Brooklyn rapper, Asoh Black has been stirring up conversations after the release of his highly anticipated EP “Black Ocean: Season One”. We got the chance to catch up with the up-and-coming rapper to talk about how he got started in the music industry, his latest project and to learn more personal facts.
When did you get started in music and when did you start to take it seriously?
I think I've had an inclination towards music since high school and an inclination towards poetry. It was an easy transition ‘cause I was already writing lyrics. They just weren’t composed of some kind of musical element.
Taken by Akil Grubb (@spaceplayboi)
When I got to high school, I met my homie, and he had a home studio. I remember seeing a post on Facebook about how he was working with another friend of ours. I kind of jokingly said “Clear a spot for me next time.” He had open arms and invited me to his home studio and that’s the first time I started to record.
I think I took it seriously when I started recording in college. That was the first time I got a taste of what it’s like to perform and I found a new love for music. It was kind of like a divergence. I loved music but performing is another thing on another level. Then I started putting out songs and things blossomed into what it is today.
Tell me about your latest project “Black Ocean: Season One”, the name and how it came to be.
When I was in college, I studied technological entrepreneurship and innovation. One of the things that stuck was the concept of a red ocean versus blue ocean strategy. Black Ocean, the project, symbolized my first offering to the industry – yes, I see certain things are working but because of the type of artist I am I’m going to always try to do something new. It’s ‘seasons’ because it’s not going to be a one-off thing. I’m definitely going to use it like a franchise.
If people could only listen to one song off of the project, to be able to understand you as an artist, which song should it be? Why?
If you were to just listen to one song you would not be getting a good sense of who I am as an artist. You have to listen to multiple songs. If it was three songs it would be “Tell Me Lies”, “Foolie”, and “Staying Sober”.
How do you want people to describe you as an artist overall?
I want to paint the picture that I’m not one dimensional. This music is going to be a platform that I build so I can venture off with the advantages to achieve other goals in my life. I think every stage of your life you should be trying to use it to build leverage as to who you are. A lot of that is aided by the fact that I take quality very seriously.
What is your educational background and what motivated you to pursue a higher education even though you wanted to pursue music?
I grew up in a Nigerian household and the tone was set early on that education has to be highly regarded in life. I studied business and management for my undergrad. Then I got a master’s in technology commercialization and entrepreneurship. I did that because those are sectors of knowledge you can apply in any endeavor. (Both degrees were received from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
If you could get one person in the music industry (dead or alive) to listen to your music who would it be?
If I was trying to be strategic, I would have to go with the person who’s charting the most, who actually has a sound that I respect. I would definitely let it be Drake.
If we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic, what would you be doing?
In all realities, right now I should be on tour. I’m not going to say which high-profile rapper I would’ve been accompanying because it will still happen, and I don’t want to ruin the surprise.
Message From Asoh:
I’m working on a commercial for the merchandise right now. There’s a new collection coming soon. If anyone wants anything from the current inventory, all you have to do is go to my Instagram, @asohblack, and send a direct message. Listen to Black Ocean. ‘Staying Sober’ video is out right now. There are a lot more videos coming soon. As soon as this corona shit over I promise you we’re going to be out of here!
Birthday and Zodiac Sign:
o Jan. 17, Capricorn
o To Play: Soccer
o To watch: American Football
o Bright Colors
Ideal Vacation Spot:
o Geneva, Switzerland. It’s a country of wealth, the borders are actually blue, blue. Also, the architecture is hella fire.
o A Poke Bowl with crab legs, the little orange fish eggs with some sweet-and-sour sauce. Or anything from Blue Ribbon.
o My favorite memory probably hasn’t even happened yet. But so far, I would say my favorite memory is me and all my siblings, we were hella young, watching Power Rangers on the couch.
o I took this shawty to the movies and we tried to sneak Chipotle in. I had it in my shirt and it spilled in my pants.
Perfect First Date:
o It’d be real cool if we had a picnic maybe near the water, a couple of j’s with us and end it with watching a movie - maybe one of those projector movies - and find somewhere to eat. Then depending on how the date goes we’ll see where we’re going next.
Finish the sentence: 'In a relationship I look for …'
o Trust. I look for intelligence and genuity. Those are the top three things.
Finish the sentence: 'People have told me they are attracted to …'
o My ambition, the fact that no matter how good of a life I’m leading currently I’m always going to want something more. If not for the betterment of me, for my future children.
One of Your Best Character Traits:
o I pride myself on my emotional quotient. I like to understand people - that’s my thing - because I want people to understand me. That’s the first element to trust. If you can’t understand someone how can you trust them?
Are You Single?
o I have a quarantine bae, but technically yes.