Don’t let his unassuming frame fool you – Oscar #Worldpeace has artistic intentions as ambitious as his adopted surname.
Born in Tottenham, his youth was stamped with conflicts over heritage and area codes, in a city where competition is a way of life. “I feel like the shackles were off me as soon as I was born, because I had the best of both worlds,” he says, reflecting on his dual Jamaican and Ghanaian heritage. “My mum was born in Broadwater Farm, Tottenham, and my dad’s from The Pembury Estate in Hackney. If anyone knows about those two estates, you know it’s a bit crazy how they came together.”
Far from being embittered by the violence that studded his childhood, Oscar is an eternal optimist. A prodigious lyricist, he comes armed with an arsenal of slowed and off-kilter grime inspired beats, under the tutelage of The Streets’ Mike Skinner. His output paints claustrophobic, fast-moving portraits of London as he sees it; skewering the failures of government, problems in black communities as well as his own personal and emotional turmoil.
Oscar takes this subject matter and uses it as motivation for change and progress. “It’s just honest, innit, like true life. It’s what you’re going through,” are the first words heard on ‘Recluse’, his debut EP from last year. Spoken candidly by his mother, these words lift the curtain on a break-neck tour through Oscar’s mind. Throughout the nine songs in just 22 minutes, every hook and line drips with promise and meaning. “Every time I approach music, I want it to be fresh as possible,” he says as he contemplates his next project, ‘IC3’. “It’s named after the police identity code for ‘black’, and so we’re going deeper into those issues. I want people to learn more about me.”
“Growing up, I’ve seen a lot. I’ve seen more than the average person in the world has seen,” he finishes. “Me being able to use music as an outlet to reflect on that is so important.”
Two years ago, Oscar was stacking shelves at his local supermarket. Now he’s taking steps to realise his dream – creating music as therapy, releasing material that is profound, beautiful and thought provoking.
WHERE: Tottenham, North London
WHAT: Introspective rap with a political edge
GET 3 SONGS: ‘Invent,’ ‘Wary,’ ‘Clean’ (Mini Kingz ft. Ragz Originale, 808Charmer & Knucks)
FACT: Oscar played his first headline show wearing his Tesco fleece.
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Words: Robbie Russell
Photography: Sophie Mayanne
Fashion: Josh Tuckley
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