Originally published via SBTV.
Oscar #Worldpeace is one of the youngest and most promising talents to emerge from the UK scene over the past 12 months. Offering a unique perspective both lyrically and visually, the young MC has already gained support from both the industry and artists alike.
I sat down with Oscar to discuss his forthcoming project, Cult, the importance of high quality visuals and working with Mike Skinner…
Where are you from?
I’m from Tottenham, North London.
Has this influenced your music?
Of course. There’s a lot of great artists that have came from here. So just seeing them make it and do big things is, like, ‘Wow’, there must be something in the water.
Especially in Tottenham..
Exactly, there’s a lot of people that have came in and came from Tottenham, so it’s a big inspiration.
Growing up, which artists were you looking to?
I love the whole Boy Better Know [movement] and I go way back with CAS. [CAS] was like the king when we were growing up and that’s just who everyone had on their phones. It was just good to be around him and [I would] brag to my friends, like, ‘Yeah, I know CAS!’ and everyone would be like, ‘What does he look like?!’
It’s really interesting that you note CAS as an influence. I remember the first time I heard, T.R.O.N, and the feeling I got from that was very similar to when I first heard Mook. You can feel the influence is there…
I wasn’t really expecting that much from Mook, but people are really gravitating to it. I’m just glad that it got to a few ears. It’s still got a long way to go, but I’m just glad that people like yourself have taken an interest and just liked the song for what it is.
What’s the story behind Mook?
Basically, I was making my project, Cult, and all of the songs just sounded so depressing. I was not happy last year. So I was making it and – I play a lot of songs to my girl – and she was like, ‘Everything sounds the same, you just sound so depressed. There’s a way you can say it and make it more energetic.’ So I went back in the studio with my producer Ragz – who’s produced almost every track [onCult] – and we just came up with it all from there. From the first line I just wanted to grab the listener in.
I kind of exposed myself with the first line by saying, ‘A chick said that my d**k’s small’ [laughs], but I could have said that in a more depressing way. But I said it in more of a ‘You know what, who cares?’ [type of way].
Those people need a voice as well, man! [Laughs]
[Laughs] Exactly, I know there’s a lot of people out there going through the same thing. It’s painful…
You were originally one half of the The Chocolate Brothers, right? What made you make the decision to go on your own?
It was not really my story. When you’re part of a duo it’s difficult to tell your story. There’s two different people so you have to compromise. Now I’m able to tell my story, I’m having a lot more fun with it. I find it easier to do it solo because I don’t have to ask no-one any questions.
What can you tell us about your new track?
Funnily enough, that’s where I’ve just came from now; location scouting. The place was a big fail! The place that I went to see is being worked on, it’s like a construction site. We’re just trying to find some empty buildings because the next track is darker than Mook, so I wanna get that dark feel and just have some f****d up shit in there. I’m excited about the song, I don’t know what I’m gonna call it yet; there’s two names. But hopefully within the next month it should be out.
You recently did a track with The D.O.T, right? And I hear Mike Skinner has been helping you out. How has it been working with him?
I can class Mike Skinner as a friend… that’s sick! It’s more of a friendship as well as business. So, yeah, he’s been really cool in offering me his expertise in the industry. He’s a legend, man. Funnily enough I used a sample from his audio book for the next song. That’s how I think he found me, because I tweeted lyrics from the audio book and he contacted me and was like, ‘I’ve heard Mook, man, it’s sick that you tweeted some bits from the audio book’, that’s how we connected. So, thanks to me tweeting, he probably would never have reached out.
It’s sick how the universe works because me and my friends have been listening to a lot of his stuff recently, like A Grand Don’t Come For Free and Original Pirate Material.
Let’s talk about the track, then. What can you tell us about Less Than Tomorrow?
I’m just happy I’m on a track with those guys. That’s legendary for me. That’s a big deal. Funnily enough, I wrote three verses for it, I recorded two and Mike actually mixed both verses together [for the final version]. That was sick.
I caught that you referenced It Was Supposed To Be So Easy in your verse…
Exactly! I’ve been listening to that whole album, so I just had to put it in there.
You clearly take the visual element of your work incredibly seriously; at what point did you decide that you wanted to focus heavily on that aspect of what you do?
It was all last year, man. I sat out the whole of 2013 – well, most of it. I really just spoke to my producer and my girl and was just like, ‘How can we stand out?’ And they were just saying, ‘Be yourself and it will come naturally.’
I wasn’t really inspired by anything to be honest. Everyone’s just materialistic, speaking about they’ve got this and that, and it’s like; ‘What about the music for me?’ Where’s the music for the people that don’t really have s**t? No one’s really doing that.
But I have to give big props to CAS, who really keeps me driven and inspired. So that’s why I’m trying to attack visuals and keep up with him, really. He’s the only person that I see that is actually being very hands-on and visual; and that’s what we lack in the UK. People are just like ‘Yeah, let me get a camera, sit outside with my friends’ and it’s too easy that way. Like, today, me not finding the location, I like it. It just means I have to try harder to find another location.
I agree. CAS really opened up the floodgates and let everyone know that there’s no excuse to not be paying attention to your visuals…
You just need the passion and an idea, man. That can take you a long way. It may be harder to get out the music. I would like for my song to be out now, but it’s hard to really get your vision across that way. You want people to sit down and say, ‘I sat down for those 3 minutes and I really enjoyed this’, whether it’s the visuals or song or both. That’s what I want to do. I want to give people a good piece of art. That’s why I’m against SoundCloud; it’s too easy, man. Everyone’s on there and flooding it and it’s just not for me. I really wanna do visuals.
What’s the five-year plan, then?
The five year plan is to make everyone know that I’m gonna be f*****g sick [laughs]. If I get given the opportunity, I’ll take it. You know how these things go, it just might not be for me. But if i do get the opportunity to show people what I can do and my potential, I’m gonna do it. If not, I’m gonna run riot. I wasn’t joking when I said it inMook, I’m gonna run riot if I don’t reach my potential.
When can we expect Cult to drop?
It’s really re-worked. I’m like 2-3 songs behind, but I don’t wanna give a date and disappoint again. It’s definitely gonna be this year. As more momentum happens, the world will let me know when it’s supposed to come out. I’ll feel the energy and I’ll put it out.
How many tracks will it be?
I was gonna go with 10, but I’ve cut it down. I’m gonna do 6-7 solid tracks. Let’s hope for seven.
Let’s hope! Well, I look forward to hearing the project and thanks again for speaking with us today. Good luck with the location scouting…
Thanks for that, Ash. Thanks for the support from yourself and the whole of SBTV.
To keep up-to-date with Oscar, you can find him on Twitter –@OscarWorldPeace.
Interview by Ash Houghton