We were blessed to do this interview with Osaze. I personally think he has a bright future behind him in Christian hip-hop!
What I love about Osaze thus far is his willingness and humbleness to help. He has contacted me and always asks if it’s anything he can do to help just let him know. That goes a long way with me and will take him a long way in life!
Enjoy the Interview!
Where are you from, describe your upbringing?
I was born in Anchorage, Alaska but I moved to Georgia when I was like a 1 year old. My parents divorced when I was young and once my mom remarried, I became very rebellious because I didn’t want another man trying to take my dad’s place.
I had a younger brother and sister. When my stepdad moved in he had 3 daughters, so you could imagine 6 kids in a 3 bedroom house, oddly enough though we made it work and had a very good relationship between the 6 of us.
We were a middle-class family that lived in a nice area, both parents worked in law enforcement and were very deep into the church. I’d like to think I was a typical kid, I played sports (basketball and football) and once I got to high school, I joined the band and played the tuba. I was the class clown always joking around and making people laugh, so most people who knew me knew me for my sense of humor.
How did you come to Christ, (your salvation story)?
I had just gotten locked up for the what seemed to be the millionth time. I was sitting in the cell really just upset because I felt I had been doing really good but an old warrant finally caught up to me.
I remember asking my mom to bring me something to read and of course growing up in a Christian family and her love for GOD she brought me a Bible. I knew all the stories that you heard in church and all the “God is good” cliches so of course, I was reluctant to open it because at this point I’m frustrated and I don’t want to hear Jesus will save me.
I remember grabbing my pen and thinking, I’m just gonna write me a verse. I open the Bible to write on a blank page and all I could write was “I brought you here to get your attention”. I must have sat there for at least an hour trying to think of something else to write. Then it was like that writing became a voice in my head; I just started writing down everything I heard. By the end, I had a page full of stuff that didn’t rhyme, but I felt like I had just had a full conversation with another person.
The next day I told my mom when she came to visit and she told me to pray because that was God talking to me. Once I got back to my cell, I opened the Bible and just began to read and for the next 2 days that voice just kept popping up in my head. Once I got out, I decided to give GOD a chance and see if He really could change my life or was I just tripping and bored because I was locked up.
What was your first introduction to music?
My 1st real introduction to music was when my mom bought me a karaoke machine. I use to put the speaker to the microphone and record like that. True story, my very 1st song I recorded was for a girl I was dating. She had a boyfriend at the time and I remember my uncle use to always listen to Tupac. The song was called “Can you get away”.
It was on one of his early albums, but we were too young to know anything about Tupac. I got the instrumental off one of my CDs and I rapped the entire Tupac song over it and pretended as I wrote it for her. (Now That’s FUNNY)
How did u get into Chh?
I’m not really sure how I got into #chh honestly, I knew nothing about the genre or any artist in it at the beginning. I just always rapped about my life and when my life started to take a more positive turn so did my music.
I wouldn’t say I became a Christian rapper intentionally. I just started recording songs, not even putting them out, and this kid heard one and was like, “Ohh wow you are a Christian rapper to0.” We talked for a while about it then he gave me Lecrae’s cd, “Church Clothes”. I guess from there it just stuck with me and I started to search for more artist with a similar message.
How do you feel about Chh as a whole? A. What are the positives? B. What are some of the negatives?
I love where Chh is at right now, I think we are finally starting to be respected as good artist who make good music and not just Bible rappers. So many people use to tell me they didn’t listen to Chh because they thought it was just a bunch of rappers quoting Bible scriptures and preaching, but now they see we make music you can play anywhere and still have a positive vibe to it.
The one negative I see and it may or may not be negative to everyone, but I just see a lot of judging going on inside the community, and bickering about should you or should you not work with non Chh artist or producers. Overall I think Chh is in a good space and we are all growing and evolving with time.
When did you know you were called to change lives for God in your music?
I dropped my 1st video called “Won’t he do it” and the responses I was getting from some of the people just confirmed to me then that this is where I need to be and what I need to be doing.
