Anyone that’s listened to my show, even if only once, has probably heard me play an Oddisee track. I’ve been playing his music since my 2nd show back in May of ’09 and I’ve played 95 songs that he’s either produced or rhymed on (often both) in my 173 shows. That’s by far the most of any artist. He first stopped by the show with Olivier Daysoul in late 2010 and I’m really glad to be able to get a little time in the middle of his tour to talk about his excellent new album “People Hear What They See.” He’ll also be performing at Public Assembly Tuesday night; I recommend being there.
The son of Sudanese and American parents, Amir Mohamed was born and raised in the United States capital city of Washington DC, spending hot summers in Khartoum learning Arabic and swimming in the Nile. Growing up amidst the sounds of New York hip hop, his father playing Oud, Go-Go, and gospel, Amir took his first steps as an MC producer in the analog basement studio of his legendary neighbor, Garry Shider (Parliament Funkadelic).
Convincing his entrepreneurial father that he too had business acumen, Amir laid the check from his first commercial release on the kitchen table before his 21st birthday and never looked back. Though Oddisee has gone on to perform with The Roots, produce for Freeway, Jazzy Jeff, Little Brother, De La Soul & Nikki Jean, and has MC’d on production from Flying Lotus, Hudson Mohawke and Kev Brown, his proudest moment was the birth of his critically acclaimed group The Diamond District with fellow Washingtonians X.O. and yU.
Known in the music industry for his independence, Oddisee consistently debunks the scatterbrained artist myth – doing everything from booking international tours to photography to marketing and promoting himself and even other artists. He now works as both artist and consultant with Mello Music Group, one of the foremost emerging independent labels to take advantage of the digital revolution to build a successful business.
Oddisee’s debut album “People Hear What They See” (set for release 12 June 2012) is a culmination of the duality of his life experiences, from DC internal politics to third world struggles, the line between love and selfishness, and the personal conflict between self-sabotage and progress, set to a backdrop of intricate drums, lush instrumentation, and soul-stirring harmonies.