released his first studio track when he was only 17 on Soundcloud.

Although things were smooth for the fledgling rhymer career-wise, it turned out to be slightly bumpy in the beginning when it came to the family.

“Actually at first my mother was not cool with it and she told me things like ‘You know music is never going to put food on the table’ and I was like ‘Okay’ but now that everything seems to work fine, my family’s like ‘Oh, you’re doing great, I support you’ and I’m like ‘Okay, everyone, calm down.”

However, family also turns out to be the source of the prodigious rapper’s passion for music.

“My first inspiration was one of my brothers who used to be in a band, but not like a really big band. I grew up seeing him play the guitar and I found it really cool so I started learning how to play the guitar and drums by myself. Soon enough I realised that rapping is my true calling and went for it,” recounts Airliftz who grew up wanting to rap by listening to Eminem and Rizzle Kicks.

Slowly but surely, Airliftz began to amass a loyal following, not just among local fans but from around the region as well. So when the call came from the good people behind Good Vibes Festival asking him if he would like to perform, no one was surprised, well except the rapper himself.

“Oh my God, I was like stoked and just shooketh when I received the call (laughs). I remember when I went to Good Vibes last year, I was like ‘Man it’ll be so cool if I get to perform at Good Vibes’. I told that to my friend who was with and he said ‘Yeah, maybe, maybe you will be there on stage next year.’ And it happened this year and I’m like wow this is amazing!” exclaims the hitmaker enthusiastically.

Where does Airliftz see himself in a few years?

“Well, if my music really helps me out, I just want to like, be on tour you know. Not just Malaysia, but the international market as well. I want to be in the studio with these international artists. But you know, there’s this one rapper called Super Duper Kyle, aka Kyle Harvey. I’ve been watching him since I was 14. And now like he’s blowing up in the States and I’m like ‘Wow he really has inspired me like if he can do it, why not me?’ So I want be in the studio with him. That’s how I see myself in the future. And a beach. With a small house,” confesses the local artist who shares the roster with heavyweights such as G-Eazy and Dua Lipa at the upcoming Good Vibes Festival.

In case you’re wondering, no, we have not forgotten to enlighten you of the origins of the name Airliftz.

“I got Airliftz from my real name, Aliff (laughs). At the same time Airlift is like being lifted by air to symbolise me trying to go on a higher level, trying to reach a higher stage.”

Fly high Airliftz!

Catch the Bagel EP launch at The Bee in Publika on 14th July 2017.

Watch Airliftz perform live on a bigger stage at the Good Vibes Festival 2017 on 13th August by getting your tickets here.

Airliftz’s Facebook here and Instagram here!

Vimal Palasekaran

Vimal Palasekaran

Loud laugher. TV buff. Hispanophone.
Vimal Palasekaran

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