Obai 2024 Press Conference
In this exclusive Music Mondays Interview we got the chance to sit down with the artist known as obai during an 1824 Press Conference. We discussed all the details you want to know about their latest release, "svnteen" and much more.
In early January, I had the chance to speak with an extremely talented up-and-coming singer by the name of Obai. He’s only 18, but Obai has a larger-than-life voice that rivals the influences that came before him– whether he pulls from the brazenly seductive croons of artists like The Weeknd and Partynextdoor or mimics the trills and warbles of the King of Pop himself, he synthesizes these R&B blueprints into a soulful sanctuary of sound with a bottomless emotional depth that so many singers have tried and failed to achieve. The creative direction of the Arizona native is powerful, and it’s clear from his debut EP ‘svnteen’ that this project has been a long time in the making, a natural development of years of dreams and dedication that started to take shape five years ago during his initial tenure as a songwriter. He storms onto the scene as a fully developed artist, with that development only accelerating after his signing allowed him access to some of the world’s best producers and songwriters. That being said, Obai is the visionary here; he didn’t start at the top, and it’s clear not only from his music but our conversation that the realization of his goals has been driven entirely by him. More traditional “pop songs” on his debut EP—such as ‘dancefloor’ and ‘girls like you'-- showcase his knack for earworm melodies and catchy refrains, while trap-inspired cuts like ‘journals’ make the best of the rapidly shrinking gap between brash hip-hop stylings and the emotionally-charged soul of traditional R&B. Regardless of where 'svnteen' falls on the infinite genre spectrum, Obai’s chameleonic ability to adapt and synergize with anything he sets his eyes (or ears) on will only bolster his growing popularity in an era full of blurred lines and bent rules.
xoarctic: In regards to the creative process behind ‘svnteen’: What kind of environment(s) were you in when you wrote and recorded the songs? How long did it take you to complete the project, from the initial ideas to the final master?
Obai: I’m not gonna lie, I was kind of all over the place for the making of it. It started, of course, in my room. It started with the thoughts of how I’m going to execute certain songs, voice memos and everything. Then I would go to Miami and I would meet up with my people out there– meet up with a couple of my team members, you know. I got my guy Poke, I got my guy Snow, got Shane, you feel me? Those are [the] people that I always make music with so I tapped in with them and just started creating. After that, one thing led to another, and the people around me were like “We should do a trip over to Atlanta!”, and I started meeting with Trey Stewart … We made ‘dancefloor’, and more songs just kind of kept going and going and going, you know? Then we got to this point. It was a cool experience, the entire thing.
During the rest of the press conference, Obai spoke further about his creative process and the creation of ‘svnteen’ along with ruminations about his future as an artist and his past as he rose through the ranks of the industry in primarily behind-the-scenes roles. He mentions later on that he plans to build a world around the EP with various visualizers and music videos, which I’m excited to learn more about as those initial ideas get realized as a lot of what I believe he still lacks as a potential star is a well-defined public image. It was interesting to hear how casually he talked about the process of creation after such a strong debut, speaking with both humility and a strong sense of self-confidence, which makes me curious as to how a full-length album from him is going to sound as he continues to build upon the foundation he’s laid and reveals a little bit more of the person behind the music.
With playlists picking up the singles from ‘svnteen’ at lightspeed, there is no doubt that the singer-songwriter will find himself in a much better position towards the end of this year, especially due to the potential virality of so many songs on the EP as his fanbase grows in strength and size. I highly encourage you to check out his debut and keep an eye on future releases from him– I believe that, despite his creativity, he’s still testing the waters with his sound and even his own massive vocal ability. We can only imagine what the next project is going to sound like once he’s broken in the shoes that he finds himself in.
Stream svnteen: obai.lnk.to/svnteen
Written By xoarctic: twitter.com/xoxoarctic