Interview: Star2 | Young people

Interview: Star2 |  Young people

Asian-American rapper Star2 recently released his new single/video “Run Away” featuring HoodTrophy Bino.

Born in a Thai refugee camp, abandoned as a baby by his mother and father, Star2 moved to San Diego with his grandmother as a child. While growing up in SoCal, Star2 found solace in music, becoming a role model for other underrepresented groups in music.

Since the release of his 2020 debut single, “Hollup Gurl,” which has 300,000 streams on Spotify, he has demonstrated his innate talent for creating catchy music as well as evolving his sound. This growth is highlighted in “GO!”

The video shows Star2 and Bino rolling around in Jell-O through Venice Beach on low-riders, followed by an appearance at a skate park, where they pose as skateboarders zipping around them. Its flow, vibrant and contagious, imbues the lyrics with an intoxicating energy.

“Watch me do my walk / Watch me step in my operations.”

The Young Folks caught up with Star2 to find out more about the inspiration for “GO!”, how the two rappers connected and how he got his start in music.

What are three things you can’t live without?

Music, nature and friends.

What inspired your new single/video “GO!?”

I wanted to make a summer single that you could find on the beach or at a barbecue. We made extreme sports music perfect for skaters and really any extreme athlete or dancer.

Who directed the video and where was it filmed?

Chico Bennett directed and Hector Toro recorded the video. The video is in Venice Beach, California – a major skating community and part of the West Coast vibe.

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How and when did you first connect with HoodTrophy Bino?

I filmed a feature film with Soulja Boy for my single “New Me”. We did a shoot in a mansion in Tarzana with beautiful models and Lambos and a Rolls Royce SUV. Bino is part of Soulja’s team and signed to his label: Stacks On Deck Money Gang (SODMG). We met on the shoot and decided to do a studio session together. GO! was the result of the session.

How did you get started in music?

As a kid, I loved Justin Bieber and would sing his songs nonstop. I lived with an uncle who played guitar and sang and also listened to music all his life at festivals and church. My culture, Ka-ren from Burma, is very musical. We use traditional instruments, drums and also piano and electric guitar. I did traditional dance when I was very young.

A friend in our apartment complex had a home studio and we would imitate rappers we loved. We made songs and music videos that we posted on YouTube. At first it was for fun, but it became a way to express pain and emotion – to deal with a lot that I was going through and that my family was going through.

What singers/musicians have influenced your sound?

Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson, Chris Brown, Akon, Tyga, The Young Money Crew. Later Juice Wrld, Polo G and Post Malone. Also, Bruno Mars for ballads.

If you had to explain your sound to the uninitiated, what would you say?

Lately, I’ve been describing my sound as ‘melodic rap’. I’m versatile. I sing, I rap, I do breakup songs, love songs, and neighborhood songs. I don’t like putting myself in a category. I’ve been listening to country and Reggaeton as well as classic rock.

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Did your sound evolve naturally or did you deliberately push it in a certain direction?

It evolved from romantic heartbreak to conscious rap about the shitty state of the world to dance music and now I’m definitely in a rap phase with $tupid Young, MB Nel and Mozzy.

What inspires your writing? Are you inspired by poems, music or other media?

I’m inspired by what I feel and what I’m going through. It could be very personal or it could be a reaction to what is happening in the world.

What can you share about your writing process?

Sometimes I wake up with a song in my head and I sing it on my cell phone. Other times I write verses. Sometimes a beat really connects, and the songs come really fast. I don’t have a defined formula.

Which artists do you think are rocking right now?

Lil Poppa is a favorite, Kid Laroi, Jack Harlow. I also know Thai and ka-ren artists: Tae Tae, Pu Dah, Ler Mu Dex, 1 MILL, YOUNGOHM.

How do you define success?

Success is being able to do what I love… make music, record it and perform it. Success is also earning money to support myself with music. Ultimately, success is having a happy life and surrounding myself with good people. Hiking, enjoying nature and fishing. I love to fish! I also like to cook.

What can your fans expect over the next six months? New stuff? Live shows?

I’m working hard! I have an EP coming out at the end of January. The first single was GO! with HoodTrophy Bino, the next one is “New Me” with Soulja and Luh Kel. Then “Up” with Mozzy, $tupid Young and Bino. After that EP, I have another one with $tupid Young with six songs and features with Lil Poppa and MB Nel. Later a project with Luh Kel. We just finished a mini tour together on the West Coast and will start again with colleges on the East Coast and Canada.

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I’m trying to play Rolling Loud in Thailand! I want to spend a few months there – I want to go back to my refugee camp where I was born and help the children. There are talented rappers at camp that I want to make music with. I also want to build a studio there that they can use.

Follow Star2 Instagram | twitter | TikTok | Spotify


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