Oldpee from 13 Block: A new solo chapter (INTERVIEW)

Oldpee de 13 Block : Un nouveau chapitre solo (INTERVIEW)

In the impetuous world of French rap, certain artists stand out for an artistic trajectory that is as rich as it is unique. Among them, Oldpee, emblematic member of the group 13 Block, reveals himself as an essential figure. Originally from Sevran, a hotbed of talent in 93, Oldpee alone embodies the vibrant mix of cultures and influences that characterizes the Parisian suburbs. From his Congolese and Martinican roots to his first steps in rap with the 93Gang, Oldpee has always known how to channel his environment and his experiences to forge a style of his own. With the release of his highly anticipated mixtape "Je m'appelle Sidi", Oldpee is preparing to mark a new chapter in his career, thus consolidating his status as a solo artist while remaining faithful to his origins and his iconic group.

This interview delves into the world of Oldpee, exploring his background, his inspirations and his artistic vision, which distinguish him as one of the most exciting actors in the rap scene today.

Oldpee, tell us a little about how you got started in rap. What pushed you to embark on this path?

My passion for rap started very early, during my childhood in Beaudottes. I started getting involved in music at the age of 16, exchanging ideas with Stavo and ZeFor. My journey is a pure product of my environment, of my Congolese and Martinican roots.

My interest in music really took shape when I formed 93Gang with Stavo in the early 2010s. We started as a duo before joining 13 Block around 2014. It was this period that defined my style, mixing Sevran's experience with an Atlanta trap sound. The experience with 13 Block, especially with projects like 'XIII' and 'VUE - Urban Violence Riot', really solidified my passion for music and gave me the impetus to pursue this path.

When the album 'TRIPLE S' came out, it was a real turning point for me. This is where I really began to understand the impact and power of music, and how I could use it to share my experiences as well as my thoughts.

Sevran is a veritable pool of talent in French rap. How do you see your role and your influence within this scene? Are there any emerging artists from Sevran that you would like to highlight?

Sevran is an inexhaustible source of talent and inspiration.

I don't see myself as having a leadership role or anything, but rather as an active member of this artistic community.

My goal is to contribute to this scene, to share my experiences, to encourage young talents. The success of one of us is a source of inspiration and motivation for all. Each artist in Sevran has their own story, their own style, and it is this diversity that makes our scene so rich. There are so many talented young artists here that I would like to see emerge and succeed. My role, as I see it, is to support them, to help them make themselves heard.

You have a unique way of making music. Can you tell us about your creative process? How do you find inspiration for your pieces?

My creative process is a bit like an alchemy between spontaneity and reflection. I don't have a set method for finding inspiration. Often, she comes when I'm in the studio, listening to the beats the producers send me. I love that feeling of discovering a beat and immediately feeling a connection, an idea taking shape.

I work a lot with producers like Myth Syzer, Hypnotic, and Ikaz Boi. Their ability to create sounds that resonate with my artistic vision is essential. For example, the first time I heard the beat for “PLACE VENDÔME”, I knew immediately that I wanted to work on it. There was an energy, an atmosphere in this beat that perfectly matched what I wanted to express.

Working on various projects, whether with 13 Block or solo, I have always sought to remain authentic to my style. Whether on tracks like 'Massacre' or 'Place Vendôme', or even on my solo EPs 'WSHHH' and 'SDK', I have explored different facets of my art. The release of my mixtape 'Je m'appelle Sidi' marks a new chapter, where I consolidate my artistic identity while opening the door to new explorations. My inspiration often comes from the music itself, from the beat that triggers an idea, an emotion. Working with talented beatmakers like Hypnotic on tracks like 'Fer' allowed me to explore new dimensions of my art. Each piece is a new challenge, a new opportunity to share a part of me with my audience.

For me, music is above all a way of communicating, of sharing emotions and experiences. Each piece is an opportunity to tell a story, to convey a message. Whether through direct lyrics or more subtle metaphors, I always try to make my music more than just a series of rhymes. I want it to resonate with people, to speak to them in some way.

Ultimately, my vision of music is to stay true to who I am, to what I feel, while being open to evolution, to experimentation. It's about continuing to grow as an artist, exploring new horizons while maintaining this authenticity.

Who are the artists or musical genres that have influenced you the most? Do you think these influences are reflected in your music?

My influences are quite diverse. I started by listening to a lot of American rap, legends like 2pac, Snoop Dogg, and Dr. Dre. Their way of telling stories, their flow, it really had an impact on me. But I also draw a lot of inspiration from French rap. Artists like Sefyu with his captivating ambient tracks, Despo for his punchline art, and Alpha for his ability to blend more traditional sounds with modern style. Each of these artists has influenced the way I see and make music.

What I admire about these artists is their ability to remain authentic.

Today, I continue to listen to new trends and discover new artists. For example, I really like Lil Durk's work. His approach to music, mixing melody and storytelling, is something that speaks to me.

With 13 Block, you have completely revolutionized French trap. How did you experience this adventure? What did it bring you personally and artistically?

