Arts Music Singapore

Music Is: ALYPH releases solo EP ‘III/III’

After welcoming the new phase in his music-making career following ‘Adakah Kau Mendengar’, ALYPH is dropping a brand-new EP, ‘III/III’. The sounds of this three-track odyssey are the result of years of sharpening his craft and shaking off expectations — as a rapper, a singer, and a beat-maker. All three qualities are on full display in this exciting new EP, the first of several projects down the line from ALYPH.

Recent years have marked hit after hit for ALYPH: as a solo artist and producer, he’s worked with Joe Flizzow, K-Clique, Kaka Azraff, Zizan Razak, De Fam, Adira, and created a full-length collaborative album with SonaOne. ‘Mimpi’, the fast-riding 2019 hit single by K-Clique featuring and produced by ALYPH, stands at 45 million views on YouTube to date. His recent production work on Joe Flizzow’s “CIAO”, featuring K-Clique’s MK and Korean rapper Jay Park, racked up over two million streams and over six million views on YouTube within a year of its release. All these accolades not counting ALYPH’s influential years in SleeQ, whose deep love for hip-hop and R&B broke down genre walls and causeway borders in the late-2000s when rarely any other Singaporean artist ventured to push the envelope.

In his EP ‘III/III’, pronounced ‘three-of-three’, the veteran hitmaker offers fans an honest look into the recesses of his mind, with previous single ‘Adakah Kau Mendengar?’ accompanied by the introspective ‘Skali Lagi’ and the closing track ‘Show Me Colours’. While ALYPH has proven his expertise by collaborating with artists both locally and regionally, ‘III/III’ is the work of a restless creative spirit, always adapting to break new ground and old expectations.

“My motivation for making music is that it cannot sound like everything I’m hearing right now,” ALYPH says of ‘III/III’. “Who am I to feel like this, if I’m churning out the same kind of material?” ‘Adakah Kau Mendengar?’ first gave a glimpse of things to come: a hybrid of ethereal R&B and grimy trap that plunges further into a dark and seductive abyss, fully explored in his new single ‘Skali Lagi’ (‘One More Time’ in English). It occupies its murkiest depths, shifting away from the detached solitude of the first single into the concept of co-dependency: how it can drive people to do things that hurt themselves and everyone else.

In ‘Skali Lagi’, ALYPH illustrates the familiar struggle of searching your way out of the darkness — how easy it is to be in a destructive habit as long as it reprieves you of sorrow, even for a little while.

The music video for ‘Skali Lagi’, premiering 2 September, 9PM (SGT) on ALYPH’s YouTube channel, paints this portrait vividly in widescreen. An intimate portrayal of a relationship, directed by fidz.bare, resonates with many who are familiar with darkness, destruction, and dependence. “They both really are deeply into each other, but something is holding them back,” says ALYPH. “You feel the tension in the air. You feel like they both know that, but it cannot happen.”

In this case, ‘Show Me Colours’ is the light at the end of the tunnel. The soaring track imbues a sense of hope and reprieve, with ALYPH finding a small piece of triumph amidst the turmoil. It is also ALYPH’s sole English track in the release. On choosing between writing in English and Malay, ALYPH goes purely by the gut. “I started making music in English,” he says. “But I just want to do whatever feels right.”

This is the ethos that now guides ALYPH’s artistry. He’s already busy in his studio piecing together new material. “I wouldn’t know how to describe it, but it will be very close to who I am and what I do,” he teases. Whatever shape it takes is unlikely to disappoint, as ‘III/III’ confidently demonstrates. This era is ALYPH’s true metamorphosis as an artist: shaking off the ghosts of his past to make strides into a gleaming future.

Listen to ‘III/III’ here Follow ALYPH on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter

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