Osa Seven is a Graffiti Artist, Graphics Designer and Brand Developer. The artist, whose full name is Osa Okunkpolor, was compared to Banksy – the renowned anonymous British graffiti artist regarded as one of the world’s greatest street artists – by CNN Africa. In this interview, he spoke about his art and it’s association to music.
– By Osa Seven
To me, art means freedom. It is an expression of my thoughts, desires, and emotions. I started Graffiti, despite its unpopularity, because I had an urge to be different, and also to impact and inspire people.
The journey has not been without a few challenges. The acceptance of graffiti as a form of expression and art and also availability of art supplies have been the major challenges that I have been faced with.
I’ve done more than street art, as I created the album art for WizKid’s award-winning Superstar album as well as the set design for the 2010 video by Sound Sultan ft. MI Abaga. This was possible because I believe art and music are both forms of self-expression, just in different mediums; Visuals and Sound. I think they’re both very similar, as they produce and promote messages that tell a story and resonate with people.
In the music industry, there are actually a lot of opportunities for artists. An artist can serve in set design, merchandising, make up for videos, visual branding among many others. Being an artist is more than the technical hard skill, it is more in the mind before the skill. The creativity of an artist can be used to accomplish innovation in the music industry.
To get started, know your strength in the area you want to go into. Learn and improve daily. Beyond the art, there is a place for understanding the brand and business side, or getting someone who can manage those aspects for you. It is not enough to just be interested in the industry.To succeed in any industry, including music, talent is not enough. You need focus, passion and persistence.
The future is here already!I have had live performances with several artistes. While they were singing, rapping or playing an instrument, I was on stage creating live art. As the industry grows, the opportunity for merchandising and experiential engagements will be there to explore further.
There is so much more to look forward to.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in the Spark Magazine. Find the magazine here to read more articles.