Airliftz (née Aliff Shaharom) wastes no time to realise his full potential as a star. This claim is no hyperbole as it’s matched by his musical prowess for producing stunning hip hop and r’n’b expressions that take full advantage of his multi-faceted vocal ability for rapping and singing.
The young’un rose from the anonymity of Youtube to make his first public performance at Raising The Bar (RTB) Open Mic with his self-penned song that was written to the tune of T.I.’s classic track ‘Doin’ My Job.’ Little did he know, this event would result in a meeting with his future mentor, rapper Jin Hackman.
After cutting his teeth by releasing industrious streams of raw tracks on SoundCloud and performing at various gigs, he announced his arrival as a formidable up-and-comer with the self-produced ‘Gwalos’, a smoldering trap statement of a debut track that was made for radio. So much so, it generated a respectable amount of airplay and streams on Spotify.
Then a proper introduction came in the form of a 5-track EP titled Bagel, a heartfelt assembly of bubblegum trap songs produced by Singaporean producer GROSSE. It displayed the sum of his influences, like the merciless flow of rapper Logic, the shape-shifting r’n’b stylings of Atlanta artiste ELHAE, and the blithe pop hooks of KYLE. JUICE Malaysia commended Airliftz for his “precocious maturity” while The Daily Seni raved, “the whole EP transitions so seamlessly, it leaves you wanting more.”
Standout single ‘Appreciate’, though seemingly defiant, reassures his worried mother about the desire to pursue an increasingly viable music career as he shifts focus away from his studies. It was also a unanimous hit with the cast of Marvel’s Luke Cage. During a Netflix special, Mustafa Shakir, who plays Bushmaster, exclaimed "Why is he not hot in America? He coming for you, Drake!"
Away from his own work, he has collaborated with Singapore’s THELIONCITYBOY on ‘Bitch I’m on an Obike’ and appeared on the popularly received ‘Make It On Me’ by Malaysian r’n’b crooner NYK.
It’s clear that Airliftz is no longer just adored online, but he now shines on big stages. From a 9-city Asian tour with pop artiste alextbh and rapper Zamaera to appearing with the latter on Yo! MTV Raps Asia during a cypher that garnered over 1 million views on Youtube within a week, the prodigy is a notable name in the regional scene. This buzz has reverberated to a magnitude that casted him on Joe Flizzow’s 16 Baris, listed him on the same bill as G-Eazy, Phoenix and Dua Lipa at Good Vibes Festival, to most excitingly, being handpicked as the opening act for Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals.
There’s no rest for Airliftz as he hustles on with the release of ‘Call Me When It’s Over’, a love letter to a taken girl, sealed with the titular proposal that dances in the sparkly jersey club production helmed by I-SKY of Krayziesoundz. It’s distinctly different from the ones on Bagel, which could only be a teaser for a full-length album that’s expecting to arrive by year end to a glowing reception, echoing his already impressive achievements.