Osezua

 

With his original new single ‘Forbidden Love’ rapidly climbing the charts, Osezua and his unique brand of well-honed reggae is rapidly becoming a musical success story thanks in large part to his impeccable melodic instincts.

Like reggae? Many do, perhaps in yearning for a return to great musicianship and melody. Here is an artist that ably serves the sentiment. Originating from Manchester, Jamaica, Osezua has quickly risen on the strength of his new award-winning single ‘Forbidden Love’. Recently, the critics had this to say about his work: ‘'The Reckoning' deals in themes consistent with the reggae genre, but far surpasses other fare of that style in the sheer reach of its melodic inventions; Osezua has a talent for songcraft that would be remarkable in any context.’ With his new single steadily climbing the charts, Osezua seems destined for the global limelight. Reporter Lauren Thompson recently caught up with the talented artist to learn more about what inspires him to create his unique brand of reggae music and what we can expect from Osezua in the near future.

LAUREN: As an artist on the rise, what is one thing you are most excited about and one thing you are most afraid of happening in your career?
OSEZUA: As a conscious artist I’m always excited to enlighten others through my music. On the flipside, I think all artists are afraid of fading into oblivion and never reaching their musical fullness – every musician wants to leave a mark – a legacy.

LAUREN: Your song ’Forbidden Love’ is receiving a positive listener response on radio. What was your initial reaction when you first heard your song playing on radio?
OSEZUA: It is always a blessing to hear your work reaching the masses. I’m always appreciative and humbled to receive radio play. This song joins the many other tunes already in circulation such as the Reckoning, Lady, Nature’s Fury and Narcotic Rock. I give thanks to almighty Jah.

LAUREN: What was the inspiration behind your debut radio single?
OSEZUA: It stemmed from a general conversation with a group of friends. The topic of polygamy came up – so I decided to put pen to paper and Forbidden Love is the result. All I can say is that if you have three wives, best be able to care equally for them all.(lol) or else trouble becomes your best friend. As for me personally, I have but one queen.

LAUREN: It is often said that great art arises from difficult experience. Is there something in your life experience thus far that you would describe as the ‘catalyst’ or ‘fuel’ for your desire to create music?
OSEZUA: Music was born inside me – everyday life brings those notes to the surface. I’ve been inspired by many things and many people, beginning with the all mighty Jah. My family, chiefly among them my dear mother Norma Stephenson,Sister Bridgette, my queen Neptis and my beautiful and talented children. There are others who have inspired me on this musical journey, namely Les Campbell, one of the best drummers on the planet, Startrack and his family, and Mr. Alvin Brown, a friend and promoter who I hold in the highest regard -- these people have truly been an inspiration to me. As for a catalyst, I would say a desire to see the disenfranchised made whole and to see them treated as equals in this human journey. As it is said “there is enough on this earth for everyone’s needs; but not nearly enough for everyone’s greed.” Things have to change. The people perish for a lack of knowledge – my contribution is to educate as many as possible through music.

LAUREN: How would you characterize yourself as an artist/musician? (Ex. Down-to-earth, serious, fun-loving, complicated…)
OSEZUA: I think I’m all of the above – love to laugh, easy-going and enjoy having fun as much as the next man, but there are days when my tongue cuts like a knife – we all have those days. But when I hit that studio, it’s no joke, playtime is over. Although I can be pointed and direct when the time comes, respect, tact and kindness is never far from me.

 

LAUREN: What has your experience been like working with the other people on your team?
OSEZUA: I have been blessed to work with some truly talented musicians. No matter who they are when we make music it is no joke. I understand that in order to demand that others bring their A-game I must be prepared to do the same. My studio and stage chemistry has always been good…at least I can’t recall anyone storming out of the studio ..lol

LAUREN: Did you come from a musical background? Are there other musicians in your family?
OSEZUA: No. Other than my brother Hannif, who plays a wicked guitar, and my son who is producing some awesome music in his own right, no one else is making music.

LAUREN: What do you find most rewarding about being an artist? What do you find most challenging?
OSEZUA: For me it has never been about ego. I never overinflate my standing or worth in this life. My reward comes simply from being a musical messenger and mingling with the “good, good people” as the great Robert Nesta Marley once sang. The challenge in a sense, for most artists, is obtaining that elusive “big break.”

LAUREN: Who are your role models in music?
OSEZUA: There are so many including Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Dennis Brown, The Beatles and the awesome Sam Cooke….so many!

LAUREN: Describe your best or most memorable performance.
OSEZUA: In the mid-90s I played an awesome festival in Saint Paul, MN called Marleyfest Minnesota. It was truly awesome sharing the bill with reggae greats like Judy Mowatt, Rita Marley, Tony Rebel, The Itals, The Meditations, and the awesome band Boom Shaka, led then by the now-late uber-talented Trevy Felix, who along with companion and fellow artist Nelly Stharre was murdered in the Dominica in 2015. Such a great memory of that festival, it rained all weekend, but it couldn’t stop the vibe.

LAUREN: What advice would you give to young, aspiring artists out there who are unsure and need guidance?
OSEZUA: Stay in motion – the surest sign of life is motion. Music is no different – always be writing, always be recording, always be learning and always be performing. Stay in motion. Secondly, avoid self-doubt. It is the number one killer of dreams known to mankind. Believe in yourself, believe in your music! Always know your responsibility to humanity above self.

LAUREN: What's next for you as an artist? Is there a new single in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it?
OSEZUA: I’m working on a single inspired by the Beatles Let It Be. The song is Listen, which pays homage to fallen comrades in the struggle for the future of humanity – John Lennon, Nelson Mandela, The Kennedy brothers, Dr. King, Malcolm X, Bob Marley, Marcus Garvey, and His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie, just to name a few.

LAUREN: Wonderful! Thank you for sharing some insights into what makes you the artist that you are. I wish you continued success in your career.


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