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Absolem - T'as perdu

Red Bull PURE

Lyna

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What does the name ‘Toxcity’ mean, for people who are not from Liège?

\n\n\n\n

“Other than the title for my two latest releases, Toxcity is the nickname of my city, Liège. It’s a reference to its often-dodgy reputation as a place filled with vices and drugs. It may seem derogative, but we wear that name with pride! As I’m based in Brussels now, representing my hometown has become even more important. Liège is the most active city in Wallonia. It has always been known as a breeding ground for underground rappers, but now more and more prolific artists are emerging. I really hope the best for all of us”!

\n\n\n\n

Since we are talking about names, where does ‘Absolem’ come from?

\n\n\n\n

Absolem is the name of that caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland. When I was a kid, I was obsessed with the cartoon, and I could watch it over and over again. My big brother once called me Absolem during a session, and the name stuck with me (laughs).

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You are part of the Hesytap Squad. What have you learned from working in this group?

\n\n\n\n

“Hesytap Squad is the first (and only) rap group I’ve ever been a part of. We’ve been rapping together since we were teenagers. We started out with Sly and me, with Icaro behind the decks. Later, other talent joined us, and the collective grew into more than just a rap group. Hesytap represents our rap upbringing in the streets, the open mics and concerts we organized, which first materialized in my debut project ‘Pression’ (which features Roméo Elvis, ed). I learned so much throughout these years, collecting so many memories I’m very fond of. A special mention goes out to the track ‘Time’, in which I’m joined by Sly and Venlo. This track is so special to me, and it represents the family! Long live Hesytap Squad and Venlo”!

\n\n\n\n

You work a lot with Venlo. If you could steal one of his qualities, what would it be? And the other way around: what are you better at?

\n\n\n\n

“What I envy about Venlo is his dreamy, and carefree side. I’m more the type to stay connected to reality, overthinking things, while Venlo – in my opinion – just lets things happen! On the other hand, he might envy me for the opposite reason. That’s why we complement each other with each other’s qualities”. 

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Who or what are your biggest influences?

\n\n\n\n

“Man, I’ve really listened to so much rap in my life, so it’s hard to mention only a few! The first artists that had an impact on me would be Oxmo Puccino, Busta Flex and Disiz La Peste. Right now, I think Niro and GrosMo are really on top of their game. As for US rap, I love Schoolboy Q, the A$AP Mob, Gunna, and so many others. Musically, I’m very open and receptive to any type of music, so I listen to a lot of other things too of course”.

\n\n\n\n

You are a very versatile rapper: making both harder trap, as well as rhythmic African or R&B-influenced tracks. Do you need that freedom to do whatever style you want?

\n\n\n\n

“I’m glad you noticed! When I’m in the studio making music with my producer Dee Eye - especially for my two Toxcity EP’s - we didn’t ask ourselves any of these questions. We experience music the way we like at that moment, and I like experimenting with new genres as much as I love to rap. And in the end, even though I have a rap background, I always get a lot of positive feedback when I take risks. I’m especially excited to see that people are open-minded and receptive of a bit of originality. It may not be the easiest path, but we do it for ourselves first and foremost”!

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Absolem - Toxcity Part 1 and 2 are out now on all digital platforms. Follow Absolem on Facebook, Instagram and Spotify to stay updated.

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In this brand new video series, we're shining a light on some of Belgium's freshest new talents. This time around, we're taking things a little differently. With only the guidance of one analogue instrument, the artist performs a stripped-down version of a track of their choice. Simply put: it's back to basics - songwriting laid bare in its purest form.

When Lyna uploaded her acoustic covers of famous pop tracks on YouTube as a teenager, little did she know she would soon become one of Belgium's most exciting new voices in the music scene. After a third place in the Chase (Best New Urban) category at the most recent Red Bull Elektropedia Awards, she dropped a well-received debut album Lemon Haze that showed off her playful versatility. The 21-year old from Leuven expertly navigates her way through soulful R&B, as well as trap-heavy hip hop. For this occasion, Lyna pulled up the last track on her album, Bad Girl, for one of our most intimate sessions yet.

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\"Lyna - Lemon Haze\" is out now. Follow Lyna on Facebook, Instagram and Spotify to stay updated with the latest and greatest.

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