If you have not read part 1 of my interview with Oswin, I would suggest you go back and read that first. Then come back for part 2. Enjoy
RESPECT.: You talk a lot about God and spirituality in your music. Was that always a part of your life? Did you always feel like you were meant to be an artist, like God gave you these gifts, so this is you are supposed to be doing? I guess, how do you see music in terms of your religious beliefs?
Oz: When I was growing up, my mom always told me, “if you’re put in a position to speak, just make sure that it’s from a genuine place. You may be the only little glimpse of God that anybody is able to see.” So I kind of feel obligated. I heavily believe that this is a purpose of mine. This is bigger than music. This is bigger than making words rhyme. If I’m in the position to spread any type of light or benevolence to anybody’s situation, and I’m in a position where anybody is listening to me, then I’ve gotta use these abilities, for what I feel like is best. A lot of people get caught up in a certain type of situation, where they’re like “I’m this or I’m that”. And you need a certain type of arrogance for rap, just cause it is the nature. But there are a lot of lost people who are so stuck in their situation that they are unable to see anything other than that. So I feel like, if I’m put in the position where people are listening, then I’ve gotta let em’ know that it’s not anything that I’m doing. It’s something that God is doing.
RESPECT.: Have people come up to you and told you that they have heard your story and they related to it, or that they heard your song and it saved them? If so, does that motivate you to tell yourself “okay, I can’t stop”?
Oz: Definitely. It’s so crazy how God works. And every time I feel like “what am I doing this for?”, literally every time. This has probably happened about 6 times over the past 6 years, and every time I feel “I’m still broke” or “what the fuck am I doing?”, and I feel like giving up, I get a message from someone in Africa (or somewhere else) who will tell me, “yo, I listened to your music. You gotta keep doing what you’re doing because you’re motivating people to be themselves, and do what they like to do, and not do what everybody else is doing.” So every time I feel like giving up, I get a message, or I get a phone call or something to let me know like “yo keep going.” That’s probably one of the greatest feelings ever.
RESPECT.: I think that’s the thing. Even if you’re affecting one person, or you saved someone with your words, you were put on this earth for a purpose. And no one can take that away from you.
You mentioned it for a second earlier, but drug culture is huge in hip-hop these days, especially with Future and lean, but you don’t really talk about drugs much. You actually have the line “Peter Parker just shut down the web without Marry Jane”, does that mean that you don’t smoke weed?
Oz: Growing up I never smoked weed. It was never a big thing. But then I moved to the city and I’m like “you know what, I’m the type of person where I need to experience it and I need to live it so I know whether I fuck with it or not”. So I’m seeing everybody smoking, and they’re all happy all the time. So I don’t know if I don’t like this cause I don’t like this, or cause I’m programmed not to like it. But I was like let me try it for myself. So I smoked weed probably around 6 times in my life. And 2 out of those 6 times, I had the worst experience of my life (laughs).
He talked about those bad experiences and mentioned wanting to jump in front of a car, and wanting to slap the shit out of his friend while on his bad trips. After his friend told him that he would just have to get used to the feeling of being high, he said, “no I don’t want to get used to this feeling.” I told him that I felt the same way and never really felt the need to try smoking weed, but only did because I wanted to know for myself.
RESPECT.: Yeah, I think it’s cool because you just wanted to experience things for yourself. I think that’s the problem with today’s culture though. People do things because they think they should be doing them. Were you always the type of guy who wasn’t into what your friends were? Did you always feel that comfortable with yourself, or how did that come about?
Oz: I was always the type of person that just did what I want, and I always got teased for it. I didn’t lose my virginity until I was 17, and my friends would be like “yo why aren’t you getting no ass?” and I just told them “it’s just cause I’m not getting any ass.” (laughs). But I was never the type of dude that was like “they’re making fun of me so I’ve gotta do this.” Stuff like that never phased me growing up, because I know that I feel how I feel, and if you don’t feel like that too, then you don’t feel like that. But I never felt peer pressured to do what they were doing. I think that I learned how to be an individual early on, and the easiest way is to just be yourself. I felt like I was put here to be an individual and to show people how easy it is to be yourself. I never followed what people were doing, I always felt like that was super corny.
RESPECT.: I think that the only leaders who we follow are the people who are themselves. Even in music, people always try to hop on the trends, but they are just trying to perfect someone else’s craft. Then someone else comes along and creates something new, and those are the people that stick. I think that is what connected me to your music. In this era of everyone trying to be the same, it feels like your music is just you. Do you feel like your music is a reflection of who you are?
