A majority of popular hip-hop artists either represent New York, Chicago, Atlanta or Los Angeles, but 25-year old, Portland, Maine-born rapper B. Aull is here to change the game. He is spearheading the rap scene in Portland, taking over the east coast with shows and looking to top the charts.
B. Aull has been making music since he was a junior in high school, with inspiration from major rap artists like Drake, J. Cole and Kanye West. The innovation of sound from those top industry artists inspired B. Aull to play around with his own sound, he said in an interview.
B. Aull describes his music and latest EP, “Collage,” as having a positive mood, and said his new music that hasn’t been released yet is going on a more R&B sound.
“I like to make a sound that will get people moving, to get people having a good time,” B. Aull said. “Something you could put on at the pregame, at the party, a place where people are having a good time.”
B. Aull said his motto — “how could you be mad today?” — is reflected in his newly released EP with a fun and “bouncy” vibe.
In the future, B. Aull said he wants to maintain these elements of his current music while also working to incorporate sounds used by artists that inspire him.
“I really like the melodic stuff like a lot of my favorite artists [use],” B. Aull said. “They can sing and rap, which is something I started to cater more towards now, but while keeping that same essence.”
The rapper recently made the trek to Brooklyn in order to put these goals into action.
“I recently flew down to Brooklyn, New York this past fall,” B. Aull said, “because I wanted to be in a place that I could have more potential to realize this dream.”
Even though New York might have more opportunities, B. Aull said the music scene in Portland is growing.
“I’ve seen it grow a lot in the past eight years since I started making music,” B. Aull said. “And I’d say right now it’s probably as strong as it’s ever been.”
As an independent artist, B. Aull works with his close-knit hometown team and said he feels fortunate to have them.
“I really enjoy the small operation that me and my friends have started to grow over the past couple years,” B. Aull said. “We take care of everything on our own.”
However, while B. Aull said he currently enjoys being an independent artist, he would like to work with a label one day for financial reasons.
“Part of the problem with being independent is you don’t always have the funding necessary to get yourself out there,” B. Aull said. “I think a partnership with a label someday down the road would be super dope.”
B. Aull continued to make new music following the release of “Collage” in June 2019. He dropped two singles, “Change Up” and “Open Carry,” and premiered another new song at his show at the Middle East on Feb. 1.
The rapper said this concert was his first time co-headlining a show with two other artists at a reputable venue, but not his first time performing in Boston. In April 2019, B. Aull performed at Boston College for a “mini college tour,” he said. He said he was looking forward to performing in Boston again.
“I’m like a die-hard Celtics fan, and being from Maine, Boston is close,” B. Aull said. “Boston’s always dope.”
His charisma and stage presence, he said, separates him from other artists.
“Anybody can find an artist online be like ‘I found this artist. I like their song. That’s cool.’And your song might get lost in their playlist,” B. Aull said. “But if they see you kill it live on stage and that’s their first impression of you, then they’re probably going to turn into a die-hard fan.”
B. Aull said he thinks the key to long-term success is remembering it does not come instantly.
“If you expect anything to happen overnight, you are just playing yourself, because I’ve been making music for eight or nine years now,” B. Aull said. “If I expected anything to happen quickly, I probably would have been done making music.”