Photographer: @Joecudjoe

Photographer: @Joecudjoe

Hello I'm Ori, Nigerian American lifestyle blogger and career consultant encouraging you to live boldly. Be original. 

O-Slice | Artist

O-Slice | Artist

Tell us about yourself

My name is Opeyemi Owoeye, I'm a 21 year old artist originally from Nigeria but raised in PG MD. My favorite color is blue & I'm a senior at University of Maryland

What inspired you to become a rapper?

I started writing music & poetry when I was 9. I wrote music for the "band" me & my cousins started. I kinda stuck with it because I became pretty good at it & it was a way for me to break out of my shell because I was super shy.

What obstacles did you face as an artist?

Being a woman, many people don't take me seriously when I say that I rap. Then those who take me seriously, often assume that I won't be good. That's more of an annoyance than an obstacle because I always prove those people wrong. An actual obstacle has been trying to get the funds to do what I'm actually trying to do. To produce quality work, takes money, a lot of it lol. So just tryna work around financial restrictions & finding people who would be willing to take a chance on me, has been the biggest obstacle.

Your performances always get the crowd up, and your message gets them to listen. What motivates you to share your story through your music?

Everyone loves music. I literally can't think of one person who doesn't enjoy some type of music. It's universal. Music can travel places where many other mediums can't. Music is also really fun to make and whenever I make a song from scratch, there's a special feeling I get when I make it. For me to be able to transfer those feelings to someone else as they hear the song, is incredible.

What advice would you give to young African artists who want to pursue their dreams but feel the pressure to follow the traditional rout?

You can do both. People often think that you have to choose between the two but honestly it's do-able to go through school & follow your dreams as well. I just used school to get closer to my dreams. My strongest fan base, is my school. Through my school I got offers to perform at other schools/places. Look at school as a resource, not a hindrance. Yes, exams and stuff get in the way & school makes it a bit harder to focus on your craft but you've just got to remain hungry

What makes you original?

That's easy. I'm me. Lol. How am I going to sound like anyone else when I'm talking about my life? When I only talk about what I know/experience and don't pretend to be anyone or anything else, it's only natural for me to not sound like anyone else. No one else has lived my life, therefore no one can sound like me.

Oumou | President of Hope of Guinea

Oumou | President of Hope of Guinea

Canden Webb | Poet