On The Couch is a series where our Crew boys speak to a guest on a figurative couch for a quick chat.
Known to be one of Malaysia’s most prominent rappers, Kartel Records artist, Altimet aka Ahmad Alhadad has just released his new album Kotarayaku. The Emcee who also hails from the legendary Teh Tarik Crew (TCC) shares with ShiGGa Shay the story behind the title of his brand new album.
Why the name “Kotarayaku” for your new album?
It’s the title of one of the tracks on the album. It also reflects the amount of songs I’ve written since my first album in 2008. If each song was a building I’ve built, it’ll be a figurative city when (they are all) put together. If you visit a city, you won’t take pictures of all the buildings in it, just the notable ones.
So this album has what my label (Kartel Records) and I feel are the 11 most notable ‘buildings’.
What can we expect from this new album?
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Regular Altimet stuff. A lot of different influences, like my last album and all the Teh Tarik Crew albums. I listen to all kinds of music. It comes through in the different rhythms and genres I mix into Hip-Hop in this album.
Who’s your favourite emcee right now, and why?
I gotta pick just one?! Tinie Tempah. I like his latest album and how it’s progressed from the previous one. ‘Demonstration’ is a solid body of work. I also like Pusha T, J Cole, Joell Ortiz, Pro Green, Plan B and Wale. They all have good albums out recently.
Speaking of Tinie Tempah, what are your general sentiments of UK Hip-Hop as a whole?
I’ve been a fan of UK Hip-Hop since the late 90s. Acts like Mud Family, Blak Twang, Roots Manuva, etc. I think they offer something different from US Hip-Hop. Their philosophy of making their music is uniquely UK even when their genre originated from the US. (That) is something I adopted. That’s why my crew is called Teh Tarik and my name is spelled that way, not Ultimate.
How would you define your lyrical style?
Everyday words. Whatever it is, I talk about, I use regular everyday-type words.
How would you describe your working relationship with the fellow artistes of Kartel Records?
I’m a team player; I was in a group before. All the Kartel artists know that I’m on hand to help them whenever and with anything as long as I’m able to. Sometimes, it’s vocals. Sometimes, (it’s) just lyrics. Sometimes, (they just need) an opinion on what they’re working on. It’s dope. When Joe (Flizzow) asked me to get on Havoc, he said 2 words: “Kill it”.
So, that’s what I did. Heh…
You’ve worked with several producers & beatmakers. Who has been your favourite? How has each of them contributed to the ‘Altimet’ sound?
I gotta pick just one?! Omar K. Cos he’s not traditionally a Hip-Hop beatmaker/ producer. So we learned a lot from each other.
I like my creative freedom and working in a team. So when I’m working with someone, I give them their creative space and i get my space. (While) there’s also an overlapping degree of overlap, there’s an amount of trust cos I let them do their thing on my song. That’s cool cos I do my research and try to pick the best person possible for the job. There’s always a lot of discussion on the song and what we want out of it.
So they have significant contribution to the Altimet sound. But it’s cool cos I work with some dope guys.
What do you think contributed to the success of your previously released single “Kotarayaku”?
A couple of factors. One being that KL-ites can relate to the lyrics. It’s got a nice melody in the chorus. The way the song is produced and arranged didn’t take away from these 2 things.
What would be your kicks of choice, and why?
Converse Chuck Taylors. Goes with (almost) everything. Less is more.
Who would be one artist you would want to work with, dead or alive?
Farid Ali. He plays Latin Jazz on a gambus. Look him up.