Tell us about the new album/EP? Upcoming Project?
At this point, no dates are set, I’ve just been recording and sitting songs to the side for the album. Others will be released so those who want new music from me can have something. Of the songs I have recorded, I think this album is going to be my best work ever!
Tell us about the single?
I’ll be releasing my next single called “Truth” on 2-22-19 and following that up on 3-16-19 with another single called “You mad”. Truth hopefully will wake people up to some of the things going on around us, while also pushing you to evaluate within at the same time.
Who are u listening to that we should be listening too?
One of my favorite artist to listen to now is Kay Sade. I promise you she makes really dope music. Five Twenty Collective has a few guys on their site that I’m excited to hear more from like offline P.K., Srrvant, and Cory Curry.
What do you hope people will get out of your music and upcoming projects?
I hope they see that if you have not come to Christ yet, you don’t have to wait until you get your life together. I was one of the worse of the worse and he went to work for me, so I know he can and will do it for you.
Who influenced you the most in music and in life?
In music, although he isn’t my favorite rapper Jay Z has really had the biggest influence on my music career. Just seeing where he came from and how he has used music to open other doors for himself and his family.
My mom has got to be the biggest influence in my life outside of music. With everything she had to go through with me growing up and never giving up on me, all the sacrifices she had to make plus never losing her faith when it seemed like God had given up on her. Seeing all of that pushes me to never give up because I have her blood in me and she isn’t a quitter.
Who would you like to work with in the future?
I’d like to work with Social Club Misfits they make dope music and seem like they would be fun to just be around in the studio with laughing and joking.
How much have you grown on this project, talent wise and Spiritual?
Talent wise I think I have grown tremendously, I went back and started to study different artist rhyme patterns and see how I could incorporate them with mine which was really a challenge.
Spiritually I know that this project has pushed me to a new level because I now don’t mind sharing my full testimony, on previous projects I’d share a little but didn’t want to let people all the way in because of fear of judgment. I also find myself praying more before I write and record just asking God to guide me which was something I never did in the past.
What does worship mean to you?
Worship to me is giving God everything I have and trusting in him fully.
One of the biggest topics in the music business now is streaming, how does that affect you as an artist?
I’m a huge fan of the shift into the streaming era. It helps artist like myself who don’t have big budgets to make a connection with fans we wouldn’t have had without it. You no longer have to press CDs and add that to the already high price you have had to pay to record, mixing and mastering, artwork, etc… Streaming allows us now to leave that digital footprint for our fans to follow.
How hard is it to separate Ministry from business and both from family time?
In the beginning it was the hardest thing I had ever done, I wanted to take every show, jump on every feature, speak at every engagement offered to me and I would catch myself having just enough energy to crawl in bed and go to sleep just to get up and try to do it all again tomorrow.
I didn’t feel comfortable charging anyone so that left me trying to pull money, I already didn’t have to pull. I even missed work because I thought since I was doing it for God it would all work itself out. Now I understand it’s ok to say no and that my family although they never complained still needed me home.
Politics play a big role in our society as well as our hip-hop community. How do you deal with the negatives and positives of politics?
I try to stay away from subjects that only deal in opinion and focus on the ones that can help bring unity. I won’t argue about who is the best president all day anymore. Now I focus on the person we have in office and what I believe can be done.
What is your best advice for this generation?
Don’t become stuck in your ways and never be afraid to think outside the box.
Will you stay an independent artist or would you like to sign with a label?
I would like to sign with a label just to learn all the ins and outs of running a label so I can one day start my own.
Where can we find your music?
Any streaming platform and we are currently also working on a website.
What’s next for you (tour dates, new releases, etc)?
Besides the two new singles set to come out, I’ve been focusing on recording a lot and promoting the music. Also, I’m in talks with a few people about possibly putting together a tour.
How can you be contacted for booking and collaboration?
On your longest day and hardest battle, what scripture do you find strength in?
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Colossians 3:16
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31