We sat down with the excellent new UK artist Os and sliced it up music-wise. He told us stories of school, church, staying away from bad vibes and we slide further into all things Moments and Memories. Ready? Okay then, here we go.
Firstly, how do you usually start your day and how have you been keeping focused with all the general uncertainty in the world?
Os: I appreciate you taking the time to have a chat with me as well. To be honest, most of my days start with prayer. As early as I can remember faith has been a big part of my life and that has become a solid foundation in my routine, after that I try to sleep again before I really get up to work. That extra hour really helps recharge and gives a little boost to help in the day. I don’t believe mornings need to be extravagant or over complicated with routines, we have the rest of the day to do that. Our mornings should be simple and allow us room to process our days. I think that prayer also plays a part in helping me remain grounded and focused. In all honesty it wasn’t always like that, up until the start of last year (2022) I was not able to focus, until I saw a quote about anxiety being fear about the future that you don’t know. I’m sorry that this is a lot of words, but I would say that accepting the fact that there are things that I don’t know and potentially can’t know gives the space to focus on what I do know. So, this is really a new thing for me, learning to just be present and handle the things that I can, not being careless and not planning, but being carefree enough if things don’t go according to those plans.
When you close your eyes for a minute and travel back in time, do you recall those school freestyle battles and what do you take from that experience?
Os: I take joy from the experiences. I went to an all-boys school, and something that is regularly said now that I am older is that “people who went to all-boys schools are really weird”. For me, it is so interesting to hear that because education-wise, those were my best years and the experiences I had have been a recurring talking point since leaving. One of those many experiences is the freestyles. The joy and excitement when someone played a new beat they found, or one that our favourite artists had rapped on then hearing each other have a go at it is something I don’t want to ever forget. Everyone was trying to out-rap each other at the same time adding a cheeky diss or just outright insulting each other. It regularly tested your ability to speak/think on your feet. Obviously, I can’t recall all of them but it helped build that freestyling ability that is so necessary going forward as a rap artist.
Please tell us more about your upcoming project Moments and Memories.
Os: Moments and Memories is a collation of songs that I wrote from 2019-2023, with 8 songs the project is an attempt to provide insight for listeners into the moments and memories that make me who I am. It was never my intent for them to be a project, but over time I realised there were songs that I had written that made a lot of sense together in a project. Each song gives a snapshot into different attributes of my life from the perspective of the past present, and the future. What I like about the project is that it looks on to the moments that have not yet occurred as well, but we (you the reader and I) have hope for. The reason why this sentiment is important to me is because those moments will eventually become memories that we will in turn look back on. It is funny because I am a rapper/songwriter but sometimes it feels like I am not the best with words. I really am hoping you have a feel for what I am offering in my EP. I have songs about navigating friendships in a time when certain friends started getting involved in things that I wasn’t sure about, I have a few songs that touch on the topic of love, especially “Bugs & Lola”. Healthy love is an interesting topic from the perspective of people where I am from. A lot of rappers choose to talk about love from a derogatory perspective which is for some what they have seen and what they know. I don’t want that, especially seeing my parents love, I really want a love like Bugs & Lola.
What instruments do you perform and what excites you most about creating music?
Os: In church, I play the Keyboard, sometimes first or auxiliary keys. I also play the bass but that is a recent addition. In the past, I have learned the trumpet and taught myself a bit of guitar, ukulele, and drums. The most exciting thing about creating music I think is the ability to take something that has already been created, a sample or something that has already been used, a chord and use it in a different way. The endless combinations made available to us as creatives really excites me, because I can hear a chord progression I used in someone else’s song and think, “oh man that was a fun way to use that”. I have a big love for sampling, finding parts of songs that were “completed” and using that as a building block for my song. There is so much to creating music that captures me to be fair, I think seeing it also translate from where I wrote and recorded it onto stage and engaging with an audience.
You represent SE London. What’s it like living there and where should we go watch proper good live music in your area?
Os: I think South East is a unique side of London, so many cultures combined which sometimes leads to conflict but we aren’t just known for that. We have more and more people progressing from here to the World stage. Whether it is politics, technology, music, business etc we are definitely starting to make a name for ourselves. It has definitely calmed down, with the new connections they are building via trains etc everything is starting to get expensive and they are building new flats/apartments so a lot of things look different from when I was young. I would say the Amersham Arms has some good acts and shows every now and then. You have the obvious O2 Arena. The rest is now more about looking out for specific acts, some good ones to look out for a K Lewis, Tenekia-Tabitha, Tidez, Odeal, JimLegacy just to name a few.
Please detail your love for TV and Film?
Os: From a young age one thing that I did a lot was write scripts and storylines for films and television. I think it was often an attempt to recreate things I had seen and finish them in my own way or create my own storyline from the top. I think the combination of audio and visuals is what created the love for me. The ability to build suspense in a scene from camera angle selections and music choice. I did media in 6th Form and this started adding a bit more knowledge to the passion I currently had. While I have not been able to revisit the practical side of film making, for my EP I am trying to implement a few of these things into the visualizers that we are creating. As for consumption of films and TV shows, I try and find a new show to watch regularly. I recently went through majority of the Star Wars saga and I must say the score for those films is amazing, honourable shout out to Daniel Pemberton on the into the Spiderverse and the Man from Uncle score. We all know Hans Zimmer is a staple in that arena and I am waiting for another opportunity to see him live as I missed the last chance.
Last question. What is the best advice you’ve ever given or have been given in the past?
Os: The best advice I was given… I would say that it was “never feel like you can’t start again”.
Listen up closer on Spotify.
Interview by Llewelyn Screen