This is an exclusive interview with the up & coming Stanford alumni, Alvin Allure.
My inspiration for getting into music comes from The Neptunes’ work on Jay Z’s The Black Album. I was listening to “Allure” and the layers to that record sparked something. There was a certain airy, but heavy feel to the instrumental that Jay was able to maneuver so masterfully that just drew me in. There was a certain beauty to it. I wanted to be able to make something that felt like that, even from just a production standpoint. It’s ironic that there was an allure of a song about “the allure of the game”, but that’s what happened. There were other songs that made me want to make music as well, but this one was the biggest one and was kind of the tipping point for that.
Stuck was an interesting record to write. The chorus part came to me first – out of nowhere actually, and I couldn’t get it out of my head for a week. I think that’s when I knew I had something I needed to run with. From there, the rest of the song came from either my own feelings of frustration or conversations I’ve had with friends who were in the middle of a rough patch with their relationship.
Another big piece of inspiration for this song was the idea of being stuck in your old ways and how that can stunt your growth in a relationship. The people that love us can be a catalyst for growth as they push you to move closer to your goals, but at the same time they can also be a catalyst for stagnation. Often times in relationships, we can actually be our own worst enemies, and our old ways can keep us from moving forward even though we say we know better. Insanity has been described as doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results, and there’s nothing that can make a person crazier than being in love.
The beat was actually started on my iPad (using iMaschine 2). Using the chorus lyrics as a launchpad, I created the skeleton of the beat on the iPad, and then fleshed it out on my laptop with the actual Machine hardware/software. From there, I further fleshed out the textures of the beat and some of the mixing in Logic Pro X.
My answer for this is two-fold. First, I feel like it is through creating that humans can be close to God/the universe/a higher power, and it’s our duty to tap into and have that dialogue with that power when we create. The second reason is that artists are a huge influencer of culture – we’re the storytellers, designers, and innovators that push culture forward while building on ideas of the past to add to the story. I think it’s an artist’s duty to add something to the culture.
Pharrell is one of my heroes and one of the main reasons for becoming an artist, so he/The Neptunes would be at the top of my list. I’d also love to work with Timbaland – he’s had a phenomenal career and is a legend at what he does. Working with Cole, Kendrick, Big Sean, The Weeknd, Drake/40/PND would be a great learning experience. As far as artists that are no longer living – I’d say Biggie and J Dilla are top of that list. There are also some newer vocalists that would be dope to collaborate with too – Banks, Tinashe, Alina Baraz, dvsn are just a few, but I’m open to working with artists that want to make an impact with their craft.