Meet Rak-Su the talented quartet that are redefining the soundscape with their irresistibly catchy music. It’s safe to say that there is an apparent lack of boybands in this era and Rak-Su definitely show us what we’ve been missing. Bringing flavours of R&B, Calypso and Reggaeton within their music members Myles, Jamaal, Mustafa and Ashley have gone from winning The X Factor to carving out their career and bringing out a string of back to back hits such as Dimelo to I Want You To Freak. I had the pleasure of speaking with the guys about their latest singleYours or Mine, their eclectic musical influences and their exciting story so far.
Let’s get straight onto your new EP Rome, what’s the inspiration behind the project?
Jamaal: The inspiration behind the name, Rome, was basically Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Rome was a bit of a masterpiece, the Colosseum was a bit of a masterpiece, and we weren’t built in a day either. It’s symbolic of that, to either remind ourselves to say that things do take time and anything that is worth doing is worth doing right and sometimes that does take a lot longer than what people think or what you might think.
We just wanted to put something out that encapsulated the sounds we had prior to The X Factor and a bit of up tempo we had while we were on The X Factor. We feel we did that across the Rome EP, so that was what the thought was behind putting songs Into It, Thunder, Blood Ties and Stick Around on there.
It’s probably hard to pick but If you each had to pick your favourite track from the EP, what track would each of you choose?
Ashley: I feel we would all give different answers, Myles would probably say Stick Around.
Jamaal: Into It.
Mustafa: Blood Ties for me.
Ashley: Mine would be Thunder.
You’ve just released your track Yours or Mine, what was the creative process behind the track and the influences for it?
Ashley: The creative process behindYours or Mine, we actually got into a studio and we heard the beat and we really liked it and then we asked each other what conversations have we had recently. One of the boys said ‘I was on a night out and I said to a girl you want to go back to yours or mine’. They kind of said it jokingly, quite tongue in cheek and the other three of us jumped on it immediately and said ‘nope, that’s the song, that’s what we are writing about’. It dawned on us it’s a conversation people have and you start thinking, who lives closer? Who still lives we their parents? Are we going to get an Uber? We had a good laugh writing it.
It’s hard to pinpoint a genre with you lot, I can hear elements of R&B, Rap, Reggaeton, Calypso, how would you describe your sound?
Ashley: I think you hit the nail on the head to be honest, we don’t really have one, we have never have done. Even before the show and the first two EP’s we put out before we went on TV, there were varying, different sounds on there as well, as long as we like it and it connects with us then we will write to it and record to it.
Also being from different ethnicities you’re probably able to bring your own cultures to the plate when creating music, does that influence your music?
Ashley: I think naturally we have all grown up because of our cultures or even Jam’s perspective living in a different country, we’ve all brought different things to table, so when it comes to us writing and the things we want to do and how we want things to sound it’s always going to be a bit of melting pot of different ideas.
The last two years for you guys must have been crazy from doing music independently, to where you are now. What have been some of your stand out highlights so far?
Ashley: A couple in the early days we performed at a basketball tournament down in Brighton beach, called Brighton Summer Madness, we did in front of 60 people and at the time that was the most we’d ever been in front of. Another milestone after that was that we did an under eighteens disco in Aldershot in front of about 300 people, which was the first time we had a dressing room and a ‘rider’. Then after The X Factor, Jingle Bell Ball was a big one to be on a lineup with some amazing people.
Jamaal: Going on tour with the Little Mix girls, that was one of the first tours we had been on, the only outdoor that we had done so far and that was an experience within itself. Because of it being outdoors the capacity could be higher, so that was a great experience within itself.
Mustafa: Performing in front of over 30,000 people is not something we could have ever dreamt to do, it’s not.
With the music industry now a lot of musicians pop off very quickly and artists aren’t able to experience performing in front of 60 people to 60,000 people, you’ve been able to experience both things, which might have meant each bit of your journey meant more to you guys in that sense.
Mustafa: 100%, you are grateful for everything that has been happening because we’ve performed in front of ten people where eight of them are having their dinner and two of them just want to have a quiet drink. We’ve performed to over 30.000 people so we appreciate everything that has happened in the past few years a lot more.
What are your plans for the rest of the year, is it just bring out new music? What other goals do you have in mind?
Jamaal: It’s about trying to put out as much music as possible to build momentum for what we would ideally want to be a tour or album. At the present moment it’s more about trying to gain momentum by putting out music because last year was about growing and building and this year is showing elements of that growth. What we are going to try to do is put out as much music and trying to be as active as possible so that we can hopefully build some momentum into our own tour, into our album hopefully by the end the year or beginning of next year.
You can catch Rak-Su performing across this UK this summer! They will be at Soundscape Festival in Coventry, Fusion Festival in Liverpool, Brighton Pride and in May they will be going on tour with Olly Murs in the UK and Ireland.
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