We connect with the rising star to dissect his acclaimed new LP, discussing inspirations, origins and future endeavours in the process…

Amongst the most exciting and striking names emerging from the US in the past few years, Austin-based genre-merger BLK ODYSSY seems destined to make a huge splash on a global scale.

A seamless and sultry amalgamation of soul, hip-hop, funk, pop and R&B, the rising star’s sound and style is musically potent and thematically explorative, with influences sonically raining down from far and wide. His ’21 debut, BLK VINTAGE, set the artist upon a road towards acclaim, and this potential has now found itself augmented with the release of his highly impressive sophomore, DIAMONDS & FREAKS.

The album is a conceptual and provoking masterclass. Boasting narration from the iconic Bootsy Collins and Keisha Plum, the spoken-word titan from rap collective Griselda, the album is present as if an erotic novel that unleashes a sprig tale of a man riddled by lustful addictions. A striking choice of topic told in a unique and stimulating manner, BLK ODYSSY splits the LP into four different chapters; Chapter One, “Dopamine & Hennessy”, Chapter Two, “Coochie & Big Booty”, Chapter Three, “The Divine Stank”, and Chapter Four, which shares it’s name with the album’s title. It’s an intriguing and immersive form of narrative that the artist pulls off effortlessly, highlighting the creative nuance and thought-provoking character of BLK.

We had the pleasure of connecting with the rising star, who helps us dissect the acclaimed new LP, discussing inspirations, origins and future endeavours in the process.


Read the exclusive interview…

Hey BLK, how’s it going? What does a day in the life look like for you right now?
I’m doing great. Just coming off this new album, I’m getting back into the swings on being normal. I spent so much time isolated with my creative team and in the studio that sometimes normal social activities can seem pretty grand. Right now I’ve been just going out and talking to random people. Just exchanging energy with whoever I can.

Tell us about your early days within the music industry. Where did your love for music originate?
My love for music originated in the back of my dads 1992 Volvo. I vividly remember late nights on the weeks days driving down the New Jersey turnpike and experiencing the music that inspired me for the first time. I began my career I 2015 after I graduated high school. I spent my early days in Austin, Texas. Started in a rock band and had many different variations of myself before becoming know as BLK ODYSSY.

Who have been major inspirations to you both musically and personally?
Kendrick Lamar, Spike Lee, Obama, Lebron James, Denzel Washington. The list goes on. To me seeing black men at the highest level of their field is a huge inspiration.

You recently shared your collaborative R&B single with singer/songwriter KIRBY, titled “You Gotta Man”. How did this collaboration come into fruition?
Ironically this came into play from TikTok … she saw a video and followed me. We had a ton of mutual friends. So the TikTok she saw just sealed the deal. Ironically I had stayed away from the app until then. It was evident that I needed to get with the program at that point lol

What was the creative process like working with KIRBY?
I have such admiration working with talented black female artist. And I’ve been so blessed to be able to do so. Kirby has one of the most lethal pens I’ve ever witnessed. I’m proud to say I did nothing more than make the beat , give her the topic and she took it to a whole new world. I had nothing to do with her writing at all. The best part about working with her creatively was to be inspired watching her in her element, she’s a generational talent.

Congratulations on your sophomore album DIAMONDS & FREAKS. Can you tell us about the message and motive behind the album?
This record is a concept album and like most BLK ODYSSY projects is very narrative driven. The record mainly speaks about addictions. Overcoming them while being descriptive on the struggles or inability to overcome them.

Talk us through the production journey behind the album. How did you create such a unique and rich fusion?
The BLK ODYSSY sound is very distinct because we are playing instruments and I produce sounds to mimic and evoke emotions. Human emotions. So the sounds, and instruments the same are quite often played to sound native to human feelings. That was our goal the entire album. The question was how can we make this sound, instrument, vocal or anything else feel like a feeling.

Why did you choose those particular features for DIAMONDS & FREAKS?
Everyone who we choose to add to the record embodied a certain character in the novel. So these people were meticulously picked out, because we were very focused on theatrics

What do you want your audience to take away from DIAMONDS & FREAKS?
I want them to take whatever their mind brings to them. My only request is that you let us surround you when you listen and practice patience. Really submerge yourself in it. Feel it.

What is the rest of 2023 looking like for you?
Producing for other artists, touring, working on film projects, culinary projects and exploring new ways to bring the DIAMONDS & FREAKS world to our fans.

Where do you want to take your artistry?
I’d like my artistry to allow my career and life to transcend past being just an artist. I’d like to make a difference in the world. In places where I see it needing change.