Hailing from Ontario, Canada, Osé is a rapidly growing singer-songwriter making waves across R&B music. The 17-year-old exists in a lane all her own with honey-dipped vocals and captivating melodies throughout her songs. Making waves through singles like “Do No More” and “Games,” Osé is surely a name to remember in the coming years. Her melancholic songs weave seamlessly between themes of nostalgia, self-growth, and love.
Growing up, Osé recalls her father telling her stories about her grandmother, a former musician and dancer, who never had the opportunity to expand on her gift due to the environment she was placed in. This is what fuels Osé’s passion to obtain success in her music endeavors. Osé strives to go to the lengths that her late grandmother never could, ultimately setting herself apart from other R&B acts.
Undoubtedly, Osé is an artist to keep an eye on and ear out for as she is set to cement herself in the music industry for years to come. In our latest interview, we chatted with the songstress about her musical journey, new music, and future amongst other things. Read below!
You’re somewhat a fresh face, what kind gravitated you towards artistry?
I grew up in the church, my mom was a choir mistress and my dad is a pastor. I would always go to choir practice with her so I was surrounded by music. I feel like we all have talents or skills and it’s not until something sparks it that it kind of awakens in a sense.
So music was always a part of me but it really took off in grade nine. I remember my dad told me the story of his mom and how she used to do music. She had a band, used to dance, but just because of the environment she was in, she just never had the opportunity to expand. Hearing that story gave me my why and a real reason to pursue it.
Being from Toronto, the R&B scene out there has sort-of exploded over the past few years. How do you feel about it, both good and bad?
It’s okay, but I feel like it could be a bit better. The rap scene trumps it a little bit, but there are a lot of hidden gems here, myself being one of them. I feel like more singers need to step out into the scene for sure, it’s just we don’t get the recognition that we deserve or should, because hip hop is such a dominant genre here—almost feels like it’s swallowing up R&B and soul sometimes.
What type of music did you grow up listening to then and now?
Of course, gospel music was a major one, so artists like The Marantha! Singers, Donnie McClurkin, Lynda Randle, from time to time even some Whitney Housten joints, and so many more. Once I started to mature my own ear for music, it was a lot of Mary J. Blidge, Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, Erykah Badu, Brandy, and Faith Evans. More recently, I’d say H.E.R, Summer Walker, SZA, and Jhené Aiko, but of course, I still listen to all the oldies ’til this day.
How would you describe your sound, and how does it differ from other R&B artists?
I would describe my sound as raw, unfiltered, and soulful. I feel like what makes me stand out from other R&B artists is my deep lyricism, and truly, the nature of my voice. Me being African, and growing up in an African church, it was always instilled in you to carry people along with your voice, and feel every single word you’re singing, and translating that into the music. I thank my parents for putting me in that environment from such a young age, because it really groomed my voice into what it is today.
So many times I’ve heard people tell me that they can hear the emotion in my voice, or every word I sing is so touching that it even feels like I’m talking to them directly. My ability to use my voice as a brush to paint a picture with my lyrics in the minds of listeners is what I take the most pride in. This is also why I believe my recent record, “Do No More,” is being received so well by people. It is so raw, unfiltered, vulnerable, and overall authentic.
Your record “Do No More” is doing major numbers, how does it feel to see it become so successful?
It feels surreal. The thing is, in my head I knew this would happen, but actually seeing it come into fruition is a totally different experience. At the same time, it lets me know I’m doing something right, and to see people receive it the way that I had hoped is way more than any numbers I could ever dream of.
Your fans are expecting a new record from you later this month, “Hurt Bae,” what’s the inspiration behind that record?
I was actually planning on releasing a totally different sounding record before. My producer sent me the beat for it and everything, but while I was recording, something just wasn’t resonating. I hit him that night and we were just listening to a bunch of different R&B songs, and it was almost like a lightbulb went off in his head. He sent me this dope, really groovy loop, which is the beat on “Hurt Bae,” and then added his own little embellishments and sauce to it, and made it the amazing record that it is right now. Immediately when I heard the beat, I thought of Jazmine Sullivan because she has this song called, “Pick Up Your Feelings,” and it just gave me that vibe of being current, yet nostalgic.
I actually wrote the song on Valentine’s Day which is so ironic! My producer was telling me about this video that went viral a couple of years ago, called “Hurt Bae.” In the video, this girl’s ex was getting at her when he was the one in the wrong because he cheated on her. I was like oh, let’s make a song about that. I’m pretty sure we’ve all experienced feelings where we felt like we were being undervalued in a relationship. I really wanted to push that message forward and be a mouthpiece for those people. Something really cool about this song also, is that I recorded it in my closet. Recording from home is something I never thought I could do well, but I’m glad I gave it a try because now I have another gem to drop for y’all!
In regards to music, where do you see yourself in the next few years?
I see myself being a translator for my peers in the streets, and the people I’m around me. Seeing things happen in my environment and making them into songs and music that will touch individuals in different ways is worth so much more than any amount of awards, streams, or other victories that will come. Being able to connect with people on a deeper level musically is really where all the magic and most fulfillment comes in.
If you enjoyed our interview with Osé, check out our chat with Aáyanna!