Change in the music industry is an inevitable truth. In order to keep advancing a musical journey, one has to be open to exploring new sounds, new ways of expressing their passion. Othello, now Ozay Moore is a classic example of the need for change in order to discover a new musical identity.
Fans of the Michigan music scene might be familiar with Othello, which formed back around 1998 but back in September of 2012; the musical project need a new direction, a new musical identity thus, Ozay Moore was created.
Moore started recording lyrics back when he was eighteen. Now thirty-one, the musician has not only changed musical directions but has a new focus for his career. "I started recording records at eighteen, I'm thirty-one now. Not every song I've made I'm proud of, but they do display growth throughout the years. this new time of life is a lot different then the career of Othello. I'm focusing a lot more on the family I'm building, the local community I'm involved in and passing down the things of learned throughout my years of being a recording artist. I still put out records and albums I just don't rely on it as heavily as I once did to make a living for myself," said Moore.
Fans are happy that Moore even now is willing to take on a new musical direction and still put out records. As Moore has grown in life and music, his fan base has grown and learned with him.
I had the chance to interview Ozay Moore. We discussed how his musical journey has evolved over time and how many musical influences of the past have helped to create Moore. For more articles similar to this, hit the subscribe tab above.
C: When did Othello/Ozay Moore come together?
O: After series of names, Othello ended up sticking around 98. I released all of my projects under that name up until now. September 2012 I change my name from Othello to Ozay Moore. We could probably set up a whole interview discussing the reason for the name change but keep it short, I felt like it was time to usher in a new mode of life with a new identity (at least artistically)
C: What would you consider to be some of your most notable music influences at a younger age?
O: I was influenced by a lot of the same things the majority of MC's of my generation were influenced by. A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Krs One, eyt etc. but being from the Pacific Northwest (Seattle), we had a lot of influences that hit a little more closer to home on the west coast. a lot of Bay Area influences (Too $hort, Mac Mall, Ant Banks) and of course the traditional west coast southern Cal gangster rap (NWA, Mac10, WC and the Mad Circle . There was also Pharcyde, kool moe Dee, fresh prince, cella dwellas, Lords of the underground, and......man....really you just had to really be into hip-hop to list all the junk I was on.
C: In a few words, how would you describe the band's musical sound?
O: Othello would've leaned a little to the true school classic vibe while Ozay (although rooted) hangs in the electro soul realm.
C: What musical influences do you pull from when you are performing or writing music?
O: Funk, soul, jazz, r&b, afro beat, Electronic, rock, blues, reggae folk...Its all fair Game. I listen to a lot of vinyl. some of the best music ever created has been committed to vinyl in my opinion. So it's from vinyl records that I sample and draw inspiration from.
C: You have gained gained quite a large following in the Midwest, what was the process of coming up in the industry like?
O: It has been an amazing journey thus far. I started out rapping on a karaoke machine my parents got for me for Christmas back in 93 & since then, there has been no shortage of goals in the process of becoming to artist I am today. at first it was having a CD, then we knew we were super official when we were on vinyl. Touring the States, touring other countries, being heard on the radio, being heard or seen on television and ultimately just being better at what you do then the last time you did it played a huge roll in pushing my development. I've been fortunate enough to not have too many run ins with shady business people. that has a lot to do with knowing that they're real and im making it a point to keep wise and grounded people around me. I started recording records at 18, I'm 31 now. Not every song I've made I'm proud of, but they do display growth throughout the years. This new time of life is a lot different then the career of Othello. I'm focusing a lot more on the family I'm building, the local community I'm involved in, and passing down the things of learned throughout my years of being a recording artist. I still put out records and albums, I just don't rely on it as heavily as I once did to make a living for myself.
C: How would you guys as a band describe the Midwest music scene?
O: It's very much anchored in real life. The kind of real life most of us experience regardless where you're from. It's as diverse as its seasons are.
C: How do you all as a band feel social media has helped and will continue to help your career?
O: Social media is the reason why I can stay productive musically without having to leave my city as much anymore, although it was my primary source of booking tours and what not over the last decade, it allows me to continue to build with my supporters from where I'm at now all the while adding to that pool while a seriesf keystrokes and mouse clicks.
C: What does your future the hold?
O: The future of Ozay Moore holds a soon to be released full length album from me and 14kt , a group project called ”your everyday people” with Sareem Poems and a young producer by the name of HIR-O, the further development of my Hip Hop Academy ”All of The Above” here in Lansing Michigan, raising my family, serving in my church, and continuing to grow not only is an artist but as a person. I return to Japan for a short tour in May but other than that my traveling may be kept to a minimum. that's plenty to focus on right here at home. Anticipate more music and more programs to assist in youth/community development. I am also a part of a collective called outside in that focuses on cross cultural (Music) event planning.