American Idol Alum Asia'h Epperson Talks Def Jam Deal, Mixtape
Exclusive: While he wasn't able to sign her at age 16, L.A. Reid reportedly jumped at the chance to get this songstress who's reworking Bone Thugs-N-Harmony songs on her Don Cannon mixtape.
What happens with you take a big time American Idol from small Joplin, Missouri add in a world famous maestro of R&B and sign her to Def Jam? The result is none other than Asia’h Epperson. There’s more to Asia’h than having her Idol moment of fame and she knows the difference. Speaking recently with HipHopDX, Asia'h explained, “There was so much before [American Idol]. I had my first artist development deal at the age of 14, so I’ve been working on my music for a really long time. Being on Idol actually was a great stepping stone because it gave me the obvious exposure I needed. It’s really no difference because I’ve always worked hard, I just work a lot harder now. Whether I’m on a TV show or not, it’s still a competition because people are still going to judge you based on your performance." She continued that Def Jam wasn't simply interested in capitalizing off of Asia'h's built-in Fox fans. "I didn’t get scooped up right away I basically performed the entire year and perfected my craft.”
Although middle America may have cast their vote, Asia'h's Deal With It mixtape shows a harder side of things. Host/deejay Don Cannon holds things down as the Midwestern singer is able to prove herself once more. “The statement that I was trying to make with this project was really wrapped around the fact that either you’re going to like my music, or you wont but it’s coming and it’s not going anywhere so deal with it," she told DX. "My music is honest and self-explanatory it is what it is. My favorite tracks are 'Stick Up,' it’s for the ladies something they can move to and dance. I also like 'Out of Time,' where I sampled Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s '1st Of The Month.' It’s a really great record." She added, "Lastly I love the title track 'Deal With It,' which relates to if you love a person than you will deal with whatever you have to in order to make the relationship work."
Asia'h believes that it takes soul to make quality Soul. "My music is always personal with each record. You will definitely see that with my mixtape and upcoming album. The mixtape was fun for me to do and shows my versatility as an artist. It’s a lot of raw emotion, passion, and triumph.”
The Joplin native is not having to take a traditional freshmen approach either. She’s been fortunate enough to work with one of the best songwriters of our era, Babyface. Asia’h told DX how that incredible team was formed. “After he saw me on American Idol, he called me and wanted to work together. As soon as my Idol contract was up I went to meet him in Atlanta and then we went to L.A. because it was important to learn our chemistry and how we would record together. Once we got to L.A., the rest is history, as they say. We started working from that point and making beautiful music. Working with him is amazing and we definitely put a lot of pressure on each other because it’s like having two crazy creative minds together making it work.”
With musical influences like Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Toni Braxton, Asia'h admires the enduring songstress in the genre. She has already faced turbulence in her life and managed to step over boulders like pebbles. If nothing else than Asia’h wants to people to know this about her: “Perseverance is everything, because I don’t except the concept of the word 'no.' there is no other options and that’s all there is. I have to keep going. I will never ever let a person tell me that this isn’t what I’m supposed to be doing because that’s happened before so many times. I walked into L.A. Reid’s office when I was 16 and he didn’t sign me, but when I walked in there at the age of 20, he couldn’t sign me fast enough. I worked hard to get to where I’m at. I went on American Idol, I landed at Def Jam, and I plan to work even harder to get to the next level. I just want to world to be prepared. I have a huge responsibility to fulfill my purpose and I’m going to make sure that people are inspired by what I do with my music and my story. I’m ready because there’s a big thing.”
Listen to "Daddy's Song" by Asia'h.