Holiday light decor and vintage records plaster the walls of All Saint’s Café. Dressed in a casual plaid button up, fitted jeans, a Piston snapback and Chuck Taylors, Rufat Agayev browses the chalkboard menu of selective vegan wraps.
He orders a burrito and a Vernor’s Ginger Ale, before making his way to the café’s patio where he discusses how he started as a lyricist, the fate of his musical career and a sneak peek into upcoming projects.
“[I] was about 12 years old. My mother found my dirty raps in my room,” said Rufat Agayev. “And she like scorned me for being so vulgar at the age of 12. And the funny thing is, then I started rapping in church until I was like 18..19. After that I had a big falling out to where I wasn’t going to church anymore, but I just still loved doing the art. And I just fell in love with the music.”
Expressive and strong-willed, Agayev, 23, a fourth year sociology student at Florida State University from Erie, Pa., has taken a distinctive approach to music. His diverse style combines hip-hop and various genres that include, but are not limited to, indie rock.
His management team and innovative lyrical skills have given him the opportunity to open up for big names that have performed in Tallahassee. These familiar faces include rapper Wiz Khalifa and Michigan native singer/songwriter Mike Posner, who in April took to the stage at Potbelly’s Nightclub for his One Foot out the Door tour.
Agayev described his 30 minute set right before Posner was slated to perform as “[C]razy…crowd was amazing. The vibe was real good. It was just like one of them times where I knew a lot of [my] music is really connecting with people.”
When he is not catering to his first love, music, Agayev describes his social life as pretty tedious.
“It’s either a mix of going out on dates, trying on new snapbacks, playing Madden, reading books or watching movies,” Agayev said.
Agayev is forthcoming about the support of his family and friends.
“Friends…yes. I definitely have the support of more than just friends- people who listen to my music,” Agayev said.
Anthony “Speek” Cameron, 24, a social science and business alumnus from FSU and Fort Lauderdale native, has been good friends with Agayev for almost three years, since meeting him his sophomore year of college. Both Cameron and Agayev had been promoting their own music and happened to cross paths in the process.
Cameron spoke highly about his friend explaining what sets Agayev apart from other lyricists.
“It’s his flow, delivery and articulation of thoughts,” Cameron said.
In regards to his family, he credits the little support of family for molding him into the person he is today.
“I mean, I have the support of family, but I’ve always been an independent person to where I never listened to what they say. I just kinda do my own thing and I think it’s worked out for me….I guess I acquired some knowledge along the way, you know what I’m saying, with my family not always being there like everybody else’s family might be. I still love my family to death.”
Earlier this year, Agayev collaborated with a group named Skyway, to produce an eccentric indie rock, hip-hop album. Through that experience, Agayev was inspired to start working on his solo project titled Flavored Wallpaper, in which he just recently shot the highly anticipated video for the track “They See Us” produced by Amtrac.
Director Andrew Fairbanks, 23, FSU alumnus, a film production student from Jackson, Miss. and Director of Photography and Editor Adam LaBrie, 22, a media production student from Boston, are the masterminds behind the filming of the music video.
Fairbanks and LaBrie partnered up with Agayev, after meeting through a video shoot they had been working on.
LaBrie recalls the shoot as being a “fun project and [he] met a lot of cool people [on the set].”
With a music video on its way, Agayev remains optimistic and humble toward his success. He positions his Piston snapback and reflects on how far he has made it in the past year.
“Making it big is good, but I just want to make it and I wanna make it to the point where people are listening to what I say,” said Agayev. “There is no way I could be comfortable with myself knowing that I stopped at this point.”
To stay tuned in with future projects, free music and everything else in between that Rufat Agayev is doing, make sure to visit his website www.rufatmusic.com.