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Osh: 'I’m not trying to be a one-hit wonder'

MUSICAL YOUTH: Osh grew up learning how to play the piano and violin

HAILING FROM south London’s musical hub – Croydon – Osh’s musical career has been long in the making. Teenage years would see Osh explore his sporting talents, leading to a football scholarship that saw him go on to pursue sports to degree level, but this could not quell his love for music. Pursuing his music career last summer with a series of Instagram freestyles, it was inevitable that Osh’s flip of Burna Boy’s would go far and wide. But is his Yé really that different and is it the anthem of 2018? Life & Style asked the man himself...

Life & Style: Your success has come because of the viral phenomena. What are your thoughts on having to be in the space in order for your obvious talent to be recognised?
Osh: I’m grateful for it, I understand it and it’s given me a platform, but I always envisaged getting to this point anyway. Obviously the viral video enabled us to get to a lot more people a lot quicker. I’m grateful for it and have nothing negative to say about social media. Right now I just have to enjoy it and take each day as it comes. I don’t get too carried away or caught up in it, you have to have a good balance, I think.

L&S: Are you surprised at what’s happened since you dropped that video?
O: I’m not surprised because I have always believed in myself and I have always had people that believe in me. I’m more surprised with how quick things have happened. I’ve always been working towards this, I don’t believe that it’s about luck. You have to work to get that break, so the only thing that’s really surprised me is how quick the process was from when the video came out. We got signed within two weeks. Normally it takes people years.

L&S: Can you share some of the opportunities that have arisen as a result of My Yé Is Different?
O: The people who I have met – established artists. When you hear artists that you grew up listening to or have been a fan of message you, reach out to you or compliment your work and give you words of advice, it’s always a good thing. Studios, being on the BBC, hearing my music played on the radio for the first time, those are the things that have happened since.

L&S: Talk a bit about being in the church choir, learning how to play the piano and the violin.
O: The violin was the first instrument that I learned how to play, I was about six or seven but I stopped doing that because I wanted to do the piano. I did the piano for about five years and I got to a grade five. I was in the church choir from about four or five. I kind of grew away from it as I got older. I was always in it, in terms of consistency I haven’t always been with it but it’s always been there. It’s definitely where I found my voice, it was groomed there.

L&S: You obviously like the track, but has Burna Boy’s received the respect it deserves in your opinion and where did you first hear it?
O: The reason why I even used the instrumental in the first place is because I’m from the Caribbean and in 2013 when I was at university when Afro Beats was on the rise. The person that influenced me to listen to the music was actually Burna Boy. He was my biggest influence for that genre. Since my version has come out, I believe that his song has done well for his sales and stuff like that, so it’s getting recognition. I’m a fan – that’s why I used the instrumental in the first place.

SOCIAL STAR: Osh in the video for My Yé Is Different

L&S: What’s your view on the state of the music business at present?
O: I’m a newbie here, but so far I think it’s good. I think it’s up to the artists to make sure they have the right people around them. A lot of people have opinions and see things in their own way. So I think in order for it to be successful for the artist they have to have people who think like them and who they trust around them also.

One of the problems that I see is people seeing money in the business and thinking it’s just that, but if you’re thinking about the long term you have to consider the people you are working with.

L&S: Reading the comments on different platforms a lot of people have got this track down as anthem of the year – but do you agree and how does it feel for you that My Yé Is Different is getting that type of love?
O: I agree 100 per cent, that’s the anthem! I might be biased, though, but I like the song. I wouldn’t have made it if I didn’t like it.

What I always want to do with my music is make sure the people who are listening get some emotion out of it. Whatever the emotion is, I want it to do something for someone. This song has made people laugh, smile and brought people together and I think for something to be classed as an anthem it needs to do those things. It needs to bring the community together. I’m proud that I can write something that can make people smile, that can make their day and change their mood. I’m proud.

L&S: Going forward, what’s the plan for Osh? You’ve already received support from Stormzy, Michael Dapaah, Krept and Donae’O. Collaborations, maybe?
O: In the future. What I’m trying to do first is establish myself as the artist, let people know about Osh. There’s all sorts of people I want to work with, I am up for collabs just as a fan. But from a business point of view I want people to get to know me.

I’m grateful for the things My Yé has done for me, but there are still people out there that haven’t done their research that think I have just done one video. It’s important that I get those people to understand that this is something that I take seriously, that I’ve been doing before and I’m not trying to be a one-hit wonder.

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