- Words Cal McIntyre
- Photography Dexter Lander
South London's R&B princess Ojerime released her cathartic mixtape 'B4 I Breakdown' earlier this year which is an honest and messy portrayal of depression, growth and self-discovery wrapped in avant-garde soul.
Ojerime is a breath of fresh air the UK R&B scene needed as her deeply intimate and idiosyncratic brand of R&B quietly roars on her 10-track mixtape ‘B4 I Breakdown’.
Sitting at the intersection of where old meets new, there’s a certain kind of nostalgia that is embedded within the DNA of an Ojerime track. Her honeysuckle vocals that slowly weaver in and out of catharsis on top of delicate and woozy production gives for an introspective listen to the journey Ojerime wishes to take you on.
After suffering a breakdown, the project is ultimately a cathartic release for Ojerime who lays it bare on the table within the project, only to leave it there and walk away. Ojerime’s smokey vocals always have an air of sweetness to them whilst the discussions she bravely dissects within the mixtape range from her experiences of depression, sexuality and genderism leaving the listener to dive in deeper to her carefully crafted lyricism.
The nostalgic and hazy track ‘Give It Up 2 Me’ is woozy and distorted in all of its trippiness whilst Ojerime’s vocal runs and whisper-like spoken-word fades in and out, cementing her status as one of the best rising R&B acts in the UK. With jazz production laced through the mixtape, Ojerime’s sound is ultimately her own, with her story being the driving force of the dark and melancholic mixtape.
It’s easy to get lost in the dreamlike world of Ojerime’s sound, but it’s equally as important to listen to what she is laying bare. With incredibly honest and powerful lyrics, Ojerime is a force to be reckoned with and we can’t wait to see what this poet gets up to next.
If you could summarise it, what would be the story of how you became a musician?
I sang every day in the house and annoyed my family to the point where my mum suggested I give up drama and dance to pursue music.
How would you describe your sound?
Dark and melancholic.
What are some of your first memories of music?
I was part of a youth playscheme as a kid and joined the singing group. One of the workers was like an uncle to me, he really liked how passionate I was and took me and a group of kids to the local radio station where I got to sing live on air, I was about 9 years old.
How are you staying during isolation?
I live alone so I’m coping. I like my space and time to myself.
What’s the best part of being an artist? The worst?
I don’t believe I’ve experienced the best or the worst yet.
What is something that not many people would know about you?
I’ve watched marathons of ‘four in a bed’ and ‘come dine with me’ every day since lockdown.
What energy do you want to give off when you perform live?
Ethereal. Nothing too hype but enough to have a lasting effect
What does being in love feel like for you?
Borderless, life is a breath of fresh air.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
‘Let people come to you’. My uncle gave me this advice on relationships as a kid, it started making more sense as I got older.
Do you have a favourite lyric you’ve written right now?
‘I don’t fight, I spark up when I don’t feel the vibe’.
If you could say one thing to your younger self, what would it be?
Take it slow.