Oz: Yeah, I feel like it’s a reflection of me and the people around me who can attest to it. The people that live the specific situation that I talk about in a record, I love to play it for them and have them be like “yo I remember that. He’s not lying. I was there for this. I remember when she said you were ugly!” (laughs). But I’ve learned too, especially in New York where everybody is trying to rap, I see people at these shows trying to do what everyone else does, trying to give the hood what they want. But they (the hood) don’t know what they want. They just want you to be you. People are so scared of themselves. And like you said, the people who are setting the trends are the people who are just being themselves. There will never be another Jay-Z.
We talked about how Jay-Z, Drake, and Kanye were all hated and ridiculed for being themselves, but they stuck with it and became idols in the game. We discussed how when you start conforming, you lose who you actually are, and that is never the way to connect with the masses.
RESPECT.: Speaking of the friends who you said you play a lot of your shit for, when you have the line “I don’t deal with people in between”, are you referring to any of the people around you? It seems like anytime that someone experiences some success, there are the people around them that try to bring them down, and sometimes those are friends. Have you experienced any of that with your growing success?
Oz: You know what, I’ve never experienced that because I am surrounded by a lot of selfless people who want to help in any way that they can. Anything that they can give to propel the brand, or even me, they are with it. My manager Tyler quit his job right after I got fired from mine. He was supposed to be a teacher, but he turned down a teaching position so that he could work in a stock room with me to work on music.
He told me that all of the employees and management at his former job were behind him. They all believed in the vision so much that he would record in the break room while everyone else ate in the food court. He recorded his entire second mixtape in that break room. The manager put up a sign that said “Do not disturb, Oz is recording.” And everyone respected that. Needless to say, he has a positive circle around him.
While you read the rest of the interview, check out Oswin’s new mixtape below. Let him know what you think @OswinBmusic
I asked him about his best friend and manager and how they turned this music thing into a business relationship. He walked me through a story that was straight from a movie scene. There were beats being made by banging on the lunch room table. Oz was getting made fun of by some dude. The guy was spitting some bars as a joke at him, and after some encouragement from his boys, Oz had an out of body experience where he freestyled for two minutes straight, and roasted the guy who was making fun of him in the first place. After that, he met his now manager, and the rest is history. Next I asked him about some more of his lyrics.
RESPECT.: You had the line “you’ll never fly if you never jump out the nest.” Do you place an importance on taking risks and going outside of your comfort zone?
Oz: Man, I feel like that’s the only way you get stuff. Even with the whole homeless situation. Me and my manager, we are homeless right now. Certain risks, need to be taken. I’m a firm believer that if you have a plan A, and you’ve spoken to God, and God’s solidified that plan in your heart, then you’ve gotta take any step to make that happen. I’ve lost relationships, I’ve cut off family members, to get this done. Because not everyone has this vision that I have. So I’m a firm believer in taking risks. There were days where I didn’t pay rent, because the unemployment money was used for a show, or for studio time. I’m telling people this is my plan A, and if I believe in what I want to do, then I need to act on it.
RESPECT.: Did you ever have a plan B?
Oz: Nah. I did for a short amount of time, but I realized how miserable I was. There are certain people who are meant to sit behind a desk, and have a family, and have a salary, and they’re happy with that. I tried that. It’s crazy because I was living with my girlfriend at the time, and she would cook every day when I would get home from work, and my clothes were always clean, and the bed was always made. Everything was amazing. But it wasn’t. Because I felt like something was missing. I wasn’t at the studio. I was working 9-5, getting paid decent, the bills were paid on time and I still had enough money to do whatever else I wanted to do. But I wasn’t doing music, and that’s always been my thing.
RESPECT.: Yeah man. I think you can work all day to try and get through the day, but then you’re not enjoying your day. It seems like you were just trying to get through the day, and you were just so tired that you couldn’t even make music; the one thing that you loved to do.
Oz: Yeah. Every job I ever got hired at, I got fired from. And it was because of the music. I would just be in the bathroom writing music. And it got to the point where managers would know, if I’m missing for more than 30 or 40 minutes, then I’m just in the bathroom writing a verse. This is it. There is nothing else for me. I can’t work a 9-5. I’m putting my faith into this and it’s going to work out.
RESPECT.: I respect that, and you have to. Are you big into the law of attraction and speaking things into existence?
Oz: I just got big into writing my visions down. I just got into that recently, this year. One of my goals was to double my plays on soundcloud, another one was to get $1500 off of music, another was to get on Sway, and the last one was to get on Hot 97. And all of those things happened within the last three months.
In the final part of the interview, we talk about his spontaneous appearance on Sway in the Morning, and wrap up our conversation by hearing his thoughts on the soul Thanks for reading. Check out Oswin’s appearance and interview on Sway below.
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