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Interview: Oya Baby

Oya Baby is a multi-talented dancer and artist whose accolades continue to rack up. Her song Super Thot has over 120,000 views on YouTube, she recently signed to Flo Rida's International Music Group label, and this summer, she will be performing at Rolling Loud in her hometown of Miami. As she propels onto bigger and better things, we at TheMSQShop got a chance to ask her about her process, the music scene in Miami, and her inspirations.

Max: First off, congratulations on being featured at Rolling Loud! Is there anything you’re planning to bring for your performance that we should look out for? And how does it feel to be able to perform at one of the biggest festivals IN your hometown?

Oya: Thank you so much! I’m just so grateful and excited to be on the Rolling Loud stage again, but this time in front of an actual audience!!!!! I always have so much fun on stage, especially in my city, so just expect good vibes and a good ass time. I’m bringing all the heat the Miami way period.

Max: Dead or alive, who would it be a dream for you to collaborate with and why?

Oya: It's so hard to narrow it down just to one because I have so many all-time favorites that inspired me so much from a young age. I’d say, Aaliyah, Selena, Nicki Minaj, Missy Elliott & Beyoncé are my all-time favorites. Trina the Queen is on there too but I got my collab by the Queen of Miami already and of course, collaborating (with) Flo would be amazing!

Max: I know some people put their pen above everything, some people put the flow down first, and some people freestyle their way through a hit, which creative process would you say you prefer?

Oya: I like to vibe off the beat and see what flows naturally. Coming up with topics and just everyday vibes make it easier for the lyrics to come to you as well like for example me traveling and seeing the world makes the process smooth because it gives me things to talk about.

Max: How has your experience been so far in International Music Group, and with Flo Rida?

Oya: It’s been such an honoring and learning experience. Being able to learn from Flo who is such an Icon and legend just keeps me so inspired and ready to achieve the success and longevity he has. He and Lee Prince (Freezy) have played a major role in my life and I’m just thankful to them both for the opportunities they continue to give me.

Max: I love the sample and all the references to ‘Superthug’ in Super Thot, is Noreaga an influence, and if not, what other artists influence you?

Oya: Thank you! Yes, it was a really fun record to make, shouts out to Nore!! Adding my Miami swag to a New York vibe was really fun. So many artists influenced me honestly... but to name a few, Trina was the first rapper I ever listened to. Being from Miami especially, she was just that girl and she paved the way and continues to do so 'till this day, she’s the most humble and amazing person and I’m so blessed to say we have a song together. Missy Elliot is one of the biggest influences in my life because of the way she managed to rap and incorporated dance at the same time! As a dancer growing up I would always watch her videos and say how much I wanted to be in one and be like her. Nicki is a huge inspiration for me she’s just a true queen and one of my favorite lyricists of all time!

Max: South Florida has become a massive hub for new artists and musical styles, so what is your opinion on the music scene in the 305?

Oya: There’s so much talent and versatility in Miami. Regardless of the different backgrounds or what street you are from everybody got grinding in common. As long as we continue to support each other and work on our craft we can continue to grow as a city as well.

Max: Has anything about your roots affected your approach to making music now?

Oya: Embracing my roots and where my family and I were born has always been really important to me. Being an Afro Latina, being raised in Carol City, I can make music about my experiences. From a young age to now, all while upping the city and my roots in the most positive way.

Max: As a female artist in a male-centric industry, do you feel like female artists are finally able to break the mold, and get to make the kind of music they want to make?

Oya: Yes! I feel like times have definitely changed and female rappers can be brought up in the same conversations that male rappers do. We go just as hard and it’s finally being respected more and more as time passes so it’s only right for me to grind and be as authentic as I can be. There’s only one you so embrace it and make the music you want to make unapologetically.

Max: Are there any indie artists you’d like to shout out, anybody who deserves a spotlight right now?

Oya: Everybody at IMG/Strongarm!!!! I have a mixtape dropping soon with Varie and Int'l Nephew so be on the lookout for that... And just everybody that’s grinding out of Miami period!!!

Max: Is there anything about your upcoming work you’d like to tell us about?

Oya: Expect a lot of new music, content, and music videos! Got some legendary collabs on the way for the city as well. One with the Queen Trina, another with Major Nine who is also one of my favorite artists out of Miami. Tapping into the Spanish waves more as well so expect more Latin vibes.

Be sure to follow Oya Baby on Instagram here.

Stream Oya Baby's music on all platforms here. Written by Max Olarinde, @mobeige1 on all social media.

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