a$ap ferg sounds off on streaming and style
Photography Zachary Chick
Last night, SoundCloud celebrated the launch of its paid subscription service, Go, with a secret show at New York's Flash Factory guided by the same low-key populism so synonymous with the music-sharing platform -- one utilized by no-name bedroom dreaming beatmakers and Kanye West alike. As headliner Chance the Rapper announced on Twitter just two hours before the launch: the first 75 people to show up were treated to a free, super stacked bill. The Chicago rhymer closed the late night party, while Sky Ferreira made an even more surprise appearance behind the decks earlier in the evening. In between the two sat a true man of the people, A$AP Ferg.
Before dropping this morning's Big Sean collaborative single "World is Mine" -- lifted from his forthcoming sophomore full-length Always Strive and Prosper -- Ferg was on hand to support the platform that helps him stay ahead of the curve. "I use Soundcloud to find new artists; they've got all this fresh talent," he explained. These under-the-radar creators differentiate Go from other subscription services; though the platform now affords paying users access to major label releases, "the DJing activity, the remixing and mash-uping, cover music, and all that — all of that stuff can live now on the platform side by side with premium content," Eric Wahlforss, the company's CTO and co-founder, told Wired.
In addition to its capacity for discovery, Ferg says he also utilizes the platform "to put music out I'm not selling that I just want to give away to the fans." "The whole A$AP Mob has been using SoundCloud for #WavyWednesdays," he explained of the crew's recently launched series of collaborative tracks, "exclusive music, and freestyles that the Mob's been doing." One key edge SoundCloudGo has is that it gives artists and labels track-by-track control. For example: when Ferg drops his album on April 22, he can put as many of its tracks behind Go's paywall as he chooses, leaving certain singles or remixes available to the general public. He could also choose to stream the entire record for a day or so before moving it to Go-only access. It's designed to be flexible to suit the varying needs of its users.
Speaking of designs, Ferg was all about the fam at last night's launch, sporting a crisp tee from his fellow mobster Rocky's collaborative collection with Guess Originals. Has he been back to work with his longtime collaborator, menswear maverick Astrid Andersen? "As of right now we're not. That's just my homegirl!" For now, his sights are set firmly on the forthcoming record's release. "Just expect that new, fresh, A$AP Ferg shit," he assures. We also expect some new, fresh, A$AP Ferg remixes, mashups, and DJ sets to come alive on SoundCloud, too.
Text Emily Manning
Photography Zachary Chick