Obba Supa who are Heyzeus and Teknical Development are on the verge of unleashing their forthcoming album TO: AM – FREE: AM. This is a group that hails the traditional art of Hip Hop, yet stems from a completely different era.
In an age where deep thought becomes as rare as a Hip Hop track without a blinged out cameo from a platinum contender, is it fair to assume that we are about to time travel back full circle on a journey to its true essence of skills over shallow rhyming and lame beats?
I guess time will only tell, in the mean time keep your ears and your eyes peeled for Obba Supa as I unveiled what they had to say. Once again its Kwaku at the helm read on.
Kwaku: How are you guys doing you good yeah?
Heyzeus: Yeah man.
Teknical: Yeah, we are good.
Kwaku: Ok so when did you guys get together?
Heyzeus: I would say about 2001.
Kwaku: So how did you guys get together how it did all happen?
Heyzeus: Well I was working at Pizza Hut doing deliveries, in fact I already knew Tek from college and we were smoking some herbs together, and he must have been battling some guy in the car park or something like that, in fact I knew him from before from around and I was like, yeah I know this guy so it just built on from there.
Kwaku: I hear you, I understand. So with regards to the crew name how did that come
Heyzeus: There was this girl, I think she was Jewish, she would often say this word that sounded like oobaa. She was from the old space we used to rent and after hearing that word and finding out the meaning we connected the supa at the end of it to make Obba Supa.
Kwaku: How would you describe the type of Hip Hop that you guys make?
Teknical: The type of Hip Hop that we do is something special and it’s something that’s needed because, boy, (pauses for a moment) Hip Hop just isn’t satisfying right now and that’s the most honest way that we can put it.
We are not really dealing with this people or that, we are just doing our thing and what we are doing is basically what’s needed, like I said previously, that’s it. That’s the fusion that we are on right now but there are also others doing their thing, because like I said we are special.
Kwaku: I listened to the music and it just comes across a little bit deeper than the usual Hip Hop one tends to hear out of this country.
Teknical: You know what? I won’t even call it deeper I’d call it more sensible. We aren’t scared to say anything. We say what’s on our minds because music is emotional, expressive and that forces me as a writer to bring the same, so it’s a 50/50 thing. At the same time I truly feel that there are a lot of MCs and people out there dealing with all types of music that have a voice, but don’t say what’s on their minds fully! And that’s what we do, we say what’s on our minds. And that’s honesty full stop and that’s it, those are the terms. I couldn’t put it more real than that.
Kwaku: In regards to the songs and how you put them together, what’s the process?
Heyzeus: Well we have our own studio set up so I’ll just make a tune, play a record and listen to samples and while I’m chopping up stuff, Tek would be writing a verse. Because Tek can write 32 bars in 5 minutes you know what I mean? And it’s not even some gibberish, but that’s just down to his style.
Kwaku: So when you guys were coming up in the game what kind of artists were you listening to, who where the people that you’d say inspired you?
Heyzeus: Pretty much the same as every one else you know what I mean? Now for me as far as beats the standard would be Pete Rock, Primo, J Dilla, Dr Dre, Diamond D, Havoc – who else man, ah Madlib and Prince Paul. And as you can tell by the lyrics we always take things on a spiritual level and obviously having knowledge, understanding or an overstanding of myself I understand that my purpose is to deal with frequencies and how I regulate vibrations and the human brain works of vibrations and frequencies, that’s basically my style without going too out there (ha ha Heyzeus laughs).
Kwaku: Why do you feel that a lot of artists tend to glorify a lot of negativity in the game?
Heyzeus: Because that’s them. People get wrapped up on television with out having an understanding on what it is to read something or actually create something artistic. Whereas people might be describing themselves as artists, but don’t even understand what it is to create art.
Kwaku: That is a good point.
Heyzeus: So some people will call themselves artists but they’re really filling in the blanks. And I consider what we do on a whole new other level. Because I view vibrations and numbers in the same way I experience sound. And all of this plays a part on what you hear and a lot of people don’t know that. But you cant really blame them because people are ignorant to what it actually is. I feel the sound and know what it is. So because they don’t understand that, they simply make tunes based on what they see on television.
Kwaku: How did the title TO AM: Free AM come about?
Heyzeus: Well TO: AM was the first thing then Free: AM was the second and Four AM will be the next. We have a whole camp that we work with my self, Teknical Development, Body Bravo and Vague, we all had a studio together, and basically work on everything in the AM. So because we were in that vibe and because of the time, obviously it just went in that direction. And this is just a project because normally we got some hard shit to fuck people up. Also if you listen to each one there’s a whole different theory behind each of them. I mean you haven’t heard Free: AM yet because it isn’t out yet, its not out until July 31st.
Kwaku: OK with that said, talk us through the album. How did it formulate?
Teknical: Like Heyzeus was saying him and I was in the studio right through to late hours of the morning and Zeus would just make up the beat and TO: AM evolved quickly like within a week or so. And we put that out as a download and it got quite a good reception. We alerted people’s antennas so people knew who we were. So to cut a long story short some one else heard TO: AM loved it and helped us out so big up to Project Mooncircle.
Heyzeus: When I first met them it was a nice day everything just fell into place and normally I host a show with Alexander every Saturday on Rinse FM and basically the show is just blowing up now. Well Alex weren’t there that day, anyway after the show we went to the park and there was this dude in a wheelchair that had a sound system on his chair in the middle of park. Well there were four other guys in the park at the same time listening to this guy’s old school sound coming from his chair. Project Mooncircle had just released MF Doom and John Robinson album. And I saw Cooper he was from Project Mooncircle and they were seeking to expand into the UK because they were mainly catering for Europe and Japan. They heard our tune and they liked it and a couple days later I had a call and they said that they like it and wanted to put out Free AM and that’s how it came about really.
Kwaku: Well thanks for taking that time out for the interview any shout outs?
We would like to say thanks to RDL, Radar, Delta, Vague, Teknical, Gordon, Distribution Boombox, HHC, Wax museum Records, and Project Mooncircle.
The Album TO: AM – FREE: AM is out on 31st of July On Project Mooncircle.
Written by: Kwaku