Herbert Munkhammar has been active in the hip-hop and R&B scene since the early 2000s and has enjoyed success with formations such as Afasi & Filthy, Maskinen and Ansiktet. Both sing, produce and write music. Recently, however, Herbert has embarked on a solo career. He just released a single under his stage name Afasi, and there's more to come. Later this year, he will drop a solo album.
You just released SARAJEVSKO! Tell us about the process behind it?
I started working with David Landolf last year and we wrote a bunch of songs. Both for other artists and for me. All kinds of things, lo fi-stuff with a lot of melody, rnb songs etc. But eventually we started experimenting with pitched down vocals, Houston-inspired sounds mixed with up tempo beats. We even made a demo out of my Portuguese vocal sample from Segertåget with Maskinen. David played me some Phonk music. I really liked the vibe since I’ve been a Houston, southern rap, chopped & Screwed fan for many years. We started making the song SARAJEVSKO.
And there it was, the first proper Swedish Phonk song, at least as far as I know. The style kind of reminded me of me and Filthy’s song (Afasi & Filthy) Glider. After we had made a few more songs for my upcoming album I changed my artist name back from Herbert Munkhammar to AFASI. And that’s also when we brought in Mats Norman to bless the project with his great producer skills. He also co-produced SARAJEVSKO.
How would you describe your music?
I’ve done so many different kinds of music throughout the years, from Southern(ish) hip-hop with Afasi & Filthy, R&B with Ansiktet and festival mayhem with Maskinen. This time it’s club oriented, uptempo and drum n bass mixed with Phonk and rave. Playful cocky rap and epic song hooks. UK meets Memphis. This album is for the night time. Either in your car or at the club.
Tell us about the first song you wrote?
It was a song called En Mobbad Och En Smutsig with Organism 12 & DJ Large. We recorded it at Large parents house outside of Uppsala. I was 15 years old, I could barely keep pace when I rapped, but Mats Nileskär played it in P3 Soul just weeks after we recorded it. It was surrealistic to hear his legendary voice mentioning my name. Of course I recorded it on my tape deck and played it out loud in my classroom the day after. Stoked.
How do you express yourself through clothing?
Since I was a kid I’ve always loved nice clothes. It has always been a part of my identity. But when I look back on how I looked in different stages in my life I always laugh. Like when I had long hair. Why!? Where I’m at now, I’m kind of fed up with preppy looks, and tend to go for things that stand out more. Colorful racing jackets, big leather pants and so on.
I’ll drop a new single in late May. A straight up club banger! The album is done and will be released in September, so I guess I’ll write some more songs, because why not, play live and do promo until then. And try to make people dance more to Swedish Phonk of course!