Artistic duos often bring a unique freshness and dynamic.
This is the case of Osboyz, a French rap duo who have stood out for their originality and passion for music. In this article, we dive into the world of Osboyz to discover their journey, their inspirations and their aspirations.
From their chance meeting in high school to the creation of their band, including their musical influences and their future projects, we explore the many facets of this promising duo.
How did you meet and what made you want to create Osboyz?
E: We met in high school, through a mutual friend who was already making music. He invited us into the studio, and the chemistry happened immediately. I've been writing texts since my high school years, and it was Axel who suggested combining our talents. Our very first song was released in 2018, and our first Ep was released in July 2019.
A: I went to the studio with my brother and the idea of forming a duo naturally came to us. We showed our first creations to our friends, and their positive reactions encouraged us to continue.
How did you choose your band name?
A&E: The name Osboyz came about during a studio session. We said to ourselves, “even if it means making music, we might as well do it together”. At the beginning, we mainly rapped on old school instrumentals. This taste for old school inspired us for the name Osboyz, which is actually a contraction of “Old School Boys”. Later, we even released a project called "Old School Boyz", recorded in Brittany.
Who are your biggest musical inspirations?
A: My musical inspirations have evolved over time. At first, I was very influenced by American rap icons like Eminem and Dr. Dre. Then I started to be more interested in French rap with artists like Vald, 1995 and Nekfeu. Today, I'm also a big fan of Jazzy Bazz, Luther and Rounhaa. They inspire me to experiment with different styles and flows.
E: I discovered rap quite early with artists like Diam's and Sexion d'Assaut, barely arriving at middle school. A few years later, shortly before high school I discovered EMINEM and immediately became a fan. I was interested in his lyrics, his life, etc. and it made me want to immerse myself fully in the world of rap. After that I fell deeply into OG American rap with legends like Snoop Dogg, Dr.DRE, 2PAC, WU TANG CLAN and MOBB DEEP.
Once in high school I started listening to a lot of French rap from the trap era with Booba, Kaaris, Lacrim etc. I also really liked technical rappers like Nekfeu. But my biggest revelation was SCH, he's really my favorite rapper, he inspired me a lot and that's still the case.
Your favorite albums or projects:
A: In terms of albums, I really appreciate the work of Booba and Eminem for older rap. Currently, I listen to Luv Resval a lot. My favorite French album is “Agharta” by VALD and on the US side, it’s “ASTROWORLD” by Travis Scott.
E: For me, the albums that had the most impact on me were "A7" by SCH, Nero Nemesis by BOOBA and Feu de Nekfeu for French rap and Eminem's discography in the 2000s for American rap. Recently, I appreciate the work of So Lalune, La Fève, Freeze Corleone and SDM.
Can you tell me about your creative process in the studio?
E: My creative process has really evolved since working with Senden. Before, I was pretty locked into one style, but now I'm more open. We often start with an idea of the direction we want to take a song. Sometimes it can be a simple melody that came to mind, or a concept that Senden wants to explore. Then we break that idea down into its elements and start building around it.
A: For my part, everything is really done by feeling. When we are in the studio, we let ourselves be carried away by the energy and the atmosphere of the moment. We improvise challenges for ourselves: for example, changing flow in the middle of a song, or adding an element of surprise. This makes each session unique and exciting.
How did you manage to reach almost 200k streams? Do you have a strategy?
A&E: Yes, we have a methodical approach. As soon as a new sound comes out, we follow it closely to see how it is received by the public. Our strategy has always been to test different things. It's often said that you have to fail to succeed, and I think that's true. Many talk about the “right” way to do things, but in the end, they do nothing. We, on the contrary, invest in professionals like beatmakers and sound engineers. Work is essential; there is no room for procrastination in this area. The older I get, the more I explore different flows and styles. It's like a muscle, the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. Work generates opportunity, and that's how we were able to achieve these numbers.
You have collaborated with a lot of people. In the future, what would be your dream collaboration?
A: We have a double criterion for choosing our collaborations. On the one hand, there is the attraction of working with well-established artists, who have great experience and notoriety like VALD or SCH. These collaborations often bring opportunities and above all a vision of the music industry that we don't yet have.
E: Yes, working with renowned artists can also be a rich source of stories, anecdotes and advice that can be invaluable to our own development.
A: On the other hand, there is also the excitement of working with lesser known but extremely talented artists, like MAIRO or KHALI.
E: Exactly, these collaborations can be more authentic and provide a more level playing field for creative cooperation.
Can you talk about a notable collaboration?
A: A collaboration that particularly struck us was that with TOR. He came up North for a freestyle session, and that's where we created "BUZZ", our biggest hit so far. It generated 2,000 streams in 24 hours, which was way more than anything we had ever achieved before.
E: Yes, and it's interesting to note that after the success of "BUZZ", we didn't necessarily make the right decisions. In hindsight, we should have worked differently to maintain this new fan base.
What plans do you have for the coming year?
A&E: In addition to releasing a music video, we also have an EP in the works “OSB5”. The year 2024 will be very focused on live performances. We really want to connect with our audience, so expect to see us on stage everywhere.
A: I think live will really allow us to show another side of ourselves. We can't wait to share this energy with our fans.
What are you aiming for in the long term? In 10 years ?
A: At 35 years old, I definitely see myself as someone who has succeeded in many facets of the music industry. Not just as an artist, but maybe also as a producer or manager. I would like to be able to help other talents emerge.
E: Personally my mentality is that I don't have a plan B. I don't have the right to fail in my art which is rap, I want this life at all costs and that's why I give 200% to this. So to answer in 10 years I see myself on stage with my reliable guy because I love music too much.
Tell me about your latest project, “OSB5”. What inspired you?
For "OSB5", our approach was simple but effective. We compiled the best sounds we had created over the year into one project. The idea is that regular and consistent practice, coupled with our love of music, somehow creates our own source of inspiration. In fact, every time I create a new sound, I immediately think about my friends' reaction, which helps me focus and stay motivated. It's also a kind of friendly competition between us. We strive every year to push ourselves and improve, which fuels the creative process behind each “OSB” EP.
This approach of self-assessment and continuous improvement is what motivates us to continue creating, experimenting and evolving as artists.
Do you think music has a philosophical role to play in society?
A&E: Absolutely. Music is more than just entertainment; it has the power to amplify emotions and can serve as an outlet. In rap, in particular, we find a wide range of emotions, from rage to joy. It is a mirror of society.
We really want to focus on positive messages of motivation and optimism. Although we don't want to be labeled as "conscious rappers", we believe it is crucial to stay in tune with social reality. We would like to explore themes like resilience, perseverance and the importance of balance in life.