Who Is Maaz Khalifa?

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What is your earliest memory of music?

My earliest memory of music is listening to random Bollywood songs in my dad’s car when I was a kid. Even though I didn’t understand any of the words, the songs were catchy to me.

How much of a musical history do you have in your family?

My family doesn’t have any musical history, but my dad likes to sing random songs fairly often.

Are you the first person to pursue music in your family?

Yes.

What made you fall in love with the genre you make today?

I had a phase in my life where I was trying to figure out my top 10 favorite artists. I would listen to a fairly wide variety of music, and I realized that all my favorite artists were in the genre of Hip-Hop/Rap.

What is your writing and recording process like?

I usually listen to whatever the newest/hottest rap album is out at the moment to gain inspiration from. I type bars into my iPhone notes, and I don’t stop until I have at least 16 lines. I won’t go back and edit what I wrote until I finish at least 16 lines. It takes me around 15 minutes or less. Most of my lyrics are “rated R”, but I feel like if I spent more time on it, I would be able to convey a better message with my lyrics. My recording process involves me screaming into those white apple headphones with the microphone attached. I go into a corner of my bedroom to record. It’s not very soundproof, but it’s the best I can do. Everything is plugged into my computer, and I use GarageBand to mix everything. I’m not very good at it at all, but I try my best.

How has attending the University of Michigan informed your creative process?

I don’t think attending U of M has informed my creative process at all. None of my friends are doing what I’m doing, but I still share whatever I’m working on with them. I appreciate the feedback they give me.

Who was the first person to give you the name Maaz Khalifa?

I got it from my teammates from high school soccer. I was really skinny (still am) and I had a slight mustache. Everyone thought I looked like Wiz Khalifa. His mixtape Cabin Fever was really popping off at the time as well. All the upperclassmen would blast it on the way to soccer games.

Why rap under that and not your government name?

I’ve always used that nickname for everything. Whether it be my Xbox gamertag, my Instagram, or random website usernames. Also, “Khalifa” means successor in Arabic and I feel like it had more meaning than my actual last name.

How did you link up with Affluent and Mula for your song “I Wanna”?

Affluent is a family friend from California. And Mula is a guy I found off Soundcloud.

Who are your top five favorite rappers of all time?

This is a tough one. In no particular order, Biggie, Drake, Lil Wayne, Kanye, Dr. Dre.

Who are the newer artists you like today?

Travis Scott, Quavo, Future, Lil Uzi, Young Thug, Post Malone, NAV, Big Sean

You’ve only put out 2 songs, one being “It’s Maaz Khalifa”, how did you come up with that song?

Me and my friend were freestyling just for fun over random beats on Youtube. I decided to write my lyrics down, record it the next day, and post it on Soundcloud. All just for fun. I had no intention of making money or for the song to gain any popularity. It was only recently that I realized I was making money from Spotify streams. Can’t believe I’ve made almost $100 with a song I made in under an hour. (“I Wanna”).

How many unreleased songs are you sitting on right now?

Like 4 unfinished songs.

Who are your favorite producers?

Metro Boomin and Dr. Dre are my absolute favorites. Some producers that are current;y peaking my interest are Murda Beatz, Beats By Saif, DJ Mustard, Southside, Mike WiLL Made-It, NAV, and London on da track.

What are your thoughts on Nav being the first brown boy to get it popping?

I’m in love with NAV, but I feel like it’s just brown people that like him a lot. I wish he blew up earlier. Can’t wait for Perfect Timing pt. 2. And I can’t believe he helped produce “Back To Back”-Drake.

What are your thoughts on the state of the music industry in 2018?

I think the state of the music industry in 2018 is solid. I feel like a lot of “old heads” aren’t used to hearing mumble rap, so they might think 2018 rap sucks, but in general, I like the direction it’s heading towards. I think it’s kind of tiring to hear a new “Lil [insert name]” rapper come out like every week, so I would say things are getting a little oversaturated, but that just means that rappers have to do whatever it takes to make higher quality music and stand out from the competition. I like how rappers hype up their upcoming projects on social media and put out snippets every once in a while.

What are your goals in music?

My only goal right now is to keep promoting my song without annoying all of my social media followers. I’m currently trying to focus on school and my music isn’t a high priority right now.

What’s next for you?

I am trying to continue to grow my Instagram and give advice to those who want help promoting their music. I’ve learned a bunch of different tactics through my year long music “career”. I may not have the free time to make my own music, but I hopefully will have enough time to help others with their music careers.

Listen to “I Wanna” and follow him on Instagram.

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