Raxstar has had an amazing year and the recent release of his single ‘Flirt’ with Surinder Rattan shows how far this Luton-based rapper has come since he started out in the music industry. Earlier this year, he was nominated for Best Urban Act at both the Brit Asia Awards and the UK AMAs.
Flirt has had a massive response, including getting to the top 10 of the BBC Asian Network Download Chart and Raxstar told us what an amazing feeling that was.
"We worked really hard on the track and it was scary putting something out which is so different to what I normally do. The fact it has been embraced is awesome! I have the utmost respect for Surinder Rattan, he's one of the pioneers of the Asian Music scene and I learnt a lot from him during the process of putting ‘Flirt’ together. He brought out a side of me that was bubbling under the surface but I had never expressed creatively. He also taught me a lot about planning a single and what goes on behind the scenes and pushed me to fulfil my potential.”
So, how did the collaboration with the producer come about?
“Surinder reached out to me over a year ago and we both expressed an interest in working with each other. It was just a matter of making time to get in the studio and get on the same page creatively.”
Raxstar has already worked with many different artists including Arjun, TaZzZ, RKZ and Bilal but he still has a wishlist of who he would like to work with in the future.
“I'd love to work with artists that I listen to and inspire me from all sorts of genres. In no particular order, they would be Common, Nas, Kanye West, Ed Sheeran, Dappy, Kano and Honey Singh.”
One of the rapper’s biggest collaborations was the track ‘I Am’ with producer TaZzZ and Humble The Poet. There was a great reaction to the single so could there be plans to release a Part 2?
“TaZzZ is a close friend of mine and we always connect with Humble when he comes to the UK so you never know what the future holds.”
Just back from a trip to India to see family, Raxstar says that there was a big highlight that happened for him, in terms of music, when he was out there.
“I witnessed the first ever play of ‘Jaaneman’ on MTV India so it was an eventful trip!”
After releasing a few mixtapes, Raxstar is all set to release his album ‘Faith & Patience’ next year, but that’s not all.
“There will also be a LIVE EP with my band Dream Warriors and a mixtape.”
As an Urban artist in the UK Asian music scene, it was interesting to get Raxstar’s thoughts on whether he thinks the industry concentrates too much on Bhangra, whilst other genres are somewhat ignored.
“Whatever is popular will always get the most attention. Bhangra is very popular and doesn't get any coverage outside of the UK Asian scene so it's only fair that it is given the platform it deserves. I think that artists need to keep making innovative music though. I remember when albums like ‘Dark & Dangerous’ and ‘Legalized’ were the norm. I also think Bhangra artists who use rappers on their tracks should look at the array of talented Asian rappers that there are to work with and showcase them rather than ignoring our existence. I loved how Jazzy B had Kanwar on ‘Rambo’. We should have a lot more of that, using rappers creatively and on topic on Punjabi/Bhangra songs.”
Raxstar will be following up the hit single ‘Flirt’ with a track titled ‘Dream Warriors’ and then ‘Love Language,’ both of which are taken from his forthcoming album. In terms of artists that he likes listening to, there is a vast array.
“At the moment, I'm listening to Miguel's album ‘Kaleidoscope Dream,’ Dappy's album ‘Bad Intentions’, The xx’s album ‘Coexist’ and Nas’ ‘Life Is Good.’ I also really like Jaz Dhami's new single ‘High Heels’."
Raxstar’s birthday is tommorow on the 21st of November but it will be a low-key celebration, he tells us.
“I have no plans as of yet, I normally spend it with friends and family. I don't like making a fuss or getting presents to be honest, I'm thankful for what I have.” One of the things he is thankful for are his fans and he has a message for them, “After over 10 years, countless features and numerous mixtapes and songs I'm still grateful for everyone who has supported me from the very beginning up until this point in my career. I've got a lot more in store for you, but I'll never get tired of saying thank you!”
He certainly has a lot coming up and his album will definitely be one we are all looking forward to hearing. After delivering the fantastic single ‘Flirt’ it is apparent that Raxstar is just continuing his rise to stardom and it is all going very well for him. That should make for a very Happy Birthday indeed!!
Interview by Dal Kaur