The Hip hop Genre has seen many successful duos that have all brought different styles to the culture. When it comes to groups each member must bring a unique dynamic that creates the perfect chemistry. The Oddballaz are no strangers to originality and plan to add their own Stamp on the game. The group has been making noise in the independent music scene for years now, whether it’s their creative videos or infectious melodies the Oddballaz are quietly cementing their legacies to become household names. I was able to catch up with the talented duo to see where they are coming from and where they plan to go.
N54: Let the world Know who the Oddballaz are? Two young souls flowed together by the sounds of soul, phunk, and bass laced with ghetto music.We dont just offer words and beat. We offer music. Before there were words and beat there was music.
N54: What are the Oddballaz? Good question. Just listen and let the music speak for itself. We’re Big Mike and Olo, just so you know, bro.
N54: How did you guys get the name the Oddballaz? We’re Different. We fuse different styles of music together creating our own genre which is where the ODD comes in. We were always the odd ball in the crowd. Our uniqueness always set us apart from the rest. Were bboys at heart, thats breakdancing in case you dunno. We made our name, our name didnt make us.
N54: How long have you guys been making Music together? Weve been working together since freshman year, but we’ve been friends since our early teens.
N54: What would you say the strengths are that each member brings to the table? Mike brings that real southern slang with his deep voice and definitive swag. Olo has the higher voice. He has crazy word play and good vocal control. Together our voices blend so well that sometimes we dont even need a beat behind us. The beat is just the icing on the cake.
N54: I know that you guys have had some radio success with the Dj Laz Track “She can get it”? You call that success? Hahahahahahah we call it stress, bc it was. It did get on the radio which was a plus but let’s just say the music industry can be very shady. Shoutout to Blackout and Laz for giving us the opportunity! Love!
N54: How did that Laz collaboration come about? We were in the studio working on “Peter Pan” with Blackout Movement. He told us he was working on a track but needed a hook for it. We came up with one and the rest is history!! It actually moved really fast.
N54: I know that you guys have had some other singles and compilations...what were they? Honestly, there are a lot!!! Our latest releases Feel Good, Crushin, Misbehave, and Happy have moving really fast. The feedback we get from our fans has been amazing.
N54: The independent grind can be filled with several pitfalls and false starts. How have you guys been so focused and consistent throughout the bullshit? Keeping in mind that it IS exactly that. Bullshit! Music to us is about artistic expression. Music in the industry is about gimmicks and hookups. Label reps would rather push a mediocre artist with money backing them rather then a talented artist who has no money, We dont listen to what the labels want to hear. We give OUR fans what they expect from us. An original and polished sound. Since we dont feed into the bullshit they get to hear the real US.
N54: You guys have a very unique sound. Its kind of like Outkast fused with lmfao. How did you guys develop such a unique sound? Were silly people!! We have fun on a track. Were always clownin even when were serious. We also respect eachothers craft. Our sound came when we found ourselves. Lots of artists struggle to find themselves on the mic. What you hear in the studio is different from what you hear live. We try to bridge that gap so we practice our verses til they sound good live and then we record them so we can be playful with our style.
N54: Who were some of your musical influences coming up? Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Busta Rhymes, Eric B and Rakim, Boyz II Men, Metallica. There are just so many. We started playing in band together so we have love for all types of music.
N54: It seems like the Duo concept has died out in the Music Industry. What made you guys want to be a group and not be solo artist? Oddballaz is and has always been both of us. We vibe off each other. It just works that way, and very well! We are lucky to be on this journey together and would not wanna reach success without each other. We consider each other family!
N54: You guys have a quite a large following to be independent artist, your YouTube videos get quite allot of hits? We are so blessed to have such dedicated fans. At first we just thought it was our friends showing love and support but then the hits kept rising. We treat every one of our fans like friends not fans. Were constantly on our youtube answering fan questions and keeping everyone updated. Its the fans that have made us feel so successful.
N54: How has social media helped the music industry? Facebook is HUGE! But youtube is even bigger. Its because of youtube that we found a fan base without a budget. The youtube fans are relentless. They will tell you how it is, Love or hate it they are honest. We love that! Youtube is our music hub. Its our way of getting out there to thousands of people without using thousands of dollars.
N54: If you guys could collaborate with any artist or producer dead or alive. Who would it be? Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Aaliyah, there are just so many. The world lost some amazing artists but honestly we’d be happy to collab with anyone with the same love for music that we have.
N54: What is the writing and production process like when you guys are in the studio? Drink this, smoke that, laugh and put it in writing. We bot make beats and play instruments. We feed off each other. Mike will come up with a beat pattern, Olo will lay the pianos down, Mike will add guitars in, Olo will tweak the arrangement... its like a musical stew. Theres a lot of ingredients but the end result is delicious.
N54: I know that you guys can write and Produce, have you guys been doing any ghost writing or producing for other artist? Yeah were currently investing time into developing young artists. We also have a huge catalog of ideas that we pitch. Some were picked up and some we hold onto. Overall we are always workin on something new.
N54: What is the ultimate goal for the oddballaz? Are you guys looking to get signed to a major label? Being signed to a label would be nice although weve been there and done that with Sony. It doesnt always work out. The labels vision for you, does not always coincide with what you envisioned doing. So our ultimate goal is to stay real for our fans and to continue to breathe life into hip hop.
N54: What Projects are you guys working on now? Just finished our newest video “Horrible Bosses- The Work Anthem” Its a blend of doo wop and hip-hop. If you love your job, this song is NOT for you. This is for the people who work like dogs, but get paid like pups.
N54: How can fans get in touch with you? Our youtube page is: oddballaz.net (it will always be linked to our newest video) our facebook is facebook.com/oddballaz and please add us on twitter @oddballaz
N54: Any final thoughts? We’d like to thank J. Prince and Nine5Four The Magazine for supporting independent artists. Its people like yall that keep the IV in Hip-Hop. Long live our culture. Special shoutout to our friends and family who have always supported us on this crazy ride.