Everybody has their start when it comes to entering in the hip-hop game. For Outasight, he began in the place where most hip-hop legends are born- New York. Raised in Yonkers, he found a love for music at a small age with the help of his record obsessed mother and guitar playing father. That inspiration led him to find his footing in the music industry. He started playing at local venues in NYC until he found some great commercial success with his album “Radio New York”. People started talking, and in the years since he has drawn up quite a great audience for himself and a name to boot.
Having appeared on high profile gigs like “The X Factor”, Outasight is now gearing up for a 30 plus date tour with The Ready Set, kicking off this past Thursday at The Gramercy Theater in NYC. Last night I was able to sit down with him during his rehearsal two days before the tour starts. From there I got to understand who he is about, from his humble beginnings to his excitement about the tour and future for his career. Check it out.
So how old were you when you decided to get into music?
Realistically I was really young, a little kid. My parents were really into playing music all the time, and I used to daydream about being the one actually being the musician. When I became a teenager I started to expand my horizons by singing and rapping. That is when creatively I decided to go with it and be an artist.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Growing up, Tribe Called Quest was the first album I ever bought. “Low End Theory”, that’s a good start off. My parents made me fall in love with a variety of legends from The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye to name a few. When I got older is when I developed a liking for hip-hop & punk rock. Got really into the whole drum & base aspect of it.
How would you describe your sound for me?
This album specifically is what I like to call “Genre-Crossing Pop”. It’s pop in essence but has a lot of stuff going on outside of that. One is dance, another is more balladry, and then there is a bunch of hip-hop and rock n roll as well.
I’m inspired by so much that for me being able to sing and rap a little bit influences me to make a bunch of different styles. When it came down to putting out the album, my record label wanted me to put out ten records. I choose my favorite ten, and its a good mix because they jump around musically.
When people hear your music who do you get comparisons to the most?
When I first came out, some people would say Travie McCoy, others would say even G Love or Far Side. As I went further on in my career and got the gig on “X Factor”, people thought I was trying to be Pitbull. Maybe it was the suit. It’s very easy to put things in a box. I get a lot of random comparisons but none have really stuck.
You have been able to do a lot of high-profile gigs over the past couple of years. What has been your favorite?
“X Factor”. I was so new to that world at that point. I was on tour with Gym Class Heroes and it was a small tour at that. I opened for them and was growing my fan base. One point I got a call and the next thing I was on the show.
There was a moment where I was standing on the side of the stage cracking up hysterically, basically saying “What am I doing”. Definitely a surreal moment but a great one at that.
What is your favorite track off of the new album?
“Under Lock & Key”. It’s a little bit different and out there for sure. I wrote and did the music for the whole song. It is just a very personal track that I love.
What he thinks of the state of the music industry right now?
The industry is in a place of transition as more and more DIY artists begin to crack into the mainstream. There has been a huge influx of artists because of all the new mediums, and what’s amazing is how many of these artists have carved out their niche and now can live off their music career without the help of major labels. Now, those same artists are ending up on the charts. Pretty incredible.
How did you hook up with The Ready Set for the tour?
The Ready Set is a fellow Warner Bros artist and the label threw out the idea and we both liked it. Then we had a chance to do a couple shows together and everyone got along great, so we locked it in. Hyped for it.
What can people expect from the tour?
My show has a live band full of energy. We are just trying to get people to sweat and dance. I’ve been on the road for a year so I have figured out what works and what doesn’t.
What is your process when writing a song and then recording it? What kind of head space do you need to be in?
The process is ever changing, a song can start with a melody, a title, a beat, a voice memo, anything. The most important thing for me is to be listening to ALOT of music. I eat sleep and breath music cause I love it and I think all the music I hear is what starts to inspire and shape my ideas.
What is his ultimate goal for your career?
To make music and songs that live on forever. The idea that there are songs that are 10,20, 30 years old and still as fresh and beautiful as they were upon release is what makes music so amazing. I strive to keep getting better and make songs that will hopefully last the same way.