Lil Odinn is a Detroit pop/hip-hop artist who borrows inspiration from a wide range of music, art, curiosities and fantasies. Penning songs covering topics of love, confidence, braggadocio and introspective analysis, Odinn draws from personal experiences and ideas to craft timeless music. Odinn’s debut self-produced Chico Rico mixtape will be released to streaming services on 6/5/2018.
Exposed Vocals: So tell us your story. Where did you grow up? What made you decide to become an artist?
I come from a city within the Metro Detroit area called Taylor. My father has always been integral in my musical palette’s earliest development. He spent much time in Southwest Detroit in the 90s which naturally exposed him to Insane Clown Posse, to whom he became a very loyal follower of. I have many memories of hearing the Clown’s early works while spending time with my father, accented with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Nirvanna, The White Stripes, and plenty of 90s slow jams and R&B due in part to my mother’s part of the family CD stash. I quickly drew inspiration heavily from the theatrical larger-than-life personalities of the Insane Clown Posse and longed to perform just as they did. I remember fondly my first raps written in an 8th grade composition notebook, all of which containing graphic depictions of violence and other murder-rap themes so common to my opinionated tastes. I began to reach out to other genres and artists for inspirations as I grew older and more open to the sounds of the world, leading me to undertake production along with my lyrics.
Exposed Vocals: Since everyone was a start-up once, can you give any smaller or local bands or artists looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?
Though I don’t feel as if I’m in a position to be talking down to others, my most solemn advice is never to trust anyone in the music world fully, invest in the right places, be smart, be consistent, and be yourself. Riding trends is ok, but ensure that you won’t be swallowed up with the bulk of the other artists on the wave. Set yourself apart without appearing too different to be accessible. Look into local venues and performance slots. Yes, it is natural to be reluctant in paying for slots and most of the time it is recommended against, but the music world is a pay-to-win game riddled with microtransactions, chance, and cheat codes. Cut your teeth with local artists and local performances as you find the artist you wish to be.
Exposed Vocals: Do you ever make mistakes during performances? How do you handle that?
If you ask my close colleague DG $avage this question on my behalf, he will quickly tell you how often I forget lyrics while performing. This isn’t due to nerve but rather neglect to study source material!! I’ve got a bad habit of creating a song and never listening to it again until months after it’s done. I am TERRIBLE with remembering lyrics I wrote 3 months ago to a song I’m performing tonight!
Exposed Vocals: Do you tour? Anything interesting happen on tour that you think our readers would enjoy hearing about?
I have not been on a formal tour before, but during one performance Zanni Dave cracked some dude in the head with some brass knuckles and started a huge fight at Road Rangers. It was glorious. RIP Zanni.
Exposed Vocals: Any planned studio upgrades? What are you working with now?
Currently I record with ATM Studios in Detroit. Krown, our engineer, is constantly upgrading the cogwheels and gears of his studio fengshui. This happens so frequently that I cannot even tell you the last few upgrades he’s made but one thing is for sure: IT WORKS AND I SOUND GREAT.
Exposed Vocals: How do you find ways to promote your music? What works best for you?
I find that looking out to larger Youtube pages and submitting music there offers a fantastic boost to outreach. Of course the classic methods of spamming social media works to some degree, I often resort to creating flashy and eye-catching promotional graphics as I feel it is the best way to ensure that you capture people’s attentions and hearts and mind.
Exposed Vocals: If you could perform anywhere and with any artists (Dead or Alive) where and who would it be with? Why?
Give me a Rolling Loud set with Michael Jackson and Lil Wayne at my side and stage direction by Kanye West and I will be satisfied with my career. Rolling Loud is the crossroads for the modern hip-hop scene and it just seems like an absolute riot. Imagine the choreography of Bad tour era Michael Jackson with Tunechi doing his thing alongside it all.
Exposed Vocals: So, what’s next? Any new upcoming projects that you want to talk about?
Following Chico Rico (which is finally available on all streaming services and Soundcloud!), I plan to release one of the few work-in-progress projects I’ve got at the threshold of completion. Expect another full-length mixtape before the Summer’s end, as well as a pure modern hip-hop EP in between.
Exposed Vocals: If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?
Without music I’d be searching desperately for my place in the world. There is nothing I’d rather do, no one I’d rather have in my life, and no place I’d rather be than what I do now, who I’ve got beside me, and where my life is today. I have lost sleep over the thought of a life without music and it seems impossible.
Exposed Vocals: What should fans look forward to in the next year or so?
Better music, more performances, better graphics and videos, and a career-changing power move made by DG and I. I will leave it at this!!
Exposed Vocals: Any Shout-outs?
First of all to my brother-in-arms and who sparked my fire to record my first verse in his bedroom on his dogshit USB mic, DG $avage, the Mad Boy Entertainment gang who push me further with each event, my hardworking manager Jamye, my best friend and another hardworking bastard known as Zack, my brilliant Canadian lover called Brittany, my family (blood arbitrary), those with love in their hearts and positive attitudes, men who provide and defend their children and lovers, and the most essential person in my life who is the reason I stand here today, my invincible and ever-gorgeous mother. Many thanks to Exposed Vocals for the opportunity to get things off of my chest! Chico Rico.