Q&A With Atlanta Based Rising Hip Hop Artist Shah LVL


What was the earliest hip hop memory you can recall?

I was around the age of 6 or 7 & I was in the car with my family & we were in Brooklyn. The radio came on & it was Soulja Boy’s “Crank That” playing on the radio. I remember everyone used to hit that crank that back then, that’s probably one the most iconic songs in my generation. Also another moment was the Drake you only live once era. When “The Motto” dropped, he had everyone saying “YOLO”. These are memories of hip hop that I will never forget.

 

Where did your moniker originate?

My artist name “Shah LVL” comes from my last name, which is actually Shah & people usually call me Shah all the time. The “LVL” part is short for level so really it’s pronounced “Shah Level” if you say it correctly. I made my artist name formatted this way to model the legend Juice WRLD, but this was way before he died. Now it’s kinda like I’m paying homage to him since unfortunately, he passed away in December of 2019. 

 

Tell me what it was like growing up in Atlanta.

I was born in New York, but my family moved to the metropolitan area of Atlanta when I was around the age of 2. This city is all I really know being here for over 15 years you kinda get to know everybody in your local area and around the city. Being from Metro Atlanta I’ve been able to cross paths with people like Domani & Messiah Harris, who are T.I.’s sons & build lifelong relationships with those 2. I would eventually be able to meet both T.I. & Tiny at Domani’s concert because he does music as well & he’s really dope. The one thing Atlanta has taught is to always show support & love to the ones around you. In Atlanta, we always support one another & wanna see each other succeed no matter what.

 

You recently started up your own label Shah Records. Do you have anyone signed right now or have plans to do so?

Since we are new, I‘m the only artist signed to the label as of now but as I grow as an artist my label is going to grow with me & I plan on signing some talented acts in the future. 

 

A month ago, you dropped a new single called “Kappin’”. How did that come about?

So it‘s basically about the popular phrase used down here in the South which is “cap” & I use a “K” to make the song stand out, also people actually say it with the “K” instead of the “C”. It is another word for people that lie in different situations and we describe that as “cappin.” I just noticed a lot of people in my local area & in the world, in general, they just are lying about so much stuff it’s just really sad to me & describe the different things people lie about in the song.

 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

One of my biggest inspirations in music is Drake. I just like how versatile he is & how he’s a winner in the music industry. I like looking up to winners because that is how you become a winner & get inspired.

 

Can we expect a project from you pretty soon?

As of now I’m just focused on dropping singles & building up that buzz but once I get that attention from the major labels, I‘m going to do a joint venture partnership via Shah Records with one of them & definitely drop my first project after that happens.

 

Our most important question: What is your definition of underground hip hop?

My definition of underground hip hop is music that is the most underrated. I would split hip hop into 3 tiers; that being underground, middle ground, & then mainstream. Underground hip hop really is the foundation of the culture & is where every hip hop artist was in the underground at some point in their career. I also feel like people should start supporting underground hip hop more because it’s the most slept on & watching an artist go from underground to doing big things on the mainstream level is one of the best feelings.

 

Anything else planned for the future?

I have a freestyle called “Shah 2020” dropping really soon & I basically rap about things about me but instead all of the bars are completely off the top of the dome, so I am really excited about dropping that really soon.

 

Lastly, do you have any advice for those trying to set their foot in as recording artists?

Definitely, I always try to give advice to artists & help them out. Some advice I have is staying consistent, understand marketing & start building a strong brand, network & collab with other artists, learn as many skill sets as you can so you won’t have to depend on anyone, invest in yourself & work hard on perfecting your craft, start building your team because having a team is very important, believe in yourself & have the confidence that your music will go places.



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