Oshua Interview

by the partae

Your musical journey has taken you from Canada to South Africa and now to Australia. How has each location influenced your sound, and what elements from these diverse backgrounds can be found in your debut EP, “Everything Can Levitate”?

Being able to experience different cultures influenced my music taste, whats popular in each country is different – I’m grateful to be able to appreciate all types of music. I think Hip-Hop has a strong following in most countries, the underground/sub-genres from North America are really present on the EP, new-wave drums, ambient leads and deep 808s.

“Everything Can Levitate” is described as the product of online discovery and collaborations during COVID lockdowns, originating from a Discord Server. How did this online collaboration shape your creative process, and how do you think it contributed to the unique sound of your EP?

A lot of the people I work with daily are producers, being able to watch a song progress from a single lead or vocal melody to a fully mastered version means that there is potential for me to change anything at any point of the process – its made my creative process precise as I can go back in the mixing stage and change/add what I want.

You’ve mentioned that the Discord Server played a crucial role in finding your sound as an artist. Could you elaborate on how the collaborative process in this virtual space contributed to the sonic identity of your music?

People on Discord are making everything, you can go in and listen to someone putting vocals on a indie-pop track or watch someone mix techno drums – being able to experience a lot of different musical backgrounds helps me pick and figure out what fits me the most.

Your debut EP spans three years of sonic self-discovery. Can you take us through the evolution of your sound during this period and how you arrived at the distinctive blend of new-wave hip hop that we hear in “Everything Can Levitate”?

I’ve always been a big Hip-Hop/Rap fan, especially of artists from the U.S/NA.

I started making lofi hip-hop with vocals before figuring out how to sing, then it was all about experimentation – I tried recording on anything and everything and quickly realised that I love the underground sound from the U.S, theres a lot of talented creatives in that space that have influenced me, you can definitely hear this on the project.

Born in Canada, raised in South Africa, and based in Australia, your music is described as grounded in the concept of not being grounded at all – of levitating. How does this idea of levitation play into your creative process, and how does it manifest in the themes of your EP?

I believe its really important to record/write the to whatever resonates with you, even if you don’t release it, its grounded in me that if I like something I should create around it – songs/demos can be as deep or casual as I want it to be, if what I’m creating resonates with me at the time then I shouldn’t hold back, I don’t have to release it I’m just happy I made it. Thats what I mean by levitation, its whatever is in the moment, between up or down.

The EP has received attention and co-signs from notable figures like Young Thug and Denzel Curry. How has this recognition impacted your approach to music, and do you feel any pressure following such endorsements?

So the Thug co-sign is still crazy to go back and watch, thats an artist I’ve been a big fan of since before I started music – the encouragement he gave me was pretty unreal.

Denzel I’ve been listening to since highschool and I love his live performances, think I’ve gone to every one of his sets in Perth, shoutout to Casshan for showing him my music – he’s the whole reason I did an EP in 2023, he said to keep dropping singles and then put together a small project, I got so much out of listening to his advice.

On the question about pressure, yes and no, yes because they are who they are and I respect their artistry and no because there has to be a reason that they said what they said.

Your debut has garnered significant international streaming success with over 3 million streams and a growing fanbase. What do you attribute this rapid rise to, and how do you connect with your audience on a global scale?

I started music because of internet culture, it was only right for me to learn how to market/promote my music in internet culture and thats what I attribute 100% of my streaming success to. Theres over 5 billion internet users, I’m confident I can reach the right people.

“Everything Can Levitate” has been praised for breaking down barriers and delivering a sound that is wholly unique. How do you navigate the balance between embracing diverse influences and maintaining a distinct, individual style in your music?

Back to that previous point of going with whatever resonates with me at the time, I think what makes a lot of artists music “unique” is their vocals, the different way they use it and beat/instrumental selection. Knowing what works for my voice or could work (experimentation) is the most important skill for navigating what I want my sound to be but I think it all goes back to experimenting.

The EP has received editorial attention from Spotify, Apple Music, and radio tastemakers like triple J. How do you think this exposure will shape the trajectory of your career, and what doors do you hope it opens for you in the music industry?

I think Triple J paid a lot more attention to my music in 2023 which I’m really grateful for, the Js and major DSPs have opened a lot of doors for me in terms of awareness and more than ever it just means to keep pushing.

Your single “Veins” won the prestigious Triple J x NIDA music video competition. How did the visual aspect of the music contribute to the overall narrative of the EP, and how important is visual storytelling to your artistic vision?

Visuals have become extremely important to me in the past year, sometimes I feel like its even more important than the song because it can end up being the livelihood of the song. The visual aspect of making music has started to heavily influence my creative process, I’ve started recording and writing with images/video loops on my monitor so that way what I’m making is visually making sense with what I overall want to achieve – you can hear the ups and downs of levitating in the EP because of this.

With the 2023 version of Soundcloud rap being mentioned in relation to your music, how do you see your work fitting into the current music scene, and what do you believe sets your sound apart in today’s musical landscape?

I’m coming to terms with what other creatives have told me, in that my music sounds like a bridge between modern pop and underground hip-hop – I didn’t want to put a label on things at first but overtime I’ve come to love it, it makes a lot of sense with everything that I’m trying to achieve.

Different enough to love and not too different to not give it a chance.

“Everything Can Levitate” is described as delivering the energetic culture of the scene on a silver platter. What can we expect next in terms of your musical evolution, and how do you plan to build on the success of your debut EP?

If I’m being honest, ideally I drop 2 or more projects in 2024 if I’m able. I want to be able to describe my music as “float” music, I think a debut EP around levitation was a good start but theres a lot that I’ve learned that I now want to apply to future bodies of work, I now fully know what I want to do.



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