Alwa Gordon performs some of his new Audibles-produced material this weekend at Bargetto Winery’s music series.
Things are falling into place for Alwa Gordon. The Aptos-based rapper just returned from Las Vegas with three professionally produced hip hop tracks by Grammy-nominated production team the Audibles. Not only did he not pay a cent for them, he was flown out by the record label Future Music to make the recordings and sent home with the tracks free and clear.
“They gave me clearance on all the tracks, which are worth well over $30,000. It’s ridiculous to even think about,” Gordon says.
The owners of Future Music are well-established names behind the scenes in the hip hop world. Jason Boyd, also known as MDMA, has written such singles as “Caught Up” and “Superstar” for Usher and “She Ain’t You” and “I Can Transform Ya” for Chris Brown. The Audibles, which serves as Future Music’s production team, has produced such hit singles as “Girl I Got You” by Young Money and “Turn It Up” by Mishon.
There was no argument about whether Gordon was a good enough rapper. The real test was to see how serious he was about making it in music.
“They gave me the music to see what I could do with it in Santa Cruz. Based off of that, they’re going to see if they want to keep working with me and actually sign me,” Gordon says.
He has big plans to show his value to Future Music. He’s got a video shoot in the works. He’s already talked to Bay Area radio stations WiLD 94.9 and KMEL about getting radio play. He is has a Twitter campaign in mind. Meanwhile he’s been booking lots of live shows and performing.
“I just want it to be a wave of everything. What I’m shooting for is around July when we should see everything hit. I want to solidify my buzz in California before I head over to Vegas,” Gordon says.
Gordon, who Santa Cruz Weekly readers may recognize from his appearance in the 2011 fashion issue, has already decided how he’ll use the three tracks. He’s starting by shooting a video for the track “Do Me Like That,” which is a soft, radio-friendly jam. If the video gets enough attention online, then it’ll be that much easier to achieve his main goal—get it on the radio. If that happens, he’ll follow it up with “Enough,” an upbeat R & B track which features singer Slim, from 112.
Gordon has a different plan for the rump-shaking dance track, “Fuckin’ With Me.” He’s going to try to get that one popular in the clubs.
Future Music first learned about Gordon from his cousin, who owns a radio station in Vegas. Gordon would call her on occasion to convince her to play his music on the air.
“She wouldn’t really take me serious until I actually sent her a copy of my CD The 11th Hour. She liked it. So she put one on the radio,” Gordon says.
She also passed the CD on to the guys from Future Music. They liked it too.
“My cousin told me what they liked about it was I wasn’t trying to be like every other rapper, talking about money and hos and stuff. They also told her that they think I have raw talent that hasn’t been corrupted yet,” Gordon says.
Despite being self-produced, The 11th Hour has some well-crafted beats with an overall smooth production value. It is on one hand a fun party album, but it’s also packed with lots of heartfelt personal confessions.
“It details my life from 20 to 21, when all I wanted to do was party and have fun, but I ended up getting kicked out of my house because I wasn’t being responsible. I ended up living on my friend’s couch. You have half ‘I just really want to party’ and half reality hitting you,” Gordon says.
Currently Gordon is working on a new mixtape called The Rise of the King, which is chronicling everything he’s going through now.
“As my buzz gets bigger and I start to get noticed by labels like this, it details some of the things I see about the industry,” Gordon says.
Saturday, June 16 at 5pm
Bargetto Winery, 3535 North Main St., Soquel