This week on Spectrum spotlight, we are highlighting senior Shazal Khan. He is an up and coming rapper who has music on Apple Music, Spotify, and Tidal. You might know him from Twitter, as his account’s musical shares haves amassed over hundreds of likes. Because of this, the Spectrum staff set out to ask him some questions about his burgeoning music career.
Can you explain to us exactly what kinds of music you make, how you make it?
Well, first, there’s two genres. There’s hip-hop/rap and then there’s a little r&b on some songs, it’s mostly just rap. For how I do it, I first just write out some lyrics and get a beat. My cousin is my main producer so he creates the beats. Then he edits because you can’t just release a song, you have to edit it. So write lyrics, create a beat that’s either online or one my cousin makes, then I record it and then just send it to him to edit it. Once it’s done, I release it on SoundCloud where I made my own account.
How did you start making music?
Growing up, I always listened to rap, it was like my automatic genre to listen to, regardless of what mood I was in or what time of day it was. One day, in the beginning of sophomore year, I was just sitting at home and I just started writing lyrics. I had memorized all of the rap song’s lyrics that I listen to so I was just like “why not try writing some lyrics?”
What inspires your music?
It’s a lot of things. I’ve found that for me, it’s really easy to write lyrics compared to other people. A lot of people take a long time to write a good, solid song, but for me, it takes like an hour, max. I think that’s because I have so many ideas. I write about friendship and I write about family. Everyone has their fair share of struggles and that motivates me even more to do something deeper. That’s the best part about it, you can apply it to yourself and go as deep into it as you want to go.
Who do you look up to as an artistic inspiration?
I look up to Eminem. Even though he doesn’t make too much music anymore, I still consistently look up to him and I’ve been listening to him for as long as I can remember. I share a lot of his ideas and emotions, and even though his struggles were huge, I can still find ways to relate to them.
What has been your biggest struggle in making music?
I think it’s the fact that I haven’t pushed myself to edit my own music, so I’m constantly relying on my cousin, or my friends who know how to edit. I’m relying on their time and their schedules to write songs. Like if I wanted to release something tonight, but the person I need to edit my song is not available, I can’t release it.
What has been your biggest achievement in music?
I’m still going, and I’m still young so I’m not expecting any record labels to sign me, but I think my biggest achievement in music was when this past summer, a pretty famous and established music promotion company in LA offered me a promotion deal to get my music out there and exposed to more people. I did not sign with them at this time, because I was not sure if I really wanted to dedicate that much to music but I’m definitely thinking about it.
To check out Shazal’s music, look up @shizzy on Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, and other streaming websites. Have an idea for our next Spectrum Spotlight? Leave it the comments below!