Three years ago, HAZali (born Hassan Abdus Salaam) had an economy-class ticket in the music industry. “Before FortheLovers Music Group, I was just trying to find my sound,” HAZali explained, noting that searching for his sound included imitating what was already floating around on the airwaves and radiofrequencies. “That was a huge failure,” he admitted, “because everyone would just compare me to the rest and that was it.” Change came when HAZali took a look at all the fellow music lovers around him and recognized that there was a demand for something different. “I came in contact with so many talented people,” he recalled. “I decided to help them get to the next level.”

By merging all his talents together—singing, rapping, songwriting, producing—HAZali became what he calls a “one-man enterprise.” Such a title allowed him to create his own rules and design the blueprint for his success to follow. “At Forthelovers, we act like ‘record labels’ don’t exist. We work hard and we demand results.” In that fashion, HAZali pulled the curtain back and entered into the first-class cabin, leaving the economy class behind for good.

That audacity attracted artist after artist. “Once the word got out, it went from two to five to now over 15 artists that I am producing,” HAZali said. One of his newest artists, Tondu, is set to release her EP mid-February. It’s appropriately titled “The Beginning.” “She has been working on her sound, and now she’s ready to share it with the world,” HAZali said of Tondu, who debuted some of her project at a private listening party in Manhattan last weekend. “This is the beginning of what’s to come.”

Following Tondu’s EP release, HAZali’s next move will be a UK tour in London, where he will continue his U.S. efforts—performing his music, producing other artists, and promoting FortheLovers. HAZali’s own EP, “Vantage Point,” is now available for free download.

“I named it ‘Vantage Point’ because we as people look at life from so many angles,” he explained. “I wanted people to have a first class view on how I see life.”

“At Forthelovers, we act like ‘record labels’ don't exist. We work hard and we demand results,” HAZali said of his music group. Photo by Lershaun for Fourth Coming. Styling by Dapper Afrika and Tyron Jones

“At Forthelovers, we act like ‘record labels’ don’t exist. We work hard and we demand results,” HAZali said of his music group. Photo by Lershaun for Fourth Coming. Styling by Dapper Afrika and Tyron Jones

 

HAZali (L) held a private listening party at Smash Studios for Tondu’s new EP, “The Beginning,” set for release in mid-February. Photo by Lershaun for Fourth Coming. Styling by Dapper Afrika and Tyron Jones

HAZali (L) held a private listening party at Smash Studios for Tondu’s new EP, “The Beginning,” set for release in mid-February. Photo by Lershaun for Fourth Coming. Styling by Dapper Afrika and Tyron Jones

 

Photo + Writer Source: Sierra Leone Starks

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