Ahsan: We’re Lovin’ This Soul Man
By: Lynn Barker
When we heard Ahsan’s amazing soulful voice on YouTube belting out the classic “Who’s Loving You”, like millions of other listeners, we were like “Who IS that guy?”
Ahsan has signed with Interscope records and the Newark, New Jersey teen from the projects is now in Los Angeles recording his first album and singing at city schools.
Ahsan credits classic soul and R&B men like Stevie Wonder and Frankie Lymon for inspiring him to get a slot in his church choir at age five! By age eight, he’d decided to pursue singing as a career. His godfather Don Richardson, who had a deal with Def Jam records as a kid, made sure the teen’s talent got noticed.
On a break from recording his first album and going on a tour of L.A. schools, Ahsan checked in with Kidzworld.
Kidzworld: So have you been touring L.A. area schools and singing? How has that been so far?
- Ahsan: Yeah, yesterday was my first one. It worked out well. They loved me.
Kidzworld: Your voice blew us away on YouTube. Was that your birthday on the YouTube video? What did you get in the box?
- Ahsan: Oh, that was a gift from my label Interscope and it was Beats headphones.
Kidzworld: Nice! Who are those older guys playing basketball with you in the video, cousins, older bros??
- Ahsan: That was the A&R guy (Artists and Repertoire) for the label, part of my record family.
Kidzworld: How did Interscope Records find you? Did your godfather Don Richardson help you?
- Ahsan: They saw me by me singing on a voicemail and right after that Interscope was like “Don, who is that? We’ve gotta get him here today. Come on!”
Kidzworld: You auditioned for your church choir at age five? That’s really young. Do you remember that? Do you remember the first song you tried to sing?
- Ahsan: Yes, I did that. I was five years old and the first song was (he sings) “Livin’ My Life Like It’s Golden”.
Kidzworld: Is your whole family musical? Did you just grow up with it all around you?
- Ahsan: Yes in fact on my dad’s side, everybody sings in the whole family.
Kidzworld: Are you sticking with R&B and Soul? I hope you don’t go all “pop” on us. You are a soul man!!
- Ahsan: Not going there. I have a ballad I’ve recorded that you haven’t heard yet.
Kidzworld: What music was playing in your house as you grew up?
- Ahsan: Stevie Wonder, Frankie Lymon, Michael Jackson when he was a kid and the older Michael and more.
Kidzworld: Which bands or artists are you into right now?
- Ahsan: Always Michael and those people I named. I’m still listening to them. I like Adele and John Legend now. I would love to collab on a song with Stevie Wonder.
Kidzworld: Besides covering some great standard hits, are you writing your own music? What’s your songwriting process like?
- Ahsan: Yeah. I’ll write one or two lines to get started. How I do it is I make up a melody (he sings a really nice melody that we haven’t heard) then I record the melody with no words. Then I listen to that, then I write words to it.
Kidzworld: You make it sound so easy but a lot of people can’t do that. Let’s get a teeny bit personal. What is your pet dating peeve?
- Ahsan: I hate conceited girls so that won’t work. Don’t be looking in the mirror all the time.
Kidzworld: What would you like to say to young music lovers out there as to why they should get into your music?
- Ahsan: I think they should get into my music. It relates to young people and also older people. Well, even middle-aged people can groove to my music.
Kidzworld: When can we expect this album or at least a single from it?
- Ahsan: Probably late fall or early 2013. No name for it yet but might call it “Back to Soul”.
Kidzworld: I’m for that!
Have Your Say
Do you listen to Ahsan? Let us know in the comments below!