Fresh off the release of her new single, we caught up with hip-hop gem Odillia to break down her style, flow, and bring it back to where her music began.
If you haven’t already wrapped your ears around Break It Down, the latest single from Dutch songstress Odillia, you’re seriously missing out. Rhythmically air-tight and bursting with energy, the track is packed with enough punch to bring the sun out on a cloudy day.
We sat down with the artist for a chat about the release and the incredible musicians who inspired it.
HAPPY: Hey Odillia, how’s it going? What do you find yourself doing right this moment?
ODILLIA: Hey, I couldn’t be doing better right now since I released my song with Snoop Dogg! I was actually just checking out the amount of views on YouTube and we’re already on 184,000 views in four-days! So, I’m feeling more than blessed at the moment
HAPPY: Congratulations on the release of Break It Down! How does it feel to have it out in the world?
ODILLIA: It’s such a rewarding feeling honestly. First, for Snoop to jump on it and him getting behind it was already the best feeling, but to see the amount of love it is getting it really makes my heart smile and I’m just very proud of this project and the team that made it all happen.
HAPPY: Can you tell us about how this collaboration with Snoop Dogg came about?
ODILLIA: The way we met was very special and it all went really fast. My manager had known him for a long time, so he was able to set up the meeting. At first, I was very nervous but he was very sweet and his vibe calmed down my nerves instantly. He was very busy, so I was happy we got a few minutes of his time to play the record and see if he would be interested to jump on it. He loved the ’90s vibe and, since he had a little bit of time, he decided to jump on it right then and there. Of course, inside my head, I jumped through the roof at this time trying to realise what was happening and if I was gonna have one of my favourite hip-hop legends on my song.
He saw my excitement cause during his recording towards the end, he kept looking at me at some point and started saying, “I adore you Odillia, Odillia I adore you.” At that point, my excitement went through the roof [laughs]. I really can’t describe how happy and rewarding that moment felt for me and, since he was still recording while he was doing so, I knew we were gonna be able to use that on the song. That’s something nobody will be able to take away from me anymore. I’m really grateful for Snoop seeing the potential in this song and supporting me and showing love by laying down a verse on my song and getting behind it!
HAPPY: Where did music begin for you?
ODILLIA: It’s always been very hard for me to get recognition in this music industry, I started off as a rapper when I was 13 and I pretty much been invested in this music dream ever since. Yet, there was hardly any support for what I was doing from family/friends/classmates/teachers. Nobody saw my vision. I studied at two music schools and people would dismiss me a lot because I’m different and they’re not able to put me in a box. So, I confused them a lot by completely being myself and not following what everybody else was doing. Everybody always down talked my dreams, projecting their fears on to me, but that never stopped me.
I took a plane to LA with all my last money and I took that leap of faith, which ultimately now brought me all these amazing blessings and a song with Snoop. Nobody will be able to take this away from me and, somehow, the hate that people always showed me, instead of love, only made me work harder, love harder, and spread more love. That’s exactly what I am trying to do today with my music and it’s why I believe God put me on this earth to do so. The world needs love and unity, I hope I will be able to inspire more people to do the same.
HAPPY: For someone who’s never listened to your music before, how would you describe your sound?
ODILLIA: I’m an all-round pop artist with an edgy vibe, combined with hip-hop and R&B
HAPPY: With so many textural samples and components to Break It Down, where do you most often source inspiration for these?
ODILLIA: I get my inspiration out of a lot of things, but when I’m trying to explain my feelings in a song, it’s pretty much always about a situation that I’ve been through.
HAPPY: The clip serves up some serious summer nostalgia, what was the creative process for the visual side of things like?
ODILLIA: It has been a huge pleasure to work with a team in Aruba on this video. Edward Silberie, who directed music videos for big names like J Balvin, lives on the island and had all the proper equipment and the team we needed. That’s why we decided to go with him and his team and we’re very glad that we did. It has been a very intense project, we flew over there with a few people from my team and we had such an incredible time with the crew in Aruba. They made things easier for us by taking care of the technical side of the video on the island, so we didn’t have to bring or set up anything ourselves. Over-all, the visual team, the dancers, and everyone else being part of this video absolutely killed it!
For the visual effects, we went with Angelo White; he is famous for his work on The Hobbit and Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. He also did the grading of the video and it turned out really sweet. We’re very proud of how the video turned out and it’s actually kinda fitting in the world that we’re unfortunately living in today with COVID-19: where it’s very hard to meet-up in person and a lot of people have long-distance relationships. I love how the video played out, especially seeing we made it all happen in a world pandemic!
HAPPY: What do you love about the hip-hop genre the most?
ODILLIA: The fact that it is not just a genre, it’s a lifestyle. You can live hip-hop, you can breathe hip-hop. It’s a way of life and it always has been. I’ve always been a fan of ’90s music and I think that’s when hip-hop was at its best. Growing up, I was mesmerised by Lil’ Kim and Biggie Smalls.
As I was a hip-hop dancer at the time, Lil’ Kim and Biggie really made me fall in love with hip-hop for real and made me want to become a rapper. Ever since it’s been very special to me. It sounds corny, but hip-hop really saved my life in multiple ways. If I didn’t have my pen and paper to write my rhymes, I honestly would not know how to deal with certain things in life. It’s my therapy really.
HAPPY: What’s next for Odillia?
ODILLIA: Taking over the world! We have been working on my album since this last year and, next to that, have many singles ready to be released. Since this definitely is my biggest single so far, I would love to focus all my attention on this one first. There will definitely be a remix of this song with Snoop, so that’s the next exciting release to look forward to! We are planning on releasing my debut album in 2021, but there will be more single releases before that. So, you can definitely expect a lot of Odillia through your speakers in the upcoming times!
COVID-19 is changing all of our lives and especially for us artists, we really have to adapt and find new ways to stay engaged with our audience. We are currently working with different countries and trying to realise a social distancing concert in multiple places. I don’t want people risking their lives by partying together, but I also don’t want to sit still completely. That’s why we are currently working on putting something together so people can still go out and have fun and party, no matter what time or place, and still are able to stay healthy and keep a safe distance from each other.