The rapper/songwriter/producer/megababe tells us all about his debut EP.
Osquello’s music sounds like a summer spent lazing around, half-delirious from heat and pure bliss. His dream-like electronic tracks are infused with jazz melodies and soul influences, blending downtempo rap with light vocals and synths with percussion, currently featuring artists from Declan McKenna to Clairo and Poppy Billingham.
With debut EP “Good Morning Simulation” set for release via Practise Music (also the label behind dreamboat bands Woman’s Hour and Squid) on 23rd January, as well as a headline show at Electrowerkz on 21st Feb, we chatted to Osquello about the inspirations behind the EP, and plans to connect people through music.
Hey Osquello, how are you?
Hey guys! I’m not too bad, just looking after this new pup, could do with some sleep soon, haha.
Your first EP is coming out on Wednesday! How are you feeling about it?
Yeah! Excited and almost relieved as most of the tracks are over a year old so just getting the next album ready, very different change in sound.
How long have you been working on it?
I’d say all together I’ve been working on it for around two to three years now just because I’d make a whole load of tracks and then the selection and order usually takes the longest. Because it’s my first EP I wanted to create some sort of theme for once.
Going back to the beginning, how long have you been working on music in general?
Been making music since I was around 13, started producing on a really old Dell computer through a program called Reason that my Dad gave me. Was one of the oldest versions but I’ve produced some of my biggest tracks like “Projectdon’tdie” on that. Then as I started to get older, I was getting more into rapping around 15 and from then I just joined it all together when I learnt how to use Logic and Ableton, gave me space to present more ideas and work on my singing to then create my own sound.
Who would you say are your main musical inspirations?
To be honest, it’s never been someone in particular that inspires me but my Dad was the first person to introduce me to artists like Michael Jackson, Kanye West, kaytranada etc who have now had a lot of influence on the tracks I make. I think Odd Future were one of the first groups of people that made me believe I could be someone in the industry, purely because at that time no one was making anything as weird as I was but then I discovered this whole community of musicians over in Canada called “Coule Louve’ and “Dekota Ain’t Rich” who helped me realise it’s fine to be as honest as possible in the music I create. At the moment I’m really inspired by soul and R&B artists like moonchild, Dwele, Devin Morrison, Erykah Badu and many more.
Your EP seems to fuse loads of different musical influences – from rap to jazz – what drew you towards this way of writing?
I think I’ve always been a fan of hearing different sounds of music coming together because it usually creates something new we’ve never heard of. Also I listen to all sorts of music I can go from Nine Inch Nails to Roy Ayers from Gucci Mane to the Temper Trap. Where I grew up everyone just loved grime and drill so I guess I was just tired of hearing the same shit and wanted to make something that actually lasts. A lot of the music thats taken in these days are just “hits” or “bangers” which stay in the charts for a couple weeks and then no one remembers who the artist is. I want to be able to create something that is as honest as possible to who I am while also having some sort of longevity thats means different communities can connect together while listening to it. I want to create the connection with the artist again, I don’t really see it much these days.
Lyrically – where do you tend to pull the ideas for your songs?
The lyrics all really come from my honest emotions or what I want to teach myself for the day. Even though I fucking hated school, I’ve learnt to treat my songs as lessons and usually attach a problem and a solution to it. Not only does that help me but maybe others out there who seek some sort of guidance. That’s for now though, no doubt I’ll be making some dumb ignorant shit for the next album because at the end of the day it doesn’t hurt to try everything out. When I sit down and make a track it all just comes out naturally with hardly any thought though, usually reflects how I’m feeling or which character I want to play for the moment.
If this EP is people’s first introduction to Osquello – what impression do you want them to take away from it?
I want people to take away the fact that they don’t have to expectations of the music and its going to change a lot of the time. That’s the reason I say universal because I’m not trying to make music for one group of people, I’m trying to work out how to bring the old white lady from the church down the road together with the broke depressed stoner who’s trying to chip in for a Benz. There’s so much segregation in the world and all I can really do is try bring people together through sounds, I’ve seen it happen before so I’m sure I can do it to a larger scale. Osquello will never just be the jazz laid-back trippy guy, maybe for a bit, but there’s no doubt that on the next album you won’t hear some heavy bass punk produced track because I’m constantly learning and I get bored of hearing the same shit over and over again. Who knows, one day I might settle down playing keys in a 10 piece jazz band? But for now I just want to do as much as I can.
Have you got any celebrations planned once it drops?
Haha, I’m so bad at organising celebrations but hopefully my friends see this and plan something for me, haha but not that I know of! Will probably roam London and recruit random people to come celebrate at my mate’s house, I prefer being spontaneous with that type of stuff. I do however have an event on the 21st of February celebrating the release at Electrowerkz with Nayana IZ , Finn Foxell, Bagge and Brian Nasty. Will be performing with live band for the first time, so yeah, definitely not one to miss.
What else are you working on right now and what else can we expect from you in the coming months?
I’m working on a mini EP with a producer called Gaptoof at the moment as well as my debut album which I won’t give away too much of now but it’s definitely going to be a shock to some people. This album is definitely going to be the most impactful work I’ve created now, but I guess for now good morning simulation is the perfect introduction for what’s to come. Definitely expect some music videos, ambitious events and one of the best dance tracks of the year. Thats all I’ll say!