Life has been a blur for Aaron Parades, the Dallas-based pop star known as A-Wall, over the last few months. The artist behind the hit song and TikTok sensation "Loverboy," A-Wall never expected the track to go viral and described the exposure he got from it as surreal.
"It [going viral] was crazy," A-Wall said to me in a recent Zoom meeting. "A lot of the time it didn't feel real. I would wake up to 200+ notifications and just be like 'wow, this is different.'"
A-Wall said that a lot of the messages he received were from family members in awe of his success.
"My family would text me and be like 'Did you see this person use your song?' or 'Did you see the Jonas Brothers use it?'" A-Wall said.
"My parents were shocked to see Sylvester Stallone use my song," A-Wall said through a smile. "When they saw that, they told me that now I've cracked it big for real."
Since its release in 2019, "Loverboy" has been streamed over 70 million times on Spotify and has been included in over 100 thousand TikTok videos.
Over the summer, A-Wall more than tripled his monthly Spotify stream averages, swelling from roughly 1 million to now over 5 million monthly plays.
In August, A-Wall charted as high as #38 on Billboard, his first-ever Billboard appearance.
"It's insanely gratifying," A-Wall said of his surge in popularity. "It doesn't feel real all the time. Sometimes I'll forget and then I'm like holy crap I average 5 million monthly streams? That's insane."
The young indie-pop star is appreciative of the love his music has received thus far, but is more excited about what's to come.
"I just feel extremely lucky and super grateful," A-Wall said. "I can't wait to show these new fans the new music I have in store. I'm very excited to share."
In his most recent project, A-Wall did a collaboration album titled "Primavera" with CHROMA, an alternative hip-hop Latinx collective consisting of musicians POLITO, Kalid Abdul, and Bleu Santana, videographer Marvin, and graphic design artist Andrés.
On his next album, the El Paso-born lyricist plans to do his own thing, save for a few features here and there.
Although the praise and attention "Loverboy" is getting is well-deserved, A-Wall is confident that he has far more to offer than the trendy single and is eager to demonstrate that on his upcoming album titled "Autopilot."
"My next album is going to handle a lot of different emotional themes," A-Wall said in a Zoom meeting with NewsBreak. "It's also going to give more insight on who is A-Wall because I feel like haven't done that as well on my last two projects."
This November, A-Wall will be touring with indie-pop group Boy Pablo. Below, he discusses the delightful chaos of going viral, leaving college to pursue a career in music, being inspired by Frank Ocean, and more in an exclusive interview with NewsBreak.
How did you decide on A-Wall as your stage name?
It kind of started as somewhat of a joke, but it's a play on my last name, which means 'a wall' in Spanish.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
My biggest influences right now are Frank Ocean, Tyler, Ye, Cudi, and Mac Miller. Mac is a huge inspiration for this next album.
I'm inspired by them not even just musically but artistically as well. I like how they roll out projects and stuff. You definitely got a full grasp of what they were going for with their albums.
Which song have you had the most fun creating so far?
Not counting anything unreleased, Haverwood with CHROMA was the most fun. It was fun because we had to challenge ourselves. We were kind of behind on the project and had to come up with a song in three hours and that's what we came up with.
How fun is working with CHROMA and how has it helped develop your sound?
Working with CHROMA changed my whole perspective. They pushed me while making the Primavera album in ways that I'll always be grateful for. There were a ton of beats that I never would have touched before working with them but they pushed me outside of my box, which I think helped develop me a lot.
When did you realize college was not for you and decided to drop out to pursue music?
Around the time we were recording Primavera, during the pandemic. That whole year I was trying to find myself and decide if I was wasting my time with college. Which, yes, I kind of was wasting my time with it.
I wasn't doing all that great anyway, but between making Primavera and dealing with the pandemic I decided to step away and focus solely on music.
When will your next album debut?
There is no concrete date yet because I want to make sure everything is absolutely perfect first. Very soon, though. Hopefully, by the end of this year.
What should fans expect from you on your first tour with Boy Pablo next month?
I'm going to be previewing a lot of new music on this tour to see how people feel about the music I've been working on. I'm also going to bring a lot of guests that they don't want to miss.