Alcatrz is a Italian-Nigerian rapper based in London. He recently released a new music video Mean It

Introduce yourself.

I go by the name of Alcatrz and I’m an Italian artist, producer and director based in London of Nigerian origin.

What are your musical influences?

I’ve been influence by so many genres/artists over the years, starting from electronic music to straight industrial/punk-rock sound, to highlife and Afrobeat. I make hip-hop and rap music but my iTunes playlist is full of artist like Tame Impala, Grimes and Dam Funk.

When it comes to hip-hop influences, my biggest influence would be Missy Elliot and Kanye as lyricist but when it comes to producers, Timbaland remains my numero uno.

Tell us about your recent release Mean It and your EP.

Mean It is the first single off my forthcoming EP Random Thoughts Of An Italian Negro. It’s a 808 driven track, something you bump in your car when you’re ready to turn up. The track was entirely produced and mixed by myself. For the music video, I decided to work with a good friend and frequent collaborator of mine, Vasilisa Forbes, a visual artist and director from London.

The whole aim for this video was to create a dark aesthetic to reflect the track. We had an amazing stage designer, Emily Cole which helped to bring the project to life.

The EP itself is still in the making.

You can check out the video on my Vevo channel. It’s gotten a massive reception since its release.

Photos captured using Olympus Mju-II and Fujifilm Superia X-TRA 400

The EP itself is still in the making. I have recorded a bunch of tracks which I’m now mixing. I don’t want to give too much away but you guys should definitely keep an eye open for its release.

What’s it like to work in the music industry where you are?

To be honest, I’m just getting started but I still have a lot to experience. I write and produce tracks from a room in university, no management, no PR, no label – just me.

A lot of labels try to take advantage of an artist.

Something I do know for a fact, is that a lot of labels try to take advantage of an artist and I think that’s the most frustrating thing.

Last week a well-known music label (not going to mention their name), reached out to me and were interested in signing me. Their offer was ‘£6,870 for a three-album deal’.

I wasn’t that desperate.

They told me I’d only been making music for a year, and that I was never going to get a better offer from another label than what they were offering me.

I know a lot of up-and-coming artist would rush to take the offer, but to be honest, I wasn’t that desperate. I’ve only been making music for two years, writing for less than a year. People have not seen half of what I have to offer. I’m not in a rush to take any deals.

What’s a night out like where you live?

I don’t go out much but London has a vibrant night life. From clubs to live gigs. It’s lit!

What song do you listen to: (a) turn up to (b) feel sexy (c) pine over your ex

(a) No Flex Zone by Rae Sremmurd
(b) Feeling Myself by Nicki Minaj ft. Beyoncé
(c) I don’t have exes – so non existant lol.

Check out Alcatrz at