Let us lead you astray and sink into the sounds of the OFFSHORE.
Sometimes the best things are brewing on the outskirts, far from the big cities’ noise and unnecessary pressure. English-Cypriot rapper A!MS (pronounced Aims) has made a detour from the mainstream highway straight into the less frequented path laid with patchwork-like influences, from Mediterranean culture and South London sounds to Jamaican beats. Out of that journey, OFFSHORE was born, a debut album and collection of all the landmarks and peaks in the rapper’s career so far. Even though A!MS thrives on the periphery, it’s about time to make him a centre of attention.
Playing the industry game for a while now, A!MS had finally found a fanbase for his easy-flowing R&B meets hip-hop mix when landing number one on iTunes pre-orders with ‘OFFSHORE’ and, later, over 10 million streams. No wonder that the project adheres to everyone’s tastes as it has been perfected in the preparation for a while now. The recipe for it is simple. You need perseverance, hard work, life experience and a lil dash of a special secret ingredient called talent. Lucky, A!MS has it in abundance and it shows on the record. From a tropical vibes enticing number, ‘OG Life (Offshore)’, an Afro-swing dancehall beat-breaker featuring reggae superstar Julian Marley, Projexx, AV Allure and produced by Cool and Dre ‘Honor’, to clubs-serving ‘Diablo’, the rapper’s stays on the roll.
We got served a fine musical mix but A!MS won’t happily stay there. According to him, it’s only a scratch on the surface. Energised by ever-present hype and love as a response to his new record and inspired by his daughter to fight for the right to live his dream, the rapper sits down with us to tell us how to abolish the messed-up system and prepare the musical battlefield for independent artists to shoot their guns. Armed in good intentions and high hopes for the future, we’re facing forward with A!MS…
What can we expect from OFFSHORE?
For one, expect one of the most exotic sounds you will find in hip hop, we fuzed our Mediterranean culture with our south London sound, with contributors and features from Jamaican and other Caribbean regions, Africa, Middle Eastern, and US influences, we more than local, we global, it is a great introduction to start the journey to discover #whoisaims and the debut album scratches the surface of that as I am literally “Offshore” on the island of Cyprus since the pandemic hit…
What inspired you to create your new album?
I’ve been involved in music my whole life, it’s all I know, from the production, to the creation, to the DJing, to the parties, being around music is all I know, the time felt right with the introduction of my A!MS brand to give my current fans and the new fans that will hopefully discover us a first look at the diversity, accuracy, and vibe of our Mediterranean sound system, the core inspiration behind the album was my daughter who inspires me daily, hence why the album is so smooth, to match the melodic, silky vibe of my daughter Melody who happens to be the executive producer of the album, that is a wholesome feeling that words cannot describe.
What do you envision the future of music to look like?
I believe more subgenres will arise, I have a feeling there will be music for gamers, music for real life, music for digital life, what I am hoping will happen is that we do not end up in the current state where music has been stuck creatively but I believe it’s largely due to the pandemic. Regardless I know what I envision our music to sound and look like, and it will remain, unique, exotic, and timeless, we have many connoisseurs of music who are growing stronger, fans who are millionaires and billionaires who will use the NFT world to help support and grow what they believe in, we will forever have the mainstream, let’s just hope it does not lose touch with the real world though because I feel the point of labels and A&R’s is starting to become irrelevant as other people decide what get’s playlisted and what doesn’t so an A&R does not have the same power they used to, that’s why success stories are becoming less and less and lasting less and less as well, our sound system will look into the long run, long term type of music which will deem the “now” to be irrelevant.
What is one change you’d love to make to the industry?
Well for one, equality, we are living in a time that everyone is fighting for their right to live their dreams, aim, and achieve, and we are constantly being delivered messages with pin-up “role models” that all is possible. It’s the matrix, an illusion, if anything, if you have a massive audience and you are backed by a major label that means you need less support than let’s say a debut album from an independent artist, therefore the DSPS should have more spaces for the music that needs to be discovered. However, it works opposite, you still know a failed Drake album will fail at number one at the charts, whereas a new talented artist with a unique project will get no attention, unless the people demand it, which means it was not supported by the “system”. Independent artists who do not have big budgets and machines of major labels should have more playlist support as they work harder with less to give the world art, we make art but the system is a business, business and art will never mix but it is what it is the truth always prevails.
"Regardless I know what I envision our music to sound and look like, and it will remain, unique, exotic, and timeless..."
If you could collaborate with any musician in the future, who would it be and why?
I worked with Julian Marley on this album. I value the Marley legacy and the family highly so I would love to do something with Damian Marley, I would also love to work with Pharell, Dr. Dre, Khaled, as I feel part of their legacy inspired my more business orientated side… Oh and how could I forget my favourite person in music Jay Z of course! What a G!
Where would be your dream venue to play?
The Colosseum in Italy, a true warriors battleground! Would love to re-ignite that monument, but yea, I feel the renaissance type of ancient monuments would be my ideal locations, even the Parthenon in Greece etc!
Who are you betting on for future stardom?
Myself, my label, my artists, and my daughter… We got this! It’s more than music, it’s a way of life…
Where do you hope to be in the next year?
Very healthy and wealthy! In many more charts across the world, in the speakers, ears, and minds of the new generation, and on some of the coolest beaches of the planet because I really really missed travelling, but I feel blessed that I am on this beautiful sunny island during this horrible pandemic.
The next 5 years?
Well for sure same as above but alongside my other artists, and my daughter who will be 9 and I am sure will have me under her total domination by then, and I would love to see my whole team comfortable, satisfied, and happy, they all work so hard, and sometimes it’s even more tiring as they do not get to enjoy what we the artists get from this, they just deal with the constant stress, honestly I am not A!MS the team and people like yourselves are A!MS who allow my brand to grow and my fans and supporters who spread the word and enjoy our music.
Follow A!MS on Instagram here and press play on Offshore below now.