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Rising Stars: Meet Alle (Ah-lay)

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alle (Ah-lay).

Hi Alle (Ah-lay), we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Growing up in mid-city Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to be surrounded by an ensemble of different kinds of people and neighborhoods. Through grade school, I spent most of my time between Hancock Park and the now notorious Melrose district. During the school year, day-to-day life was structured and focused around academics. For recreation, I played sports, predominately basketball. I had many interests but with foreign West African parents from Senegal and Togo, school was the only serious topic of conversation. I had early aspirations of doing something artistic but completely ignored any inclination to try and pursue the arts. I always loved music and fashion and that was something that showed effortlessly. When summertime came around, I hung out with my older brother Paomar and his friends which had me grow up slightly faster than my peers. We ran the streets but never did anything truly troublesome. Surprisingly, we had the trust of our parents to explore. Those are times I wish I could get back they were filled with adventure and really opened my eyes to the city. Transitioning into my teenage years, I played basketball for my first two years of high school. I fell out of love with the pursuit of playing once it was no longer joyous, which is a deep regret of mine. The next two years were spent somewhat aimless. I respected my academics a bit more than usual but was unhappy overall.

Throughout it all, I enjoyed listening to music and truly used it as a form of escapism but also as a point of reflection. My passion for sneakers and clothing grew immensely even though I could hardly afford to purchase them on a regular basis. When my senior year of high school came to a close, I had managed to receive a few academic scholarships to aid in my pursuit of a college degree. Whenever I discuss my college years, I always express that the degree I pursued was out of ignorance and lack of direction. I declared myself as a kinesiology major but truly had no care for the field. I was miserable and absolutely loathed going to school. If I remember correctly my second year of college, I got into a car accident. This accident had shown me how fickle life really was. It was during this period of time that I knew I needed to go after the things that mattered to me unapologetically. I had an itch to write so I began to write. Those writings became raps. I approached my brother who had been making music for a little over four years at the time about making music myself. He thought I was just talking like most do when they are caught between a rock and a hard place but I was serious. Once I proved my dedication to him, he and I found ourselves investing in equipment to record songs. Paomar spent countless hours teaching himself how to engineer adequately enough for us to confidently release music. I had intentions of dropping out of college but ultimately toughed it out and got my bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. After graduating amidst a pandemic, I started a clothing line “All(£) Is Good”. Since the inception of both my music and clothing, I can say that I’m content with the strides that I have made to grow.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has not been a smooth ride. There has been a lot of trial and error. There is no clear path when you’re trying to create your own lane in heavily saturated industries. However, I have been fortunate to cross paths and forge relationships with individuals who are willing to give a helping hand. When you are doing something like this on an independent level knowing where to start and what to adjust along the journey is difficult. In my case, I had my brother as my personal GPS he has helped me skip certain obstacles that an upcoming artist may have to deal with. While he is not immensely further along in his career, he is extremely valuable if not, the most valuable person besides me. When I needed to record, he learned how to engineer. Then he introduced me to a dope dude by the name of Twiz the Beatpro who aided in the recording process. So, to answer the question precisely, the struggle that I have encountered that is most notable is, finding people who genuinely care about their respected crafts. People spend a lot of time talking about what they are going to do but rarely do they seriously know what it takes to achieve those very aspirations they conceive.

Furthermore, they are more so interested in the optics of things rather than the work ethic required before the glamor presents itself. Personal struggles I have dealt with have been my worry of falling into the stereotype of being another black young man that wants to rap to change his life. Once I conquered that obstacle the struggles matured into how I could actually create a living doing what I love. Music does not pay immediately. At least for how I am going about shaping my career. Questions began to reach the surface such as, “How will I market myself?”, “What makes me different?” What I came to find out is that the answers to those questions change continuously as I continue my journey. The struggles I have encountered with making clothes have been more so the production aspect rather than the vision. To put it simply making clothes is expensive. But as I continue to get older and older, it makes more sense to try and be successful at things I love instead of playing it safe and pursuing things that I dislike.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a recording artist and clothing designer. I make hip-hop and design streetwear. I would say that I’m known for both since my brand and music coincide with one another. At this moment, I’m most proud of seeing how far I have come in both industries. I’m doing two things that I never seriously thought I’d be doing. Seeing friends and strangers listen to my music or wear my clothes and connect with it has to be one of the most heartwarming feelings. I make music and clothes for myself first and foremost, but when someone else appreciates what I do, I’m elated and overjoyed. At this point, I would say that what sets me apart from others is the simple fact that I do what I say I am going to do. More recently and old co-worker of mine messaged me and said “yo you’re doing everything you said you would. I’m proud of you!” It may seem like a small moment but it let me know that I was ultimately being true to myself and that I was not wasting time. To be frank, I do not think I am any more extraordinary than the next person. What I do know is that I embrace a challenge and do my best to get what I want with integrity and love. The overarching theme of all that I do is centered around the idea of unity.

Are there any books, apps, podcasts or blogs that help you do your best?
Currently, I use the popular social media platforms, mainly Instagram and Twitter. For content creation apps, I use Instories, Videoshop, along with Adobe Creative Cloud. I use Logic Pro to make music. I enjoy listening to NPR to keep up with the current happenings of the world. I am not an avid podcast listener but I do enjoy Gimlet and the different genres they are willing to shed light on. I have found myself watching the Joe Rogan podcast every so often. My favorite book up to date may have to be “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. For avid book readers, this is probably the popular book to say but reading this book was really a page turner. It had been years since I had picked up a book that truly got my attention. For vanity and inspirational purposes, I follow a plethora of sneaker and fashion blogs, sites, and pages. The ones that come to mind immediately are Sneaker News and Aimé Leon Dore.

Pricing:

  • Tees: $45-$55
  • Hoodies :$70-$80
  • Bottoms: $60-$80
  • Headwear: $48-$65

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

Branden Marshall Sammani Frazier Devin Walker Tyler Miyagishima

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