Interview: Hip-Hop & Pop Songwriter Obeeyay Talks New EP ‘Winnin’, SLC Roots, & More

If you want to learn from some of the most talented artists and producers, traveling to the sunny beaches of L.A. is likely your best bet. One such artist who went on this pilgrimage is hip hop artist Obeeyay, and he’s since applied the valuable lessons he’s learned thus far to create his own music.

Hailing from Salt Lake City, Obeeyay was surrounded by music from a very early age, as he comes from a line of gospel singers in Utah. Obeeyay’s parents fostered his talent from a very early age, and supported his trek to Los Angeles as a teenager.

It was there where Obeeyay was able to shadow some of the most influential producers he could find. The 25-year old singer-songwriter has worked with the likes of Brandy, Queen Latifah, and Jojo to name a few.

In March of 2021, he released his first single along with Tiffany Alvord and Shaun Barrowes titled, “Just a Fling.” The song was a hit for Obeeyay, and served as a jumping point for the young artist’s career. Obeeyay has released four singles since October leading up to the release of his March 4th EP, Winnin’.

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We got to chat with Obeeyay to learn more about the new EP, his Utah roots, and much more.

So who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music?

Growing up in a family of singers and a mom who taught voice for over 40 years, allowed me to immerse myself in a world of music at an earlier age. My siblings consistent singing competitions against one another only pushed me to be the best vocalist I could be.

I see you moved from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles in your teens. How has that move affected your music?

It enhanced my ear. For years I begged my parents to let him move to LA in pursuit of music, and they finally accepted. I soon realized I had to grind and make things happen for myself, and was fortunate enough to make some connections. Before LA, I had been in a studio maybe twice. When I moved to LA I was a studio rat. All I did was write songs and surround myself with people who did music on a high level. After school, I would head to the studio and learn from Grammy award-winning producers and songwriters who have worked with Katy Perry, Ariana Grande, Rihanna, and more.

What does a songwriting session typically look like for you?

Normally I do lyrics last. First I make a track that is without lyrics or melodies, then I’ll throw it into Pro Tools and start freestyling melodies while singing in the booth to the track I produced. After I freestyle my melodies and I usually do 3 takes of it, I listen back to what I did and piece together my fav ones. Then I write lyrics to my gibberish melodies. 

So you recently dropped your latest and final single, “Hard,” from your new EP. Can you talk about the inspiration and backstory behind the track?

Honestly, I had a lot of people in my ear about the relationship I was in at the time. This girl I was dating literally left where she was to move next to me so we could try for a relationship. People had opinions and it bothered me, cuz I felt like they didn’t know enough to make assumptions about if we were right for each other or not or whatever they thought I should do. So I wanted to write a song to block out the noise. 

Where was it produced and who helped it come to life?

This song was recorded and produced in Los Angeles at Paramount Recording Studios. 

Speaking of the new EP, what might fans expect from it either lyrically, instrumentally, or otherwise?

A massive energy approach to music and a breath of fresh air to the pop/hip hop world.

Do you plan to support Winnin’ with a tour, or are you going to continue to focus more on studio work?

More shows are definitely in the works. The past year I’ve LIVED in the studio getting this album recorded, and for me to say I can now perform them and see how my audience reacts to it, is a special privilege. 

What feelings or messages do you typically try to convey in your music?

Just a good time. From 7-27, I want people to have a party when they listen to my music. 

What other goals – whether musically or otherwise – do you have in mind for 2022?

Would like to perform at Coachella one day.

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