He’s young, attractive, and happens to be the rising R&B and Hip Hop artist in the local scene, as we speak. 26-year-old, Adrian Khalif, poured his experiences and influences he gathered while spending his formative years abroad into the catchy rhymes in “Made In Jakarta” (his first single that featured hit-maker, Dipha Barus), while also showcasing his suave and smooth side with “Flawless/Merona” and his latest single “Take Care” featuring Cantika Abigail. Shifting back and forth between singing and rapping is his way of doing things, and it’s a fresh addition to all of our ears. In the middle of preparing his album, set to be released the end of this year, the Cancerian managed to sit down with us and talked about Michael Jackson, his dreams, and all about spreading good vibes.
Text by Lala Claudia. Photographs by Ila Schaffer.
First things first, how did you got swept into the music world?
I listened to Michael Jackson’s album, Bad, and instantly thought ‘I need to be like him’. I was a 3rd grader in New York [where he was living at the time] and saved money to buy this particular record. At the time people at school made fun of the fact I listened to him, but I just wanted to be a musician ever since. Way back, I had the chance to see Michael Jackson performed at Madison Square Garden, I wanted so bad to dance like him, but I couldn’t, what I can do though, is to sing and rap. So, here I am.
So, you’re very determined to be in the industry from the start?
Yes! I never had any other dream than being a musician. I had a day job once and it practically was a six-month-period-of-frustration, where I was constantly saying ‘I need to get out of this place’. I just think it’s my calling, really. And I guess it got to the point where my parents are just exhausted to see me dance on the bed for too long.
You’re a singer who also raps, how did that came about?
I’ve been always drawn to Hip Hop and R&B since I was a kid. After school, I’d be watching this MTV show called Total Request Live and listened to Jay Z, Eminem, 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, and Usher. I’m into that soulful sound, these types of music builds my character. And when I decided to get into music, I just feel that, that’s my lane naturally.
Do you consider yourself as a rapper or a singer?
I can do both, so anything goes.. [Laughs]
Who’s your role model?
Kanye West, in every way! His works, the way he looks at music, his ideas, the way he portray himself..
Tell us a but about your latest single, ‘Take Care’!
It’s a song about taking care of your other half, really. I’ve been working on it since late 2017 and my management hit up Cantika Abigail [of GAC], and I personally think that musically we matched, and when we tried out the song together, the vibe is just undeniable.
What has been your proudest moment so far?
The three singles I released are just my babies. And winning an AMI award with Dipha, and Best New Artist at Anugerah Planet Muzik was also something. But really, my vision is just to make people happy and vibe with my music, everything that comes with it is just a bonus.
In the future, what do you want to be known as?
Like I said, I just want to make people happy. But I don’t know, maybe in the next 20-30 years I want people to know me as a Grammy winning artist. It’s alright to dream, right?
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