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Hip-hop singer/songwriter August Alsina recently visited The Recording Academy's headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., to participate in an exclusive GRAMMY.com interview. Alsina discussed his musical beginnings, collaborating with GRAMMY winner Chris Brown on the remix of "I Luv This S***" and staying true to himself on his debut studio album, Testimony, among other topics.
"Always stand 100 with yourself. If you're 100 with yourself, everybody else in the world — [they] don't have a choice but to receive that," said Alsina. "I'm just giving you every piece of me and … you accept that or you don't."
Born in New Orleans, Alsina began posting performance videos on YouTube at age 14 to escape the harsh realities of his home life. In 2012 he released his debut mixtape, The Product, which subsequently led to a deal with Def Jam Recordings. Alsina followed with another mixtape, 2013's The Product 2, and an eight-track EP, Downtown: Life Under The Gun, which peaked at No. 14 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart on the strength of the breakout single "I Luv This S***" featuring rapper Trinidad James. In 2013 Alsina collaborated with Brown and GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter Trey Songz on a remix of "I Luv This S***," which XXL Magazine dubbed an "epic R&B trio."
Released on April 15, Testimony features 15 tracks, including collaborations with GRAMMY-nominated rappers B.o.B ("Numb"), Fabolous ("Grind & Pray/Get Ya Money"), Rick Ross ("Benediction"), Pusha T ("FML"), and Young Jeezy ("Make It Home"), among others.
Alsina is currently in the midst of a U.S. tour, with select dates scheduled through July.
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