When it comes to versatility, ingenuity and originality, OohSmoke is a young artist from Portsmouth who is breaking barriers. This week we got the chance to hear from the artist as he shares with us more on his musical journey, his background and his aspirations as an artist.
Question: Where are you from?
Answer: Portsmouth, Virginia
Q: When and How did you discover that you had a passion for music?
A: I discovered my passion for music shortly after graduating high school in 2016, I knew it was always in me because my pops was crazy with the shit. I started out playfully making songs & posting them to SoundCloud from my cellphone & though I was clearly joking around, my friends thought that I should take it serious and make real songs, which I did. I was making good records & ever since then I haven’t looked back since!
Q: Who do you consider to be your biggest influences?
A: My biggest influences would be my Dad who’s worked with some of the biggest names in the industry. Also, Kid Cudi. I’m a huge fan of Kid Cudi. I pray to have an impact on kids’ lives as he did on mine. Young Thug is another big influence. Lastly, Michael Jackson the GREATEST TO EVER DO IT!
Q: What has been the hardest thing for you to overcome as a creative?
A: Writers block would have been one of the toughest things to overcome as a creative & also the balancing of real-life situations while still maintaining the hunger & drive of being an artist & still putting out good quality records (which isn’t that hard for me)
Q: What do you think is your biggest accomplishment thus far?
A: My biggest accomplishment would have to had been getting the co-sign from Teddy Riley whose a legend in the game and has also worked and produced some of my idols (Michael Jackson) biggest hits, I guess it’s more like an personal accomplishment.
Q: What upcoming projects do you have in store for this year?
A: I won’t go into detail about the projects that I have upcoming this year but I can say that I have 2-3 projects coming in 2019!
Q: How do you feel about the underground scene? Do you feel as if it is too oversaturated and unoriginal?
A: The underground scene is cool I guess! The shit is definitely too unoriginal though! Too many egos not enough love. The shit is full of talent though. I’m def one whose trying to go mainstream, I’m trying crossover and do all type of shit in the game.
Q: What qualities about yourself do you feel separates you from other artists?
A: My voice within itself. I have a very distinctive voice a voice that can’t be multiplied nor duplicated. My mindset is another thing that sets me apart. I think very different from others! I’m not afraid to step out the box and try new shit. One day I can give u trap vibe & the next I could be on some dancehall shit. There are really no limits to my creativity and I’m very open minded! But more than anything I am MYSELF I never try to copy or imitate any other artist. I rarely listen to any other artist besides me and my niggas shit. That way I know any ideas generated came from smoke and only smoke. Don’t get me wrong though, I do listen all genres of music to learn from, etc.
Q: What was your biggest failure as an artist and how did you overcome it?
A: Honestly I can’t remember any big failure for me just yet, but I am prepared for it because it happens to the best of us.
Q: What advice do you have to upcoming artists who want to make a name for themselves?
A: My advice to any upcoming artist trying to prove himself would be for him or her to be themselves, remain genuine, trust the process and know that no one human can put limitations on you or what you want to do. Don’t be afraid to be different and try new things. Know the difference in those who really fuck with you or those who are trying to benefit from you. Travel and expand your music beyond your current living state. Believe in yourself and know your worth! Study the game and study the industry. Lastly, remain humble always!
Check out Oohsmoke on his musical platforms as well as follow him on social media. Also, be sure to check out his performance at our third anniversary showcase OFF THE WALL 3 June 21 at Charlie’s American Cafe in Norfolk, Va!