A version of this article appeared on Noisey Germany.
This isn't one of those major label promotional stunts where they say: "You know, we've already put millions of dollars into this‚ but let's go sell it as a 'newcomer act' to all the cool kids."
No, this young and completely unknown artist from The Bronx is completely self-made and works on his own. His name is Angel, and his music falls somewhere between The Weeknd circa 2010 and present day trap, backed up by a thick layer of soul music.
But hey, listen for yourself. Check out Angel's first full-length release "Sacrifice," and scroll down to read the first ever interview with an artist we'd like to see on a few "artists to watch in 2018" lists.
Noisey: Who are you, where are you from, and why haven’t we heard of Angel before?
Angel: I'm Angel. I'm a singer-songwriter from The Bronx. I'm very meticulous when it comes to working in the studio—if you haven't heard of me before, it's because I've taken my time to develop my recording process, and the infrastructure and team around me. Now, the settings are primed to reach perfection.
Tell us a bit more about your background, personal as well as musical. Where did your journey start, up until you released "Sacrifice?"
I'm not a trained singer or anything. I'm self-taught. I spent a lot of my early years bouncing around from group home to group home and moved out when I was 18. After moving, I studied audio engineering at Full Sail University. That's when I began to take on music full-time and started singing seriously.
There’s a certain blues quality in your vocals and overall sound. From what place in your mind and soul did "Sacrifice" come?
On "Sacrifice," I [wrote] from past experiences; I [tried] to pull from deep and meaningful situations. Creating music for me [provides] an outlet for everything I've experienced in my life—whether good, bad, or ugly. Writing "Sacrifice" was liberating because I had a tangible way to express myself finally and get some real shit off my chest.
Some people might be reminded of Michael Jackson with some of the phrasing happening here and there on "Sacrifice." Was the King of Pop an influence for you?
I don't know. It's pretty humbling to even be compared to an artist of that stature. His music has influenced generations and generations to come, in some way or another. I'm glad people hear elements of him in me.
With whom did you produce "Sacrifice"? Or is Angel strictly a solo-solo artist?
I'm a solo artist. Everything is written by me but I work closely with Soe to get the production and engineering where I want it to be sonically. Soe is a beast. We've been working together closely for the last year.
What new projects are you currently working on?
I'm currently finishing my debut album. Be on the look out for the single in early 2018.
Follow @ANGELTHEGODXXX on Twitter.