Hi Obeeyay! Let’s start with how did you get your artist name?
First of all, thanks so much for having me, it means a lot. My first name is Oba. Obeeyay is Oba spelled phonetically.
What city are you from and where are you based now?
I'm from Salt Lake City, Utah. I currently live in Provo.
At what point in your life did you decide to pursue a career in music? How did you get started?
Well, I begged my parents to let me move to L.A. when I was 14 years old, and they finally let me. I knew that's where cool things for people like me happened, and I wanted to be in the center of it. I grew up in a family of 8, and we were raised by a mother who taught voice lessons as the primary bread winner for the family. So, singing competitions became almost a family ritual with my siblings and that pushed me to be the very best I knew how. I loved it.
Has your upbringing played a role in shaping who you are and defining your sound today? If so, how?
Definitely. My mother, Debra, would sit us on her lap throughout the day as she taught her students how to sing while at the piano, and I was exposed to different genres everyday since there were so many people taking voice lessons. I had the opportunity to sculpt my sound due to the many styles that influenced my ears throughout those years.
How would you describe your sound to readers who may not be familiar with you?
It's Pop Hip-Hop. Hip-Pop for short - think Ty Dolla $ign and Khalid. At the end of the day, I'd like to describe it as a good time.
Do you have any hobbies outside of music? What do you do to stay creative?
I'm a BEAST at ping-Pong. Spending family time honestly keeps me balanced, so that would be number 1.
Who are some of your main musical influences?
Michael Jackson, Will.I.Am. and Usher. The way these artists shaped the music industry and molded their careers over the years has been inspiring. Michael was so different. I feel that other genres branched out from him. Usher has been so successful for so long, you wonder how he stays so relevant. And, Will.I.Am's music was so next level and pushed the envelope. It's so crazy the creative ideas he has in his vault.
What are some of your future music career goals?
To be a top-selling recording artist.
Now onto your release, “Hard.” What inspired this song?
I wrote this song 3 years ago about this relationship that I was in, and seriously, everybody wanted to speak on it and give their opinion. So, I was like, you know what, let me write a song about these people who have opinions telling them to Back Off. It’s my life. You ever feel that way? I just wanted to do things my way.
What is “Hard” about in your own words?
It's about feeling like you're in a championship relationship and no one can do anything to hinder its success. Just as long as you and the one you love goes hard, the feeling is unstoppable.
What is your favorite lyric in “Hard” and why?
"We can share a couple laughs, if I really do the math, it would add up to the sun"
Sometimes you forget how much you laugh in a relationship 'cause it feels nonstop, and so all you can do is compare it to something unreachable like the sun.
What message do you hope fans take away from your music and from “Hard?”
Just to go hard no matter the circumstance and no matter who or what doubts you.
What’s one of your proudest moments of your music career so far?
Working with Queen Latifah as a programmer was big for me. To see her own the stage even in rehearsal just reminded me to give it my all no matter or where I'm at.
What would you say are the greatest lessons you’ve learned so far?
To get back up. Never stop. Keep it going. And, love what you do.
What’s next for you? Are you working on any upcoming projects that we should be on the lookout for?
I have a concert called the Fork Fest that I am opening at - headlined by Ritt Momney. That's June 11th, 2022. Also, a show at Kilby Court in Salt Lake City that I am headlining on July 7th!