British Asian rapper, Raxstar has been releasing hits since he started. With such beautiful compositions, eloquent lyrics, depth filled messages and that adorable smile, he can do no wrong!
Raxstar has built up quite the fan base and a list of achievements over the years. His hit track, “Janeman” featuring Kee, has reached a million views on YouTube! He later released a freestyle rap in honor of the achievement titled “A Million Views” on his soundcloud page. Since the amazing success of “Janeman,” Raxstar has released amazing tracks like “The Other Man,” “Ex-Games,” “What’s Inside,” “Flirt,” and most recently “Sida Sada” with Saini Surinder and Gupsy Aujla.
Urban Asian had the chance to speak to the talented artist and find out the inside scoop! Check it out!
UA: Let’s start at the beginning, when did you first discover music was your passion?
Raxstar: It all started when I was in primary school. I was fascinated with Michael Jackson, his songs, his dancing and his videos. Music has always played an important part in my life and the root of that for me begins with MJ. I remember dancing to Man In The Mirror with my friends and dressing up like MJ for Halloween. Looking back it’s quite clear that that was me planting seeds for what I am doing now.
UA: When did passion turn into a career? Was there any specific person that initially inspired you to take music seriously than just a hobby?
Raxstar: I wouldn’t say there was a specific person that pushed me in to taking music more seriously. The turning point was after taking part in the school talent show and winning. I performed Busta Rhymes’ “Fire It Up” with a friend and the rush I got from that was phenomenal. We would always write lyrics in class and my friends encouraged me to make my own songs and record them. Those were the first steps I took towards making music more than just a hobby. I continued to do music on the side, writing songs and releasing mixtapes as I studied at College and University. Call it fate but a few weeks after I finished Uni I got my first real break, getting my song with Sunit “Keep It Undercover” played on BBC Radio 1 and from then on I was fully focused on music.
UA: Were your parents supportive of your choice to pursue music?
Raxstar: They have always been supportive from the very beginning. I’m lucky that they are so understanding. They have the standard worries that all parents have about their children being secure in their profession and getting married but they have never discouraged me from doing what I love.
UA: Of course I have to ask, where did the name Raxstar come from?
Raxstar: I remember a cousin of mine would call me Rax when I was younger. Also when we would play arcade games you would only have 3 letters to select if you achieved a high score and my name was always RAX. The “Star” part was added when I would experiment with graffiti in high school and doodle Rax with a star next to it.
UA: In 2005 you debuted onto the Asian music scene with “Keep it Undercover,” a track about hiding a forbidden love from your parents. What inspired you to write that track? Did you expect it to become such a fan favorite?
Raxstar: The song was inspired by what I had seen with a lot of my peers in regards to relationships they had and were going through. I was and am a massive fan of Common so the concept was also my ode to his classic record “ I Used To Love HER.” When Sunit and myself released that song we had no expectations whatsoever. Neither of us had any real experience within the music industry we were just passionate about music and were lucky enough to have our song heard and supported by Radio and TV at that time. This in turn led to an overwhelming outpour of love from people who could relate to the song and who became our fans. I never expected it to launch us like it did but I’m always especially appreciative of anyone who has supported our music from the “keep it undercover days” as I like to call them!
UA: Your tracks are always so beautifully written and deal with such wide range of topics, from current events to love. In general, where do you find your inspiration while writing?
Raxstar: Firstly thank you for that compliment, it’s really appreciated! I was watching the recent documentary about the construction of Michael Jackson’s Bad album “BAD25” and there is a part near the end that I could relate to. MJ is asked a similar question and he states that he doesn’t create anything it is already out there, he is just a channel for it to be expressed. I don’t think I can put it any better myself.
UA: Back in 2007, The Rakes asked you to work on “Suspicious Eyes” with them; what was it like working with the band?
Raxstar: It was an amazing experience, it’s always interesting to see how other artists work in and out of the studio and their creative process. I’d never worked with a band before but everyone was extremely professional. The Rakes were signed to a major label while I was unsigned and this felt like a big achievement for me. Performing with them at a sold out Brixton Academy is still one of my own personal highlights.
UA: Besides The Rakes, you’ve collaborated with tons of other artists like RKZ, Kee, Arjun, Sam Khan, Swami Baracus and many more. Which collab track is your favorite thus far?
Raxstar: Every track I have worked on is like a piece of my own personal history so it’s really difficult to pick just one! I love Arjun’s Stargazer, it’s a beautiful record and I was grateful to be asked to feature on it. All the songs I’ve done with RKZ have brought out the best in me and the same for the tracks with Sam Khan. Working with TazZz and Humble The Poet was also a great highlight for me this year.
UA: Who would you love to work with, that dream collaboration you’re dying to get?
Raxstar: Ah, again, impossible to narrow down as there’s so many! I would really love to work with Common that is one of my career goals. I also think myself and Ed Sheeran could make a great song together.
UA: In 2011, you released the track “Janeman” and the music video reached 1 million views in less than a year! How did you feel? Did it motivate you more to reach that height again with a new video?
Raxstar: It’s a landmark in my career so far that I am very proud of. I was ecstatic when I heard that we had achieved that but within a few minutes my mind state was that we need to hit 2 million! The goals should always get higher if you dwell on your achievements too long you get complacent.
UA: In the song “A Million Views,” which you released in honor of the million views for “Janeman,” you say that you won’t stop until you have a Grammy, is that your ultimate goal?
Raxstar: In all honesty and with no ego I know that I have material which is Grammy worthy. It’s just a matter of building on what we have done; the awards, accolades and recognition aren’t the ultimate goals, we just want to follow our passion.
UA: Your latest track “Flirt” with DJ Surinder Rattan is a riot! The lyrics are absolutely amazing! Tell us more about the conception of this song?
Raxstar: Surinder and I had spoken of working together for quite some time and it was just a matter of time before we finally got into the studio. I wanted to create a feel good song that people could enjoy and that was positive. Surinder knew that he wanted to get me incorporating Punjabi into my verses and encouraged me to do so. Luckily everything came together perfectly and worked!
UA: Do the lyrics of “Flirt” actually describe the type of girls that you prefer?
Raxstar: Haha! Well I did try to think of what I would want in a girl when I wrote the song so yes!
UA: So tell me the truth Raxstar, were you REALLY EVER “The Other Man??”
Raxstar: Well I wrote that song at a certain time in my life when that was my reality, so in short yes.
UA: When you’re writing what are 3 things you absolutely must have with you?
Raxstar: All I need is something to write my ideas down with, that can be a pen and a pad or a notepad app on my phone. I don’t really need anything else, apart from no distractions!
UA: Once you’ve recorded a song, who is the first person you let listen to the track before finalizing everything?
Raxstar: If it’s something I’ve worked on myself then I normally send it to Sunit. If it’s a track that we have worked on together then I normally play it to a few of my friends or my brother to get their opinion or feedback.
We’d like to thank Raxstar for taking the time to chat with us! Be sure to keep it locked on Urban Asian for more updates on Raxstar!