HCM. How did you come by your stage name?
Osay. I’m of Nigerian decent so Osay is actually the shortened version of my first name Osayuki. Everyone calls me Osay and it just seems very fitting. It’s unique, it’s different, it’s me. I couldn’t imagine going by another other name but my own.
HCM. When did you discover your love for music and what made you realize you wanted to pursuit a career in music?
Osay. I have loved music since I was a kid. My mom tells me stories of how when I was a baby I would just be singing up and down the house. Even my earliest memories involve me singing into a hairbrush or watching music videos all day long on TV. I couldn’t pinpoint a time specifically when I came to love music but I do feel like music has always been a part of me and creating serves as an extension of self. I can be whoever I want to be through my songs and that’s why I love to create.
I always wanted to pursue a music career but it became more of a reality for me once I started working in music studios and watching sessions and getting to work with other creators where it truly felt like more than just a pipe dream. Being so close to the action and seeing so many successful people around me doing the things that I wanted to do made it seem possible for me.
HCM. On your current/upcoming album… How did you come up with the concept for this project?
Osay. My new EP, “Chapter 1…” was inspired by a lot of different things. I think the main thing I wanted to do with this project was create something similar to the sounds that I grew up listening to and loving so much. With Chapter 1, there’s a lot of up-tempo rap and R&B songs and I wanted to create something that made you feel good, something that made you want to get up and dance and just have fun.
On the other hand, I want to give people elements of me. Songs like I’m On High and Try Me kind of show off the quirky, silly side of my personality. I have a song on the project called Rogue, which talks about me breaking from the status quo and embracing that. Then there are songs like How Many Licks and Still Got Me that embrace that more uhm… naughty side of who I am that I usually keep hidden. Essentially, I want to give people a bit of me without telling my whole life story.
I have more personal records that are coming out in due time, but for now, I think this serves as a cool introductory for establishing who Osay is to the public and that was really important to me. It’s why the EP is named the way it is and even the project artwork is my face made up of my different song titles and words that define elements of who I am at this moment.
HCM. What are some of your greatest challenges as an artist, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
Osay. Some of the biggest challenges I’ve faced have been the ones people can’t see. I think the mental toll art can bring can take a huge toll. Always in doubt of your abilities, questioning everything you drop, wondering if all the sacrifices were worth it. The constant chase of perfection really eats away at your self-confidence and it is a very hard thing to shake at times. I know fall victim to it a lot but I try to push past my fear because of how hard I’ve come and how much farther I can go. The biggest challenge externally is definitely resources. Being an independent artist means that I gotta fund this journey and when you’re in competition with machines who have millions of dollars to throw behind their artists, it forces you to become creative when you don’t have anything else. I never want anything I do to be subpar because I didn’t have money so I try to work around things when necessary but I can’t lie, it’s hard.
And no one works harder than me. I love music and I want to be in this business and I will stop at nothing to get where I need to be. I’ve sacrificed everything but the kitchen sink at this point in the pursuit of my dream and because I want this so bad, I am willing to put in the hours that no one else will and study up on this industry. I’ll put in the hours to be better at my craft and just be better. Work ethic gets you in places that talent won’t and those intangibles are the difference between success and failure.
HCM. What impression would you like listeners to be left with after hearing Chapter 1?
Osay. I hope anyone listening to my project understands that I’m trying to do this music thing my way. I don’t fit the mold of what a female rapper is “supposed to be” and I love that. I wanna celebrate individuality, especially in an era where everyone wants to be the same. I also hope people can see how serious I take this, despite the sometimes silly punchline based lyrics. This isn’t about blowing up and being rich and famous, this is about fulfilling a life long dream. I just shot my first music video for Off Brand a few weeks ago and it was so surreal. Like I have a music video that’s coming out! I’ve always dreamed of these moments and now they’re coming true. This all means so much to me and I hope that these songs resonate with people as much as they resonate with me
HCM. Is there anyone you’d like to thank, any shout outs?
Osay. Thank you for allowing me the chance to speak on your platform. But I’d like to shout out my friends and family who have been super supportive of my journey thus far. I gotta give major props all the producers and engineers who helped me with Chapter 1… Big love to Kujo, Mulade, caveman, BMTJ, Roman RSK, and Paven Melody. Also big shout out to DJ Sosa and Mani at Manifest Marketing for always keeping me in line.
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