Co-signed by some of UK’s finest talent, Avelino has brought a new level of lyricism to the music game. Known for his word play and unique tone, the North London rapper has already sold out two headline shows and toured with Stormzy.
After creating a joint mixtape with Wretch 32 in 2015, Avelino continues to set pace as one of the sharpest new rap talents.
His latest project, F*ck Your Opinions, has proven that the 23 year old can also stand alone and produce a musical backdrop, combined with honest, quick fire bars.
Although his lyrical ability may leave you pressing the rewind ability multiple times, Avelino is definitely one to watch. We caught up with Avelino before he performed in London for the sold out Young Fire Old Flame show.
Was there a particular moment you knew music was what you wanted to do?
There was no particular moment. Music was always something that I loved. I remember when I started to rap, I was not that good and I had friends that would let me know. That led me to my persistence in trying to be better in the early stages. It was when I started to see peoples reactions, I realized this was something I was good at..
What was like growing up in North London?
Typical story. Good kid mad city. We rappers like to paint a dark picture of where we come from, but there are always good times. It is a nice balance; I wouldn’t change where I grew up. I learned to strive and work harder.
You have a very good relationship with Wretch 32. How long have you known each other?
That sounds romantic [laughs]. Initially, he reached out to me and asked me to come to the studio. He heard a tune that I released back in the day that featured Hurricane Hunt, who is his mate actually. Although he is a lot older than me, we are from the same area but are of different generations so we never came across each other like that, but music bridge the gap. He was fully aware I was someone from his area and wanted to link up and make music which was a big thing for me at the time.
Was the Young Fire, Old Flame project something that happened organically?
I speak to Wretch like every other day and it was one of those things that naturally just happened. We already had a few tunes together and decided to make a mixtape and when the OG calls you answers. We went studio and in two weeks and Young Fire, Old Flame was born.
Where did the name Young Fire, Old Flame come from?
He always calls me Young Fire. So half of the name was there. When we, were making the track, I called him Old Flame because it fit. Even though at the time we . But we was not sure because it makes him kind of sound old. However when you think about it, Old Flame means you are not dying anytime soon. Old flames never die.
How long did it take?
Two or three weeks. It something we recently reflect on. When it comes to collaborative music, all you got to do is do one verse speak about the chorus and it is done. It’s less difficult than it seems The collaborations are the missing jigsaw piece. However because of personal relationships with the artists that feature on it, it was quite simple.
Do you have a favorite song?
In all honesty, I see it as one long song. If you ask my mum, she couldn’t ask that question either.
Is there a particular writing process that works for you the best?
Not really, but there are two types that I probably do depending on the situation. We can either go to the studio and we will be working at the same speed as the producer [pauses], so he is making the production and I am making the raps, so I will go over it there and then so we work in conjunction. Or the other way is writing to an instrumental that a producer has already played and he is chilling because all he has to do is put the instrumental on loop.
Your latest EP is called F*ck Your Opinion, why that title?
[Asks if he can swear and expressively repeats the title] I just analyzed everything going on around me and it was fitting to my life and music. It was the most suited title for what I have discovered and what I have been going through, as I continue to rise and win.
When you released your EP, did you feel pressure to live up to the success of Young Fire, Old Flame?
Not really. They are completely different. Working with Wretch is such a blessing and it just meant that someone may check out my individual projects after hearing me on a joint collaboration. Where as if I did not do the collaborative project with Wretch, the audience might not have been as respectful. It’s a blessing and a opportunity, rather than pressure.
You are known for your wordplay? How does it make you feel?
I just think, I personally value lyricism, and the replay value to be able to listen at different times and have different experiences. My music is like a deep conversation, you have to experience it.
Are there any artists you would like to work with?
I don’t really have that type of goals, but I can tell you who I like. Jay Z will always be one of my favorite rappers of all time. I hold him in high regards. Obviously we all like Drake. I like Jorja Smith; I think she is very important. I also like Raye, Ray Blk, Dave, and Kaytranada. These are basically the people I am listening to at the moment.
What can we expect from you this year?
More music, not sure in what form.
Describe yourself in three words?
Creative, tall, friendly.
Anything you want them to know, that they don’t know already?
I speak French.
Avelino latest EP is available here.