First and foremost, who is A.L. Laureate and where do you reside?
A.L. Laureate is an emcee born in Los Angeles, California but raised in Miami, Florida. So I've been repping the 305 for most of my life.
Describe the hip-hop scene in Miami.
The Hip-Hop scene in Miami is like a blowing bubble that's ready to burst very soon. Ive been amazed at how much talent their is out here. You got so many different avenues of hip-hop you could relish in. You got artists like J Nics, Saheed, LMS, The Benchwarmers Clique, Art Morera, Alphanumerics, Reks, Llamabeats, Serum, Garcia and producers my god you got Hazardis Soundz, Numonics, among many other talented producers. I mean i could go on forever but the point is the scene is excelling is more ways that one and there is countless amount of talent out here.
What are some of the challenges associated with being an independent artist in an market dominated by commercialism?
I would say first and foremost the money factor haha. Being completely honest money has a lot to do with how artist and music are being pushed out nowadays. And it's crazy with the hard times that go along with it. It becomes that much harder for an independent artist such as myself or any Indy artist for that matter to garner legit fans or let alone a buzz. Commercial driven artists are releasing free mixtapes that continue to make it more difficult for us to pave our own lane to attract attention from the masses.
How long have you been rhyming?
I've been rhyming since 2003, started out doing my own thing around that time. My music and styles have gone through many changes and transitions but it really matured me into the emcee that I am today and with all the fumbles as the years have passed I'm glad to still be rhyming and making songs.
Recently you released your first solo project called Closed Eyed Insomnia. Describe the feelings associated with releasing your first project. Who handled the production for the project and who was featured on the album?
Closed Eyed Insomnia was created by complete circumstance and I'll explain to you why. After years of rhyming solo I decided I would never release a solo album. I would solely concentrate on the group that I am presently a part of, The BrainStormers. But after a tough break up with my ex girlfriend my life took a complete tale spin which lead me into heavy depression and since most of my life I've had events that have altered my life I decided to create a concept album relating to all those events. Closed Eyed Insomnia was something I was going through those times, I would just lay in my bed close my eyes and just lay there to the next morning and not sleep at all. The production for the album was handled by DJ Frantic, Teddy Roxpin, Symphonic, and Fritz The Cat. And it features Praverb the Wyse and emcee/singer Anjuli Stars.
You are a conceptually driven artist that does not have an issue presenting your thoughts and emotions. How has the project been received?
The project has been received better than I thought. I say that because since it was such a personal album I put it out for free for the sake of people just to know Alex Larenas the person not so much A.L. Laureate the emcee. I'm really glad that it has been received well because I know it sounds corny but this album was more than music for me.
One of my favorite songs from the project is "Black On Black Camaros." What inspired you to write this song?
"Black on Black Camaros" was a track inspired by the relationship between my mother and my ex girlfriend. I felt that I was in a tug o war with each of them pulling me in the opposite direction. It was very difficult for me to be in this position because of my intense love for both of them. Conceptually I decided to present this with a comparison of Chevy Camaros and the distinct differences each car has. I didn't wanna ruin the song so whoever is reading this go ahead and listen to it lol.
Describe your writing habits. Do you have a set routine or do you just write when you are inspired?
Well for the most part I write when I'm inspired I feel that my best tracks have been with that precise formula. But as of late I've been writing on a more consistent basis and the results have been very good.
I noticed that you flex some of your bi-lingual skills throughout the project. Have you ever thought about presenting an album solely in Spanish?
It's crazy you say that cause I really have given it some thought. Back in the day I did some songs in Spanish but I never really liked them until I did "Off Beat Dance" on Closed Eyed Insomnia. In the future I plan on rhyming more in Spanish, my parents are Colombian so it seems the Hispanic linguistics in lyrics are in my blood haha.
You know that I have an affection towards food. If I was visiting Miami what places would you recommend I dine at?
Oh wow I would recommend a Colombian restaurant called Los Arrieros (which means The Muleteers) awesome food. And I would recommend Casavana, a Cuban restaurant which gives you so much food for a low price.
Are you currently working on any other projects?
I'm working on a untitled album project with my long time friends Tek and Nes-1 collectively we're a group called PureLogik. We should have an album together sometime next year. I'm also working with a producer from Poland by the name of SoulSeeker and we should have something out by the end of next of year. And hopefully we could get another BrainStormers project (hint hint) haha.
How can the fans get in contact with you?
You could hit me up and follow me on Twitter or at my email firstname.lastname@example.org
Any final words?
Prav thanks a million for taking the time to do this interview, massive blessings on your end. Shouts to the BrainStormers (O*Zee, Cayoz Da Beast, DJ Grazzhoppa), PureLogik, Triback, Saheed, Art Morera, NikkiSiixx & Nikkisiixx.com, Kassie & Womazing.com and everybody else who hass supported me past and present.
Make sure you take the time to download my debut project Closed Eyed Insomnia