“If he said you were the one
Now would you kiss him
If he said that y’all were done
Would you dis him”
The A.S.A. Project, an eclectic hip hop/pop trio comprised of Spazz on vocals, Reelo on vocals and production and DJ/Producer Turnip Gawd, release their vibrant new single, “Little Lady.” This catchy song will get you dancing for sure. The bright, happy Reelo produced track, with its bouncy keyboard sounds, will appear on their forthcoming self-titled album due out late this spring. In “Little Lady,” a song that belongs on the radio, A.S.A. sing of modern love and it’s pertinent expression through instagram flexin’, notifications and follows/unfollows. They are clever with it and their standout voices shine in the dope pop song. This is their first single from the project other than a recent video introduction. The group, who rep PVTSTCK, have been going hard in 2016, they dropped the OH! What A Place! EP just a couple months ago. For more on the group, read our email interview below and know that there’s always something awesome coming from the A.S.A Project.
Photos by Bryan Allan Lamb
Can you give me a little background on each member?
Spazz: From the Southside of Chicago, 22, currently attending Marquette University
Reelo: From the Northside of Chicago, 21
Turnip Gawd: I grew up surrounded by music. My mom was a drummer in a all girl Latina band. My dad’s side is the more musical side. My grandpa played in a band and taught my dad and uncle about music. My dad is also in a latin band til this day. My dad refused to let me pursue music until I was in high school and decided to teach myself piano and how to produce. Then I met my friends (Reelo and Spazz) and decided to go this direction. Now my dad does support the music and helps in any way he can. I was in college, but decided music is what I want to pursue so I dropped out to work and focus on music. I am planning to go back to school for audio engineering. I am from the Northside of Chicago (Logan Square), I’m 19.
I hear several different genres in your music, are each of you bringing different and specific inspirations to the collective? Who did you grow up listening to?
We first and foremost enjoy having fun when creating music and create with completely open minds. We don’t intend to create certain things, these things just happen. Subconsciously we intend to genre bend when creating music from many of our music influences. We all grew up listening to very different styles of music. For example, Spazz grew up listening to punk rock and different styles of Hip Hop/Rap such as N.E.R.D which he also drafted his name from his favorite N.E.R.D song titled: “Spazz”. Another example of how different our music tastes are, Reelo grew up listening to R&B & Spanish music such as 112, Jagged Edge, Rakim Y Ken-Y, and Ricky Martin but as far as hiphop and rap music go, he was a big DMX and Three 6 Mafia fan as a kid as well. Last but not least our DJ Turnip Gawd grew up listening to almost everything from Old School house to latin music (bachata, merengue, salsa, reggaeton, etc.) to metal rock to punk rock and alternative and even to rap/hip hop. Marc Anthony was definitely a household favorite. There was a wide range of artists that Turnip grew up listening to.
What are three words you’d use to describe your upcoming project?
Always Something Awesome
Any particular goals for The A.S.A. Project album?
This project is and has been something very special to us. The A.S.A. Project is our debut album and a reintroduction of our new sound, and image of our group. As far as goals go, we expect this album to really keep people on their toes and expand our fan base and network because all of this music and this new sound is something no one is expecting because it’s a big leap in difference from our older music but we want to let the public know that now we are here, and we are here to stay!
Any features or production collabs on the project?
As far as features go, we have a very small amount of features and collaborations on this album. The artists and collaborators you can expect to hear on our album would be: Producer IKON from PVTSTCK, vocalist Rebecca Brunner, vocalist Stormy English, guitarist Jameson Brenner from Zaramela, and our close friend guitarist Oscar Gonzalez is on a very special song to us that closes out the album.
I’ve seen lately in Chicago, that it’s hard to keep a group together! How do you all manage any differences within the group and navigate directions that you may independently want to pursue, but that the other two members might not be feeling?
As a group we have never had trouble compromising with each other. We have a big brother, little brother relationship where we each push each other to become better at what we do and continue growing. At times we do bump heads but at the end of the day, we all want to see each other win equally.
What are your thoughts on the value of collaboration?
Collaboration is very important, as the saying goes: 3 dummies is better than 1 lol. Collaboration brings a lot of great things because you’re not just combining ideas from one person, you have other minds filled with all great ideas and when you bring many good ideas together you get something very magical – THE A.S.A PROJECT!
Anything you’ve learned along the way that you’d care to share with artists earlier in their career development?
This industry takes a lot out of you as a creative but keep pushing, stay positive, and keep everything 100% authentic. ALSO, you must work very hard and be very patient.
Where did you record?
We recorded almost the entire album inside of Reelo’s home studio located in his grandma’s basement. It doesn’t get any more organic than that… We feel that played a major key *DJ KHALED VOICE* in creating the album and capturing a sound that we feel just cannot be recreated anywhere else. We recorded a record, “Bon Voyage” on the album at PVTSTCK Studios and also recorded a few verses there. We finished a couple edits of songs and verses in Milwaukee, WI. at Spazz’s apartment there.
Shoutout to everyone doing what they love, KEEP GOING!
I asked the A.S.A. Project to list a few of their favorites things:
Album: Man On The Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager
Bands: Blink 182
Vocalists: Kid Cudi
Rappers: Meek Mill
Producers: Turnip Gawd, Reelo
Chicago based musicians: Saba
Books: Pedagogy of Freedom by Paulo Freire
Video Game: NBA 2K13
Fav Chicago spots or restaurants: The Nite Cap
Album: 112 “Pleasure & Pain” and Panic! At The Disco “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out”
Bands: Panic! At The Disco, Jagged Edge
Vocalists: Brendon Urie, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Drake, Blackbear, Justin Bieber
Rappers: Drake, Rockie Fresh
Producers: As a producer it’s sort of weird that I don’t really have any “favorite” producers, but I do have some friends of mine who make some hot production… The homies Ikon & Flex Lennon from PVTSTCK
Chicago based musicians: Saba, Spazz, Mick Jenkins
Books: Not much of a reader, but books that I enjoyed reading as a kid were The Captain Underpants books lol
Movies: Not much of a movie watcher but one of my favorites would be Taken
Video Game: Madden, NBA 2K…, anyone let me know if you wanna get busted lol (Xbox One)
Album: Kanye West’s 808s and Heartbreak, Taking Back Sunday’s Louder Now
Bands: Taking Back Sunday, The Airborne Toxic Event, Kids These Day, Nirvana
Vocalists: PartyNextDoor, Blackbear, Mike Posner, Marc Anthony
Rappers: Kanye West, Drake, Chance, Kid Cudi, Kendrick Lamar
Producers: Timbaland, Pharrell
Chicago based musicians: Chance The Rapper, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Vic Mensa, Saba
Books: The Outsiders, Places and Spaces I’ve Been
Movies: Superbad, This Is The End
Video Game: Fallout, The Division, 2K, Mario Party (any mario game really)
Fav Chicago spots or restaurants: No favorites, too many great spots in our city!