GMA: Hey, it’s Georgia Doll with GeorgiaMediaAgency.com and I have the pleasure of interviewing recording artist Oyabun. So, Oyabun, you were born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Have you always lived in Brooklyn?
OYABUN: I was living in Miami for like 5 years and just relocated in January back to Brooklyn. I got accepted into school down in Miami and there was also Hurricane Sandy in Brooklyn and our house was destroyed. I moved and not too long after my parents moved down to Miami as well.
GMA: What was the creative process behind of “Castle on The Hill?”
OYABUN: The song was initially produced by 6Twelve, who is like my main producer. [Usually, production that I have is between 4 different people] The vibe of the beat was kind of like the beginning of the song was. It was written kind of like a prayer, and then I got into kind of like wanting to switch up the mood with a tempo change. You hear the song’s tempo speed up. We took the song from that point and give people a whole new song.
GMA: I like “Cobain” as well. Talk a little about the make of that song as well.
OYABUN: “Cobain” was from a different project I was working on, but we ended up going in a different direction after I cut the "Castle on The Hill" record, but we didn’t want to not use the song. We made it the single; it’s just one of my favorite songs. I feel like the song was able to show people who OYABUN really was.
When I was in Vegas a couple months back [I hate Vegas, by the way], I stayed in my hotel room for three days watching music documentaries because I’m not into gambling and whatnot. I saw this one documentary on Kurt Cobain. I was able to capture this rock star feel.
GMA: "Cobain" just premiered on BET JAMZ in mid-June. How was that experience when you saw it on your own TV Screen?
OYABUN: It was honestly amazing. You know, you do something for a long time and you have these end goals. It was just dope because I feel like every artist wants to be on TV and reach these goals. It’s still surreal to me; I honestly still haven’t even really, fully digested it, actually. My whole team and family was able to be a part of it, which was also dope. We all were able to see that “Damn, this can really happen!” My mom sent me like 40 screenshots of the video and it was just a great moment for me.
GMA: What’s your newest project all about?
OYABUN: I just released my newest Extended Project [EP] titled “NVRLND.” The reason why I dropped it yesterday is because it’s so symbolic with the Solar Eclipse and the perfect time. My last project was titled “Mercury Retrograde”, so that was the vibe we were trying to go for. This project is also a art of the series of EPs I’m putting out.
GMA: Reflect on your music and its’ transition and progression: Then vs. Now.
OYABUN: When I would write songs initially, it was more poem-based and spoken word, more like the traditional “Boom-Bap” style. I felt like the music was more routine.
Now, I’ve lived life more, so I have a bigger aspect on my music. It’s not just from Brooklyn, it’s based off my transitions in life and where I’ve been.
GMA: So, you mentioned you’ve traveled a lot and it’s helped you make more music. Where else have you traveled?
OYABUN: Fortunately, my parents always wanted me to see different places and environments. We would go to Jamaica, where my pops is from and The Dominican Republic. Just to see different places and what’s out there. So, when I got older and I was presented an opportunity, I would take it and travel. You get a chance to connect with so many different people.
GMA: Talk a little about your experience in Utah for four days, shooting the “Cobain” music video.
OYABUN: The visual we shot encompassed both songs. The videos are going to be released separately. Essentially, it was just amazing because the “NVRLND” project – The sound of it takes you to another world. I feel like Urban city environments give off a different vibe. So, we went to Utah to bend reality. It looks like we went to four different countries all in one. There was a desert and I’ve never experienced that. It was just different. I did it to create visuals for my art.
GMA: What’s next for your music and artistry?
OYABUN: I want to begin doing as many shows as I can. Even in other cities. I would like to open up for a headlining act and going on the road and riding out with them through a couple cities. This project is a gate opening of a race that I don’t feel that I’ll stop running anytime soon. I just want to keep pushing forward.
GMA: What else can we expect from the producers you work with or artist collaborations?
OYABUN: If I come into contact with someone I feel like we should collab, it has to happen organically. I would prefer it that way. My productions are really what I consider a collab. Multiple producers adding to the song and it feels like a band almost.
GMA: What music do you listen to that inspires and motivates your creativity?
OYABUN: It ranges. A lot of music that I’ve been gravitating towards as of lately is also blended genres. I listen to Old Kanye West, Cudi, The Weeknd’s album, things that are unconventional. These artists are changing what “Pop” is and changing the status quo. I also listen to rap, but I don’t want it to influence my music and voice subconsciously. I spend more time listening to alternative music.
GMA: I applaud you as an artist! How can people connect with you on social media and hear your music?