Last year, up-and-coming Texas rapper Ariaa unleashed “Farsi,” an infectious summer-ready tune featuring North Carolina rapper Mikey100k. Today (April 5), the new Republic Records signee makes a triumphant return to reintroduce “Farsi” to a new audience — and who better to call upon for the remix than T-Pain?
Ariaa keeps it in the family for “Farsi,” as his brother, PersianBeatz (Chief Keef, Famous Dex) and Remy join forces to create the bouncy production. The Texas rapper’s Auto-Tuned vocals glide effortlessly over the beat, fueled by bubbly synths, lively drums, and a cooing flute, saluting the MC’s Persian roots as he raps about meeting an “exotic” girl with “tattoos all up on her body in Farsi.”
“It’s like we on a honeymoon/ But she ain’t Mrs. Hessari/ My girl so international/ She love the way we talking/ In foreign languages and foreign whips/Yeah, what’s it costing?” he sings.
For Ariaa, T-Pain was a welcome addition to “Farsi.” Pain’s signature melodic croon sounds right at home on “Farsi” as he injects the track with a fresh burst of energy that continues to build until his verse ends.
Below, Ariaa chatted with Billboard about “Farsi” and nabbing T-Pain for a feature.
What was the inspiration behind “Farsi?”
The track itself came to me naturally, really. I usually like to think for a while about unique song concepts to make sure I’m always doing something different. But I actually freestyled the hook that’s on “Farsi” the second time I ever heard the beat.
Your brother, PersianBeatz, produced the track. How’d the whole thing come together?
I wanted him to collab with Remy, the other producer on the track. Remy has worked with Mikey100k [the original Farsi feature] before, and Mikey and I have been working together for years. So really, I was just trying to get all of us to make something dope together.
How did you link up with T-Pain for the remix?
When I got signed to Lava/Republic, I knew the first song they wanted to dish out would be “Farsi.” The problem was that the song had already been out for some time, so they suggested re-releasing it as a remix. We had a list of potential feature options, but as a few weeks went by and I realized we weren’t getting anywhere, I told my manager to try and get in contact with T-Pain’s camp to see if he’s about it. His team seemed eager about the song’s potential off the bat, which is amazing to me, because Pain has been one of my favorite artists of all time.
What was your reaction when you heard his verse?
Man, I lost my shit! I was worried that he was too busy and would send me a rushed verse, but that just taught me to never doubt a GOAT. He really didn’t have to snap like that.
When you first dropped “Farsi,” you said it was a way for you to show your Persian roots. How have your Persian roots and the culture there shaped your approach as an artist?
It’s always made me want to be different. I didn’t grow up around any Persian people in the states so I’m automatically different compared to everybody around me. I just wanted that to translate into my music as well.
To listeners who might not have heard your music, how would you describe your sound?
I really hate trying to describe my music, because I really don’t know how. If I had to put a label on it, I’d say a majority of my music is pop-trap, or rock star rap. But usually, if somebody asks, I’ll just let them listen to it and tell me what they think it is.
Where does it fit in the current landscape of music?
We’re obviously diving into a new generation of hip-hop, with the South Florida scene and even going back to the “mumble rappers” wave. I feel like my sound could stand out to people who don’t like the new rap wave we’re in, but also could accommodate to the listeners that fuck with the new scene heavy.
What’s next for Ariaa?
Since I got the call last June that I was getting signed, I’ve been working on a bunch of different singles. My brain naturally tries to go into album mode, so some of the material I’ve made is definitely a better fit for an album. I don’t know how soon I’m going to be able to deliver [an album.] I wanna say late 2018, early 2019, but for now, I am going to keep dropping new singles as much as possible.
Listen to the “Farsi” Remix below.