The adventure with 13 Block is an incredible experience and honestly, it was a bit of a whirlwind. We started without really measuring the impact we could have. We made music that we liked, without thinking too much about revolutionizing anything. But over time, we began to realize that we were changing the game, especially with our unique approach to trap.

What was most striking was seeing how our music began to influence other artists. We saw our styles, our flows, our gimmicks being taken up by others, which was both surprising and extremely gratifying. It showed us that we really had something special, something that resonated with people.

On a personal level, this experience with 13 Block brought me a lot. It gave me confidence in myself and in my music. Artistically, it pushed me to step out of my comfort zone, to experiment with new sounds, new structures. Working in a group is always a challenge, but it is also incredibly rewarding. We learn to listen, to collaborate, to create together something greater than what we could do individually.

I particularly remember the moment when we created 'fuck the 17'. It was one of those magical moments in the studio where everything seems to line up perfectly. The energy was there, the inspiration was there, and in the space of an hour, we had created a song that would mark our career. It was such a natural creation, so fluid, that it perfectly symbolizes what 13 Block represented for me: authenticity, spontaneity and innovation.

Let’s talk about your mixtape “JE M’APPELLE SIDI”. What motivated you to choose this title? Is there a particular message behind it?

“Choosing ‘JE M’APPELLE SIDI’ as the title for my mixtape was a way of reconnecting with my roots, my first identity. This title is like a return to my roots, a reminder of who I really am , far from all the labels that can be attached to an artist. It's a nod to my journey, to the evolution of my music. It's my way of saying that despite all the distance traveled, I remains faithful to my origins, to the essence of my passion for rap.

The message behind this mixtape is also a declaration of intent. It's as if I were saying: 'Here I am, I've come this way, but I'm always ready to reinvent myself, to explore new avenues.' It's a reminder, not only for myself but also for my audience, to show that I am always evolving, always passionate.

This mixtape is a concentrate of everything I have experienced, learned and felt. It is a synthesis of my experiences, my collaborations, my inspirations. But it is also a springboard for the future. It's a starting point for a new chapter in my career, a solo career where I can truly express myself fully, without restraint.

I wanted 'JE M'APPELLE SIDI' to be a solid project, anchored in reality, while being open to the future. For me, it was essential to lay this solid base, these foundations, before embarking on this new solo adventure. This is a project that is particularly close to my heart because it represents a new beginning, a renewal, while remaining true to who I am. It's a bit like I'm introducing myself to my audience again, with increased maturity and experience."

You have some sick feats on this mixtape. How did you choose the artists to collaborate with? Is there a collaboration that particularly struck you?

When I started working on 'JE M'APPELLE SIDI', I had in mind to create something truly special, not just in terms of sound, but also in terms of human connections. Choosing artists for collaborations was not easy. I wanted each feat to bring something unique to the mixtape, for each artist to add their personal touch while remaining in harmony with the overall spirit of the project.

Collaborating with Gradur, for example, was obvious to me. We have a kind of natural connection, a mutual understanding that comes through in our music. Working with him was fluid, it was as if our styles complemented each other naturally.

As far as ZED is concerned, it's as if we share the same artistic soul. Our collaboration was so organic, it was like we understood each other without needing to speak. And then there's Freeze Corleone, who I have a long history with. Collaborating with him is always a highlight because we have known each other since our beginnings.

Each guest artist on this mixtape was chosen not only for their talent, but also for the chemistry we can have together. It's important to me that the collaborations are authentic, that they come from the heart. I didn't just want names to create buzz, I wanted artists who shared my vision of music, who understood my journey.

What particularly struck me about these collaborations is the diversity and richness they bring to the mixtape. Each artist has their own universe, their own style, and when you combine all that, it creates something truly powerful and unique. That's the beauty of collaborations: they allow you to transcend artistic boundaries and create something greater than the sum of its parts.

Ultimately, 'JE M'APPELLE SIDI' is a project that reflects not only my own evolution as an artist but also the richness and diversity of the current musical landscape. It's a mixtape which, I hope, will make an impression not only for its quality but also for the strength of its collaborations.

How do you see the evolution of French rap currently? Do you think there are changes coming in the genre?

French rap is in a very dynamic and exciting phase. There is a real diversity of styles, a fusion between old and new schools. What I like is this openness, this desire to experiment, to mix genres. However, there is also a risk that the American influence becomes too predominant, and it is important to maintain our own identity, our own voice in rap.

I think that French rap will continue to evolve, to adapt. Today's artists are not limited to just one style or genre. They are more open, more daring in their experiments. This is a good thing, because it pushes everyone to innovate and reinvent themselves.

One of the keys to the future of French rap is authenticity. No matter the influences or styles, authenticity should always be at the heart of the music. A rapper must remain true to himself, to his story. It’s this honesty that creates a real connection with the audience.

Finally, I am very curious to see how the new generation will influence French rap. They have a different approach to music, more global, more connected. It’s exciting to see how they will shape the future.

Interview conducted by Teo Comyn

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