Oscar P Talks Afro House
Head honcho of Kolour Recordings and Open Bar Music, NYC’s Oscar P has been steadily making a name for himself in the scene over the past few years. A successful producer in his own right, Oscar P has remixed for Mark Farina, KiNK, Soul Minority, Jamiroquai, Adele, Omar, Todd Terry, & Physics and dropped productions on the likes of Strictly Rhythm, Tool Room, Ultra & Sony Music alongside his own labels.
We sat down to chat to Oscar P in honour of his new remix package on his own Open Bar Music.
Tell us a bit about your release ‘Part of You’ on Open Bar Music, what was the inspiration by the original?
The track first appeared in 2015 on my Afro Rebel Sound System project. The sound system concept first became popular in the 1950s, in Kingston. DJs would load up the truck with generators, turntables, and huge speakers and set up street parties. I’ve always been attracted to that concept since my first DJ gigs in New York were at reggae parties in the early 90s. The real star of the party back then was not the DJ. It was the guy who rapped over the music, who we called the selector. Different vocalists would rap over the same rhythm or riddim. This is what I tried to capture with that project, but from an afro house perspective. I brought in different collaborators to write songs on the same basic beat. I then tailored each groove to each vocalist and song. “Going” was the hit off that EP, and cracked #5 on the Top 10. I always wanted to go back and rework “Part Of You” w Bliss, and another track “1000 Kisses” feat Keith Thompson. We finally found the time. I’m very happy with the results.
“Traxsource is the market leader in pushing this genre digitally and giving it its proper place in house music.”
The full remix package includes mixes from some of the hottest talent in the Afro house genre, including Enoo Napa and Inaky Garcia, how did you go about choosing the artists for the release?
It’s a situation of some talented producers who work with Open Bar Music to keep pushing the sound we represent. I’m very particular with the afro styles we do. The SA style is the foundation. But we mix it up with afro house music coming out of the New York Latin house scene as well. We also have a different style coming from artists signed to the label out of Botswana like DJ Oats, Benny T, and Raul Bryan. This adds to the over-all growth of the label. We try to be innovators and that has an influence on our A&R process. This keeps Open Bar Music in the conversation.
Do you have a favourite mix on the package?
I love all the mixes. Enoo def killed it and represented well, but the most surprising mix was MoBlack’s remix, because instead of going into the afro house direction, he came back with some deep tech! So it adds another important element of diversity to the package. Native Tribe, Deep Mayer, Inaky Garcia and Luisen all did some proper damage.
The Afro House genre is currently experiencing a huge period of growth and even pushing into more commercial success, with artists like Black Coffee etc and has been a big player for stores like ours for a while, do you think stores like Traxsource have played a part in this growth of the genre?
Traxsource is the market leader in pushing this genre digitally and giving it its proper place in house music. Many sites to this day don’t even have afro house as a genre. It’s a shame because its as widely played by the top DJs in the world as deep house or techno. My records are a prime example. I get a lot of support from the top djs on the planet. Not just afro house DJs. But HOUSE MUSIC DJs across the board. On the subject of Coffee, if the genre has a president, its BLACK COFFEE. What he has done isn’t easy to do. To cross over into mainstream and play the biggest events in the world while still being YOU. It’s huge! People don’t yet realize, but his success trickles down the music scene globally. It impacts us all. It open doors for all of us. I have nothing but gratitude for the brother. Even if you don’t like the genre, you have to respect it.
Finally, What’s coming up next for you?
This week we have our 2nd West Coast Weekender event in San Diego. The Line up is stacked. I’ll be playing alongside Mark Farina, LTJ Bukem, Manoo, Oliver Dollar, Adam Gibbons and many more. Then this summer I’ll be back in Europe doing some tour dates. I need more passport stamps!