10 Questions With Ola

With a sound and voice that's uniquely his, R&B artist Ola has been making his mark in the Atlanta music scene. Ola is an up-and-coming artist that has been grinding nonstop since his arrival to Atlanta by way of New Jersey. He is not just a singer, Ola also raps and started his career as an actor! HerCampus CAU had the chance to chat with and get to know the ins and outs of the musical artist Ola.

HC: So tell me a little bit about yourself. Where are you from and how did you start making music? 

O: I'm from Plainfield, NJ but moved to Atlanta, GA to pursue a career in music at 16. I started entertaining doing school plays and print modeling jobs when I was younger, which gave me the confidence to be in front of people and camera. This somehow led to me making my own Youtube videos where I would flip popular songs into my own. After doing that for years and receiving a lot of recognition from them, I decided to start making my own music.


HC: Have you performed around Atlanta? 

O: I've performed everywhere I can get my hands on in Atlanta. I've done dozens of open mics at little lounges around the city, a few performances at Apache Cafe, and homecoming performances at different universities.


HC: What made you want to become a singer?

O: I actually started as an actor, but in middle school, my school did a rendition of High School Musical. I tried out for a regular part but ended up being selected as Troy, the lead male. This role required a lot of singing which was my first time being introduced to performing in this way in front of people. I loved the reaction I received from the audience and kept up with singing long after that production was over.


HC: How long have you been making music? Has it been hard trying to establish yourself as a well-known singer? 

O: I've been making music for about 11 years now. It's a little tough trying to establish myself as a well-known singer, but sometimes I'm not able to gauge how known I am because the people around me and that know of me know that I sing and make music. The challenge is more breaking into new space AND finding my niche sonically that I can be known for. For example, when people hear certain voices/songs from popular artists, they know EXACTLY who the artist is (ex: Chris Brown, Drake, Kendrick, J Cole) I want the world to know my voice the moment they hear me utter any note.

HC: Who are some artists that you look up to in the music Industry? 

O: I admire people like Chris Brown, Travis Scott, Kanye West & Pharrell because they have found alternative ways outside of music to generate income for themselves. They are the true definition of renaissance men who have broken the stereotype that artists should just be artists. There are many passions that I aspire to attack in film and design but I know that focusing on music right now will open the doors up for me to have fun in those areas.


HC: If you can describe your style of music with one word what would it be and why? 

O: Well right now, I've been making a lot of R&B music, but I've been getting really bored with it so I'm using my ability to formulate good songs to challenge myself to make different records that touch different genres. I sing/rap on songs a lot too so naturally, I think that people would categorize my music as R&B music. 


HC: So you have an EP Before I'm Famous that’s out right out right now, what was the inspiration behind some of the tracks is there a special someone that inspires your music? 

O: The Before I'm Famous EP was a project that I wanted to use as a declaration on my future. It was me acknowledging that this music is what is going to bring me recognition in the world, but I'm actually not too concerned with "FAME". I feel like FAME is the consequence of being a well-known musician. So the project isn't talking about how I'm about to have tons of cars and money; it focuses on the things I want my girl, exes and my friends to know about me before the fame hits me. I enjoy the love and strong friendships I have in my life now and don't want them to negatively change after so these thoughts and concerns served as great inspiration making these songs.


HC: Do you think your current music is different than the music you created when you first started making music? If so, why?

O: The music I make now is definitely more personal and transparent of the things I have going on in my life. I use to make cute bubblegum songs that anyone could sing, but these days the songs I make stem from personal things that I've been through so you'd have to really listen to understand and get insight about my life.


HC: So what’s next for Ola?

O: I would be lying to you if I said that I knew. Right now I'm going with the flow, making more music and trying to tap more into myself to pull stories that people can relate to. Focusing on visuals for the new music that I'm gearing up to drop. They're different vibes so I'm excited to show people how I'm ever evolving.


Make sure you click the links below to follow Ola on his social media accounts so you can stay updated on future projects as well as his music.