An Interview with Oshi
Written by Katelyn Wynecoop
With 2017 officially at our backs, we at Big Slide wanted to preface our first interview of 2018 with gratitude for all those reading this. It’s been a monumental year for us, and we are so grateful for those who’ve collaborated with us, promoted us, and inspired us along the way. We are ready to kick off the new year on a high note. With that, we are ecstatic to share our interview with an artist who has served as a massive influence for Big Slide since the very beginning. An unforgettable young man with a heart as big as his hair, our hilarious yet informative interview with Oshi has set the bar high for all those to come.
At just nineteen years old, Joshua Brennan has made quite the name for himself. Beneath the magnificent mane, delicate freckles, and facial tattoos, is a spunky gentleman with sharp wit, unfiltered honesty, and an undeniable gift for music and self-branding. The combination of his production talent and extraordinary originality has gathered him a staggering 170 thousand SoundCloud followers and a massive social media following to match. Brennan’s zealous perseverance has helped him overcome intimidating obstacles that have stood in the way of his success. Having lived in the United Kingdom for his entire life, Brennan recently moved from London to Los Angeles to further his career. Though making the move was a daring risk for Brennan, it is evidence of the unwavering dedication Brennan has toward pursuing his dreams. Taking chances and overcoming intimidating barriers such as these are reason to why Brennan is a frequent performer at festivals all over the world, and often headlines nightclubs despite being underage.
Despite having achieved such levels of success and attention at a young age, Brennan is remarkably humble, kind, and good hearted. His personality can be described as nothing short of electric, his vibrant creativity and bold humor practically radiating through you the moment you meet him. One of the most intriguing things about Brennan was the combination of his striking confidence and soft-spoken empathy for others. Though his vulgarity online can be controversial at times, his intense passion when speaking out on what he believes is a defining element of Brennan as an individual. And while his crass language is often also purely for fun, I found it genuinely refreshing how devoted he was in staying true to himself, completely uninterested in conforming to what the public wants.
The same emotive expression is found in his music, with each track representing a moment of emotional importance in his life. We had the chance to hang out with Brennan before he headlined Forms at Q Nightclub. Getting to know Brennan was the most fun I’ve had interviewing an artist, and I am pleased to share with you a glimpse into his life as Oshi.
I know that you felt inspired to produce after hearing a drum and bass remix of “Inspector Gadget”, how did you move from that kind of sound to the music you make today?
That's a good fucking question, see you're making me think. Fuck I mean, it literally was just time. Just figuring out the type of music I liked and I liked listening to. It's just like okay so, I say this all the time, my mum was a fucking drum and bass head, so that was all that I'd listen to growing up. Along with fuckin' R&B and all that, but it was mainly drum and bass. It's fucking ten thousand hours of work, it just takes time, which is years and years of developing. Not to get too fucking deep but, your taste is what you like and anything you like is a reflection of you. What I make is what I like and that's just what I discovered over the years of just listening to different styles of music and experimenting with different styles of music. It's just, time.
What is your creative process and how do you deal with creative blocks?
The creative process is that whenever you are feeling anything ever you channel it into music. I mean, you can go into the fuckin' technical side of it, say I'd start making a fucking piano piece, but none of that matters at all. All that matters is how you're feeling and how intense it is, and if it feels like a significant moment then you just channel it.
How I deal with creative blocks is, I've said this before, you just go and you jack off and then you go back to it. That's literally all I have to say. Okay but actually, you go and learn something new. Like say you had no idea what fuckin' music theory is. If you go and learn music theory you'll have a new tool to use creatively. It's just something that you can do to get out of that fucking slump. Learning and jacking off. Sums it up amazing.
So I understand that you moved to Los Angeles after living in London for seventeen years. How has living in the US changed your perspective on the world?
I've realized that the world is a cold, harsh, cruel, and yet occasionally friendly place. Moving to America literally just made me realize that there is so many more people out there like me. There's so many more people who are creative. People here like to talk a lot. That's the one thing that surprised me, nothing else. Everybody in America is friendly, it’s a very nice atmosphere to be around because in England not a lot of people are. I might just be being self-conscious, but it's not like being self-conscious is a bad thing for me. I don't worry about being self-conscious, I just know that I fuck up when I am being self-conscious, but that's just part of being an artist.
Tying into that, following you on social media it's clear that you're a huge advocate for mental health awareness. What is your opinion on the way that this issue is being approached online lately?
First of all, there’s lots of people who don't take it seriously. They like to make jokes about it, and make light of it, and make it a trivial thing when it's something that affects literally everybody to some extent. It's definitely a fuckin' real thing and too many people act like it's just made up, and it's all in your head, and it's just a bunch of bullshit that people come up with just to get out of certain things. It's just like, fuck, the way people approach it is just poorly and I wish that people would take it seriously and actually acknowledge that it's a real problem. I mean like, as time goes on I've noticed at least a tiny bit of change. I've seen a lot more people being advocates for mental health. I’ve seen people actually trying to change people's minds. It's nice to see, but there's so much more that we could do. Still, I don't even know what that fucking is.
I'm just a kid who goes online and talks about all the shit I'm experiencing. It's like, I'm not going to act like I'm this fucking knowledgeable, fucking clued up guy about all of the shit that goes on with mental illness, because I'm not. I have my own personal experience and I have a few people I know who experience similar and different things in their minds. I can at least piece together certain things and have an opinion.
I know that it's not wrong to want people to care about fucking mental health and it's not wrong to call people out for giving being so blasé about all the shit that goes on. The way I see it, those people are insensitive.
Having found a lot of success on SoundCloud and made a lot of your connections on the Internet, what tips would you give to a producer when it comes to marketing themselves online?
Be yourself, completely and one hundred percent. That's the only marketing advice I can give anybody because I've never done any marketing that has been paid for, or that has been crafted in a fuckin' office or something. The way I brand myself and the way I've put my shit out is because I'm me and I do what I would do. If I mean as long as it's not something fucking horrific, yeah actually I'm going to give an example *laughs*. But as long as you are yourself and as long as you're doing would you want to do, I mean I'm not going to say you'll always find success, but at least in my case it's just being myself and being honest with you about who I am. That is the best way to reach people and have them understand that you’re an actual person and somebody that they can fuck with I guess.
I want to wrap interview this with a question I think we all want to know the answer to. What is your hair care routine and how do you maintain this beautiful mane?
I mean this, this is a secret. You guys just can't tell anybody. Fine okay. I literally don't do anything whatsoever. I'm not lying, I don't do anything. I wash it like, two or three times a week, all the shampoo and conditioner. Nah, I've actually been using that shea butter for moisture, that shit fucking is fire. That's the secret. Okay no, but actually I just wash and that's it. Or is it?