August Alsina, the man behind the smash hit, “I Luv This S**t,” began singing as a 14-year-old, despite his rough upbringing, which included his father passing away to drugs and his brother being murdered. And the singer tells ABC News Radio that he credits Lauryn Hill with inspiring him to channel his energy into pursuing music professionally.
“Nobody in my family is musically inclined at all,” he says, “I was watching Lauryn Hill on Sister Act II and I just thought it was the coolest thing. But I think it was really more so the way she made me feel and I was like, ‘Man, I want to do that.’ So I just tried it and stuck with it.”
After landing a record deal with Def Jam and releasing his first mixtape, August has scored hit first radio hit with his smash single, “I Luv This S**t,” which currently sits at #2 on Billboard‘s Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop chart. The singer tells ABC News Radio why he knew the Knucklehead-produced track was the perfect on to lead off his debut EP, Downtown: Life Under the Gun.
“I knew that when I recorded that was the first song. I wanted people to hear from me because it’s honest and it’s true to who I am and I think it’s true to so many others as well,” he explains. “The good, the bad, the ugly, whatever it is, it’s just saying, ‘I love it.'”
The original version of the cut includes guest verses from Trinidad James, and it was followed by a remix from Birdman. Earlier this month, Trey Songz and Chris Brown hoped on the club anthem, which August says happened very organically during his trip to Virginia, where both artists hail from.
“People was telling me that Trey was trying to reach out to me,” he explains. “I gave him my number, and he hit me and was like, ‘Man I’m a fan, I rock with you and I want to do anything I can to help.’ He sent over the verse, I heard it, and I just thought it made all the sense in the world to go get Chris.”
He adds the collaboration was a no-brainer especially since Trey and Chris have “never been [on] a song together.” He adds, “So its cool for me to be a new artist and bridge the gap between two legends in the game who’ve been doing it for so long.”
While most R&B rookies would be on cloud nine with a hit record, the New Orleans native revealed how he’s been able to keep level headed about his success. “It means something, it’s a blessing to have a number one hit record, but really what does that mean? Like, what does it mean? Because I done seen so many people get a number one record and just be on fire, and then, less than two months later, they’re nothing,” August explains. “So it really doesn’t mean nothing, like you just got to stay consistent, and it makes me want to work harder and go get another number one. Because now people are watching and they’re waiting to see if you can do it again.”
Fans can purchase Downtown: Life Under the Gun now.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio