OSIYM stands for Out Of Sight, In Your Mind. This duo consists of rappers Charlie Black and Nova.
On this episode, Charlie and Nova talked about the advantages of working together compared to working solo. They also answered how Toronto has changed as a music scene, and how they stay original and true in an environment of trend chasers. They’re performing at the Drake Hotel with pHoenix Pagliacci & Chop-z. Last minute $7 tickets available online.
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Excerpts from our conversation.
Creating A Lasting Legacy
Chedo: OSIYM, What is the definition of that name? What is the meaning of that name?
Charlie: It stands for Out of Sight, In Your Mind.
Nova: It comes to the whole idea of trying to create timeless music. Even after decades down the line, people still talk about the Rollingstone and James Brown. Even though you don’t see them anymore or they are not making music anymore, their sh*t still lasts. Even though we are out of sight we hope that we are still in your mind.
Chedo: I think that is really important when you are trying to be an artist that has a legacy. How do you balance that with what’s going on right now in Toronto where some artists are also trying to make their music timeless?
Nova: We are trying to put a little bit of content to it. We can still mix the melodies, the flows, and the hot beats; and put a little bit of content it. We are putting something for you to think about. Just giving own approach as opposed to providing disposable music. In general, there’s a lot of disposable music. There’s a difference between being hot and being good. It is easy to become hot. You can follow whatever the last hot rapper or the last big rapper did. Maybe make a copy cat of that and that shall be hot too… For a couple of months. When that time passes, nobody really remembers.
Chedo: How do you balance that Charlie from rapping since the age of 14? As you said, you can follow the latest rapper and be hot. From a fan’s perspective, you can see how some of these guys are not original and they are just following.
Charlie: You take from what’s popping. You take a little bit from your past. Then put that together and put your spice on it. That’s how you stay original. Technically, there is no such thing as originality. Everything is taken from something mixed up. The way I think we stay fresh is we can appreciate what’s going on right now. We know where the genre came from and we know what we want to do creatively. I think I am too nice to copy someone’s work.
Nova: Just be you. A lot of people forget that important element. Do what’s hot and be you. Everyone wants to emulate the success. That’s what f*cking people want in life. People just want to be successful, “Oh that worked, I will do that too.” At the end of the day, you have to be you. A successful person is someone who’s being himself and bringing something new. That’s why it resonates with people.
Having A Strategy
Chedo: What is your goal as an artist? As a duo? Is it to just make music and have fun with it? Or try to see what else we could do with it? Are you trying to make a career? Or like, “Yo! We are just gonna have fun with it and see where this will take us.”
Charlie: It is a career. It is a struggle to figure out the moves, who to meet but that’s part of the game. We are definitely chasing it as a career. It is not something we do on the sideline. We definitely put everything into it by being strategic. Now, we are doing things in the city. [We] take it over to the stage. [We] trying to go to Europe. [We] make sure that [our] music is heard everywhere possible. You’ll never know who’s listening. A bigger artist might be listening and be like, “Oh sh*t! Let me reach out to these guys.” If you are not pushing your music everywhere you could be losing out on opportunities that you never knew that were there.
Nova: Even though there is more spotlight here in Toronto I still think that we are at a disadvantage. We gotta work twice as hard. Doing it for awhile as we have. Doing it together and all that. Getting some acclaim… Getting some recognition… Making the music is half the battle. You have to figure out a whole sh*t around that. Marketing, promotion, and all that stuff really to reinforce… Just like what Charlie is saying… Get your music heard all over the place. It’s not just like, “Oh! I’m going to record this track and pop it out on Soundcloud or iTunes and hope for a million downloads. There’s a whole lot more to it.