Don Albi: a philosophical rap approach

Born in Albania and raised in Puglia, Don Albi is a rap musican who settled in Milan, where he creates his unique style built on the storytelling of concrete life experiences

Hi Don Albi. Tell us something about your musical project.
I wrote rap as a kid and then, along with the beatmaker and my good friend PEXONE we started recording the verses over beats he created. I published several projects; the first records are not proper albums but collections of tracks or short EPs. From RAPTENDER to SOMINA and finally with ZIRALGIA we’re talking a real album because there is a concept behind each album from the choice of the beat, the atmosphere of the lyrics to the elaboration of the covers and the choice of the songs titles.

Tell us something about your last album “ZIRALGIA”.
ZIRALGIA is a difficult album and structured to be truly appreciated by the Italian who chews down rap every day. The production of the beat has been entrusted to the three beatmakers PEXONE, MEPHBEAT and SAMPLE JONES but on the disc there are also three very special, carefully chosen American beats. In addition to the instrumentals, the record shows a great variety for the participation of seven rappers from various Italian cities that have contributed in the featured disc. The concept behind this album is exemplarily shown in the cover of SUEZO with whom we have coined the neologism ZIRALGIA to indicate the mood and the feeling of the album (like RAPTENDER and SOMINA are also neologisms coined by me and Suezo).

Where did you get inspiration for your music?
My music always and only recounts true facts, experiences and direct views. For this reason I can say I am inspired by reality. Having been born in Albania and then living in Puglia where I grew up; having then moved to Rome for several years and finally to Milan where I got used to finding myself over the concrete reality in different ways and with a curious and critical eye. This spills over into writing and in my way of rapping that always tries to create a live link between the words and concrete experiences, including lyrics, and life.

Which artists have influenced your style & sound, if any?
I’m always listening to Italian rap and am a great connoisseur of Fabri Fibra who I appreciate a lot. But I’m also a great admirer of Paolo Conte , intellectual and great Italian lyricist. They are two extremes but I’ve listened to them for so long and with such deep attention that I can say that I learned how to use words from them. As for the sound, I always work with PEXONE beatmaker who always knows how to offer me a sound carpet suited my ideas.

What does it mean to be a rapper in Italy today? Tell us something about it.
Being a rapper in Italy today means taking the responsibility to revive the fate of Italian rap, a fate severely damaged by pseudo rappers. There is great confusion today in Italy regarding rap and the rapper. The work that we are carrying out is striving to restore the importance of the fundamental canons of rap and give listeners the image of a rapper who is sober and responsible for its path and in his or her words. Rap must keep listeners giving pause to listening, must encourage them to keep their eyes open and look around. The public now believes that there is a distance between himself and the artist and certain “rappers” (which are anything but artists) emphasizing this distance is their self-idolisation. Nonsense. Rap must once again unite, rap is not hateful idolatry or an end in itself. Rap is a reflection and an idea that aims to improve ourselves and the people around us. Being a rapper in Italy today means having the courage to be serious and responsible. The rest are just kids who like to fuck around.

What do you think about the DIY way to create and share music?
That’s what’s saving the music in the new millennium. We make music at home, we doing the studies (LA MANSARDA) and we are completing them and then we have the satisfaction of being able to work on our own music as and when we want, without schedules and without the pressure. The difficulties don’t lie so much in self-production (because rap is relatively simple to make), but in the ability to run the result without too many hitches. It ‘s true social networks help a lot but the interest of the people is undermined by such a long series of news and views that music often takes a back seat. That is why we urge people to come to live shows so participation is more alive.

What’s the best live music show you’ve seen recently?
I was at the Fabrique for Milan date Squallor Fabri Fibra. Two hours and ten minutes of the show masterfully kept. Legend.

Did you plan to have a tour in the next future? Tell us something about it.
In the last two years I have played in various cities in Italy and mostly between Milan and Apulia . There are several occasions when I am playing but still not with a view to do my own real tour . My next album (coming soon ) is also in collaboration with Biaggi, CYRANO, PEXONE and MEPHBEAT and we intend to play it as much as possible in 2016. We hope to have the opportunity to move often and maybe organize a mini tour of our own.

What do you think of Do you think it could be a good tool to facilitate the process of booking and organizing shows? Do you have any suggestions?
I was introduced to Livetrigger by a dear friend who recommended it to me. The site is organized in a simple and intuitive and I think it’s a great way to highlight the artists who want to carry around their music. Those involved in organizing the show also have the option to choose from a wide variety of artists all very valid and this is ideal for those who want to enjoy music, and live music always has a touch more magic.

LIVETRIGGER.COM thank you for giving me this space , it was a real pleasure for me to talk about my music and the mood in which we live.