Sony-Kartel signees and close buddies SonaOne and Alif have recently come together to release a single titled “Obvious”, a collaborative effort between the 2 hip-hop artists which will be included in their upcoming album “Detail”.
“Obvious” is one of the 1st songs that the 2 good friends have collaborated on. According to SonaOne, the song is about realising and embracing the reality around you. “Most people choose to be blinded by what’s in front of them, they don’t see what’s obvious. The initial concept of the song was to empower women, but then we decided to explore deeper into the concept and make it a bigger picture.”
Hype Malaysia has sat down with both SonaOne and Alif last week to learn more about their new work, their relationship with each other, and their thoughts on the local hip-hop industry.
“Detail” is a collaborative effort of both SonaOne and Alif
From producing to composing, writing, and recording, “Detail” is a combined effort between SonaOne and Alif where they were given 100% creative freedom for the whole project.
Though the two have known each other for quite some time ago and have so many attempts to work together in the past, they never had the right opportunity. Last year, they were finally given the chance to collaborate, so they spent a whole year working on the album.
“It started with 1 track, and then it became 2, and then 3… in the end we decided to just make a whole album of it. We made a total of 40 tracks together. We wanted to put it all in the album, but sadly it doesn’t work that way. So we pick 15 songs that have a concept to it which reflected ‘Detail’,” Alif said during the interview.
“I’ve always felt like Alif was a peer of mine and that I knew if I have to compete against anybody in the game, it would be him. He’s my brother and he’s like the most talented person I’ve met. It would be crazy if we did not do this,” SonaOne added.
Not planning to become a duo despite the great chemistry
It is no doubt that SonaOne and Alif have a wonderful chemistry. “Obvious” may be their 1st proper collaboration, but the two have done tons of underground stuff together. However, there is no plan of them becoming a group as they find it unnecessary.
“I think this is a concept that the commercial world has not gotten a grasp of yet. In hip-hop world, rappers coming together, making a joint album is very common. There’s no need for us to be in a group because we’re open to more future collaborations. This is definitely not the end of it,” Alif stated.
Through the collaboration, the rappers not only discovered more about themselves individually but also sonically. As told by SonaOne, they have both found each other’s sound and know what they can do and provide best in a musical setting.
Too Phat’s influence on them
As seen in “Obvious” music video, SonaOne and Alif have paid homage to Malaysia’s most famous rap duo Too Phat. According to the boys, Too Phat was one of the artists alongside international names like Michael Jackson and Eminem which had shaped their music style in their earlier days.
“Too Phat was the point where we became confident that we can do it (hip-hop music) in our country and regionally, and then branch out internationally. It became a possibility when Too Phat came about, and then suddenly Eminem and Michael Jackson didn’t feel so far anymore,” Alif explained.
Thoughts on fans pitting Kartel against Qarma
For those of you who might not know, after Too Phat split up, both Joe Flizzow and Malique started their very own music label known as Kartel Records and Qarma Musiq, respectively.
Since Too Phat has a strong cult following, until today, many fans are still hoping that Joe and Malique will somehow reunite and work together again. So whenever one party releases a song through their own label, fans will start comparing their music, and this occurs even to those related to the 2 artists.
“I think it’s cool cos’ if you can’t have one party going up against another crew of people just based on opinions, then you don’t have the concept of democracy altogether,” said SonaOne.
“It’s healthy cos’ it pushes everybody to be better. Over the years, I think Qarma and Kartel have developed their own significant sound so there’s no way sonically that they will cross over. Also, it is a fun issue to debate cos it creates energy and conversation,” Alif added.
This dissing between Mr. President’s anak buah VS Mr. General’s disciples is lit as fe** 🔥
Anyway, between those two;
Gong Nekara (Qarma) > Mambang (Kartel)
(Words and that nusantara spooky vibes)
— Aduka² + f/r;azmi (@fradzminology) March 15, 2018
Grab the popcorn gais. The war is began. 🎧🎶
Kartel atau Qarma.
— A.T.E.P (@Latif_Halim) March 16, 2018
SonaOne continued, “It’s like parliament. I’m fine with people pitting Kartel against Qarma, but hey, add more people into the equation. There are so many other labels out there that are making good music, so just throw them all under the same bus.”
“I get it. Too Phat was the benchmark. They are the OGs, the absolute kings of it so it’s only natural that people are always trying to pit Malique against Joe and those related to them. But add more people to the equation.”
Up and coming hip-hop artist that people should look out for
Thanks to Joe Flizzow’s “16 Baris“, more and more local and regional hip-hop talents have emerged. “There are a lot of talented new rappers. Joe Flizzow’s “16 Baris” really pave the ways for them. Now, they know that they have a platform to showcase their talent, so it gives them so much confidence,” SonaOne commented.
When asked which talent that the two of them think that people should look out for the most, both of them simultaneously said, “Fazz Ahmad, the young rapper number 1!” For those who didn’t know who the rapper is, check out the video below.
Not sure if SonaOne and Alif were joking, but they seem pretty serious about it. “The fact that people don’t understand it, but they find themselves coming back for more for some reason.”
Apart from Fazz Ahmad, other artists that SonaOne and Alif mentioned include K-clique, Senna, Zizi Kirana and Kayda, among others.
Special challenge on TikTok
With the release of their latest single together, Alif and SonaOne have launched #TheObviousChallenge on the currently trending social media platform, TikTok. According to SonaOne, the challenge is inspired by Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody and it comes with a cute jogging dance moves.
The top 3 winners of the challenge with the most creative videos will get to have a meal with both SonaOne and Alif. Join now, if you wish to meet, talk, chat and selfie with the “Obvious” hitmakers!