There’s nothing like the moment when you find out your passion can get you paid. In September of 2011, San Francisco’s A-1 was stocking shelves for less than minimum wage, writing songs whenever he could find time. A year earlier he gained an internet buzz with After School Special, a 90’s TV show themed album he had written and recorded while living on a friends couch in New York City. A year later he was back in San Francisco, holding down a day job while working on his follow up mixtape, The Book Of Adam. He put together a release party for the project at a popular local venue in SF, but was unsure if he’d made the jump from having internet fans to physical ones, and was concerned whether enough people would be at the show. But the venue went over capacity, had to lock it’s doors to prevent the fans waiting outside from forcing their way in, and the response was overwhelming. A-1 quit his job the very next day and has been a full time artist ever since.
Born Adam Traore, a first generation US citizen to West African and Italian parents, A-1’s music is constructed around vivid stories of growing up in The City while searching for happiness and self awareness. Regardless of whether a song is catered to be the perfect back drop to a night of raging, or a thought provoking opportunity for reflection, the music always remains true to A-1’s personal experiences. Driven by a desire to be an inherently good person in a morally complex society, A-1’s positivity shines brightly throughout his body of work. His goal is to put himself in a position to help others, starting with himself, his family, and his community, but the rest of the country and world are not too far from his sights either.
The successes of The Book Of Adam and 2012’s THURL have been catalysts in A-1’s career. His music has continued to thrive online and has been consistently posted by Complex, The Fader, The Smoking Section, OkayPlayer, OnSmash, HipHopDX, and more. He was voted by local fans and tastemakers into Thizzler.com’s 2012 Bay Area Freshmen 10 list. In addition to working the online circuit, A-1 has been able to leverage his internet coverage to help him take his music on the road. He’s been a part of Roach Gigz’ Bugged Out Tour w/ Iamsu!, the Canadian leg of Zion I’s Shadow Boxing tour, as well as tours with Equipto and George Watsky, and has opened up for an array of artists ranging from Too $hort and Andre Nickatina to Wallpaper.
Equipped with a heart filled with passion, an insatiable desire for creativity, discerning eyes and ears for quality, and a plan to spread his music to as many people as possible, A-1 is poised to be the first name in music lover’s iPods and iTunes in the very near future.