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24 Minutes

24 Minutes with Alpha Omega

By Joe Leary

Alpha Omega. (Supplied Photo)

Alpha Omega. (Supplied Photo)

A true family project, Alpha Omega unites four-time Juno Award winner Prevail and his nephew, Neph. The newly-created duo spent 24 Minutes with Joe Leary.

24: Had you been itching to do something other than Swollen Members?

Prevail: I was getting a little antsy to make some new tunes and I always liked the group setting, it allows for good idea bouncing. So naturally when Neph started his career it made absolute sense for us to team up; it’s been amazing so far and I can see things really starting to take shape.

24: At what point did you decide to venture off in a new direction?

Prevail: About a year and a half ago my dear friend Dave Barnett approached me about heading up his new indie label called Kitsilano Records. It was then that I saw the possibilities of a new avenue and it has honestly changed the way I look at music. The freedom of creativity, not only writing and recording wise, but also with merch design and video concepts, is all up to us. We’ve recently started working with a talented new band, The Leisure Principle on some collabs and a six song EP called AOXLP for the label. Plus the next project from Year of the Wolf and a few other groups we have our sights on.

24: Being related to Prevail, was he your musical inspiration?

Neph: Actually, yes and no. I’ve been rolling with Prev and the crew since I was a kid, so the industry was always something I was around and very aware of. But it was a few friends of Prev and I (S/O Hope and Perswaysion) who initially inspired me to take rap seriously. I had been writing here and there since high school, but when I moved to Vancouver in 2010 and saw the underground scene bubbling, and all the local opportunities up and coming guys were getting, it really made me think that, hey, I could do that. And so I did.

24: Who was it that nailed down the concept of working together?

Neph: Initially it was me. I had just been wrapping up my first project, The Black Box EP, and I approached Prev with the beat for ‘Viceroy’ and asked if he would be the lone feature. He obliged and it was off to the races. Now as far as the group is considered, that was Prev's idea and even the name ‘Alpha Omega’ was a P-Won special.

24: Tell us about Alpha Omega.

Prevail: Neph and I have been close his whole life. We are huge inspirations for each other but just because we are family didn’t necessarily mean we were going to have musical chemistry. Thankfully though it took one song: ‘Viceroy’ from Neph’s first solo EP, ‘The Blackbox’ to know that we were onto something. Our DJ and main producer Tyler Durdan is from Greece and he sends us the most amazing beats to rock over. In some ways - because I have been doing this awhile – I ’m the alpha but in other ways, since I’m in the twilight of my career, I’m also the omega and thus vice versa for Neph. All in all it’s about pushing each other to stay sharp and staying open minded.

 24: Having built a loyal following with Swollen Members, do you think the original fan base will be supportive, or do you have to win an audience all over again?

Prevail: It’s been a blend of both and I truly think that’s important. The Swollen listeners have been incredibly supportive but we are also building our own fan base as well. I want to treat Alpha Omega as what it is which is a new entity with a sound unique to the grou24 Minutes with Alpha Omegap, we have been getting great feedback on the combo of beat selection and songwriting that is helping us to stand apart and attract some new listeners.

24: Whose vision is primary in Alpha Omega?

Neph: It’s a split down the middle, no one person dominates over the other. Neph and I are very open with each other and we have such interesting beats coming from Tyler that it remains challenging. Between the three initial EP’s The Concept/The Strain/The Outbreak, the songs and ideas have evolved and morphed giving us a truer understanding of the brand we are creating.

24: How’s it working with family?

Prevail: It’s the best! And nothing cooler than my older sister being at one of the shows and saying, “That’s my son and my brother up there!” The Victoria gigs are literally like family reunions.