Hey Digilogue Fam! We’re back with another installment of our Artists to Watch: Class of 2021 series. This time, we're getting to know Chicago-based rapper and singer Ausar.
With cosigns from Lupe Fiasco, 9th Wonder, Rakim, and a premiere on Netflix’s Rhythm + Flow — Ausar's performed and worked alongside Wyclef Jean, MFnMelo (of Pivot Gang), NF BroLeeLove, Smino, and Fat Tony of VICE LIVE TV.
Get a behind-the-scenes look at what A Day in the Life looks like for Ausar, including balancing work and artistry, and working on music. Watch as Ausar takes you through his day, or follow along with the written diary below.
A Day in the Life of Ausar
6:15 AM (Wake-up) – I usually start my day at 6:15a. The company I work for allows me to work with international students who are going to high school — and one of my primary responsibilities is to make sure that they get to school safely and on time. In addition to that, though, I help to resolve any issues in the broader student-residence complex, develop and coordinate non-curricular programs, and serve as a “counselor” figure. Giving back in this way, and just doing something meaningful with my time has been the most rewarding.
6:35 AM (Getting ready for work) – Before choosing my outfit for the day, I usually think about the shoes I want to rock. I love shoes — especially Nike Air Max, Jordan, or Dunk. Today, though, I went with the Paul Orrick Nike Dunks. ⛹🏽
Once I’m done getting dressed, I spend some time praying and reading scriptures from the Bible. In fact, a lot of my music has Biblical references; my next project, entitled David, actually draws parallels between my life and the Biblical king himself. Starting my day in this way helps me get grounded and prepared for whatever is to come.
Once I’m done praying and meditating, I usually start my day with water or coffee (but usually coffee) — because my days often stretch until 10p or 11p, sometimes later if I’m planning to go to the studio. A hot beverage plus a little cereal is my go-to breakfast of choice.
9 AM–12:30 PM (Writing & recording music) – Once I’m done at work, I have a mid-morning break. I usually go back home during this time to write and record. Since I often don’t have much time later in the day, this is the perfect opportunity to clear my mind and try to get some interesting melodies on keys, lay down a verse, or experiment with new sounds.
Once my break gets closer to its end, I try to record what I’ve written so that I can play it back in the car (when I drive back to work). This helps me gauge how I feel about the verse or song, and figure out what to improve or scrap. Personally, I think every rapper — especially emerging rappers — should put their music through the “car test”. It’s been a major game-changer for assessing my music and improving my writing when I’m outside a studio setting.
Side note: During one of my mid-morning breaks last week (4/24), I decided to write a verse every day to random beats that I’d find on Twitter. One of those verses will now be a single for my ongoing “Me & My Friends” series — a repertoire of video and music works with my homies.
2:45–3:45 PM (Mid-afternoon break) – Once I’m done at my first job for the afternoon, I usually run errands and do chores around the crib, talk to my management team (shouts to Shaunda & Boots), my parents, or some of my other music homies. This time is a perfect opportunity to do a couple of things at once, which has been a huge time-saver. At other times, it’s just a way for me to mentally relax before I hope back into work at 3:45p.
Side note: On this day (4/29), it just so happened that I got a call from Uncle Wyclef about something really cool. I can’t say too much about it now, but when the timing is right, I’ll drop the news. It was definitely the highlight of my day, though.
4–6:30 PM (My second job) – After my break, I go into my second job which involves facilitating all sorts of discussions with teens (many of whom live in Chicago).
This work is especially cool and humbling because it allows me to get outside my bubble to hear young people talk about their lives, express themselves, and share their perspective about what’s happening in the world around us.
7–11:15 PM (Feature Form Studios @ Fort Knox) – Usually 2-3 times per week, I’ll drive about an hour to the Northside of Chicago to Feature Form Studios (at Fort Knox), which is owned by Ro Marsalis & Eric Paige. Ro Marsalis is also my producer (but is also an incredibly talented and AMAZING artist). He and I will lock in a session and work on singles, David (my upcoming album), or some of his music.
But, on this day, I actually had a live (pre-recorded) performance for the Chicago SunTimes & Back Pocket Media as part of their “Local Live Series”. Myself and other local Chicagoans joined forces to tell our stories and share our life’s work and art. This was really fun because one of my closest friends — AND THE HOTTEST DJ IN CHICAGO — Lena Bandz was able to join me as well.
Needless to say, after a day this long, I’m usually driving back to the crib so I can knock out. On the drive back home, I’ll listen to lots of rap, especially J. Cole, Kendrick, J.I.D., and Common.
Stay tuned for more from The Digilouge and our Artists to Watch series. For more on Ausar: