With first week sales of 67,000 copies, young New Orleans singer August Alsina enters at #1 on the Soundscan R&B chart and #2 on the overall chart with TESTIMONY, his debut album on NNTME/Def Jam Recordings (released April 15th), an inspirational tale of survival in one of America’s most treacherous cities. The release of TESTIMONY came just three weeks after August wrapped up the successful 21-city 2 Good 2 Be T.R.U. U.S. tour starring 2 Chainz and Pusha T.
TESTIMONY, which immediately hit #1 on the iTunes Top Albums chart upon its release last week, takes off on the strength of a quartet of advance hit tracks that were featured on August’s debut EP, Downtown: Life Under The Gun: “Ghetto” featuring Rich Homie Quan (over 8 million YouTube views to date); “Downtown” featuring Kidd Kidd; “I Luv This Sh*t” featuring Trinidad James; and “Let Me Hit That” featuring fellow NOLA native son Curren$y. The brand new single from TESTIMONY is “Make It Home” featuring fellow Def Jam artist Jeezy.
The release date of TESTIMONY carries major personal significance for August; April 15th was the birthday of his older brother, Melvin LaBranch III, who inspired August to pursue music. Tragically, Melvin was gunned down on the New Orleans streets in 2010, just days before August’s 18th birthday. The murder remains unsolved.
TESTIMONY’s motivational undercurrent deals graphically with August’s past hardships – serious family issues including death, homelessness and addiction. “As an artist,” August reflects, “I struggle with how much of myself to give to the people. How much I want my personal business to be judged. I think the EP struck a good balance of who I am and what I’ve been through, but that was just the beginning. Nothing is held back on TESTIMONY. When people hear my story, and see that I came from nothing, they’ll see that it’s possible for them too.”