Who is OSH and where did the name originate from?
Well my name is Oshay, so OSH is just what people have called me for years, and I’m from the Caribbean. You probably thought I was Nigerian, right? I grew up in Croydon borough, Norbury to be specific.
Guilty as charged. You do look Nigerian, which I guess is a compliment! What was life like growing up in Norbury?
Life was good actually, couldn’t complain. Never had a bad upbringing, whilst I could have made better choices in secondary school. By as you do, you grow out of that quickly with a great family network.
You starred on the cover of Spotify’s Afro Bashment playlist last month. Do you consider this genre a true representation of the music you create?
Whilst I wouldn’t necessarily say that, what I would say is that it shows that I’m able to dabble in various genres. This is something I believed I would always be able to do and I love any opportunity to illustrate my versatility in music. I call the genre of music I create ‘The Osh’ Lane; I’m quite different to most artists and I’ll have a proper name for my genre of music soon, I promise!
Are there other genres of music would you like to break into?
Nothing specific. If i hear an instrumental that I like, it could be classic music, but if I believe I can do something to it, add my own sound, then I will jump on it. I don’t restrict myself, and that comes from my own experiences and heritage. Being able to adapt to different styles is something I take pride in.
What are your earliest memories of music?
Being in the church choir at the age of 4 or 5.
What artists have you gained most influence from?
There’s too many! On the gospel side, the likes of Kirk Franklin. When it comes to RnB, the likes of Michael Jackson & R.Kelly. And when it comes to modern culture, you haves the Drakes and the Kendricks, J.Coles. From the UK specifically, Skepta & Stormzy. I’m quite broad when it comes to musical influences, and I hope this comes across in my music. One of my songs, ‘On you’ which is about a love interest, then there’s ‘Let It Rain’, which is a more personal track. Then there’s the likes of Me Ye, which is more vibesy.
Explain the creative process of ‘My Yé Is Different’
I was previously performing freestyles on Instagram using well-known instrumentals from established producers. The plan was to initially use 4 of these instrumentals from artists or tracks that I had a personal likening to. This would form my first single. Originally, we used the Burna Boy ‘Ye’ beat. Next was going to be ‘Jaded’ by Drake, then Travis Scott’s Coffee bean. The overall plan was to make whichever instrumental we used my own, and by doing so, create an entirely new sound.
Explain the term ‘Ye’ in three different words.
I’ll give you a sentence. It’s about motivated one another. Say, for example, we are doing the same thing; the way I’d do it would be different from the way you do it. If you put your mind to it, you can ‘Ye’ different, and better, than I ye.
Ultimately, Ye is dripping in sauce.
Has becoming an overnight celebrity been a surprise to you?
I always thought I’d be where I find myself today, I just didn’t think it would happen in such a way. It was simply two weeks after the video came out that I was signed. That’s a journey that for others could take 5, maybe 10, years. Those around me have always believed in me and pushed me to do more and I have also always dreamed of putting music out there for all to listen to.
I don’t believe in luck either; we’ve been working towards this moment for a long time. Even luck requires work. The day ‘My Ye’ came out I was ill, but I was nevertheless back in the studio grinding. What’s meant to be will always be
What do you think is key to remaining relevant in an industry where you find artists have such a short shelf life?
I think the key to remaining relevant is not worrying so much about remaining relevant. That shouldn’t be the reason why artists create music. I simply want to use my passion to make others happy. If one person or 100,000 people connect with it, then I could not ask for anything more. Not being concerned about the numbers and the fame is what I hope will continue to drive me to make good music. Being signed, there’s the added benefit of having a team dedicated to marketing myself as an artist and that allows me to concentrate on what I do best.
What would you say is your biggest fear?
Losing my mother’s cooking. No, but seriously, it would be not knowing what to write as an artist. It’s not hard to right a song that has no substance, but I want people to take away more from my music. In ‘My Ye’, for example, there’s a deeper meaning once you strip the lyrics back from the vibe and I want for all my music to have a deeper meaning.
What can we expect from OSH in the near future?
More sauce in the form of music. The aim is to continually improve on what was done before. I’m already thinking of my next step, next track.
Any artists you’d love to work with?
Within the UK, I’d love to work with Skepta. I knew Stormzy before the music, so I’d definitely like to work with him for sentimental reasons. Regardless of the possibilities, I’d love to work with Adele, one day! Worldwide, I’m a massive fan of Drake and Rick Ross. I want to work with the best.
Any final words?
Thanks for having me VIPER and watch this space. There’s plenty more to come from it. For anyone who worries about following their dreams: shut your eyes and go for it. You live once so do what makes you happy.
Wise words from a man beyond his years.