It has been a whirlwind of a ride for the rapper known all over the world as Outasight. A debut album entitled Nights Like These was unleashed through Warner Brothers late last year. His song Tonight Is The Night was featured in a national televised Pepsi commercial and went platinum! In addition, he performed the song in front of millions of TV viewers on The X Factor. Spending the early part of the year co-headlining on the road with The Ready Set, Outasight is now his summer hitting the highways of North America on the Vans Warped Tour. We caught up with Outasight at the Ventura date to find out more about his songs, how the Pepsi commercial changed his life, time spent on Warped, and other non-stop topics of interested. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Outasight, and how long the project has been together.
My name is Outasight – I’m a singer / rapper from New York City. I have been making music since I can remember. My first project came out in 2007 – it was a free mix tape. I put out my album in December of 2012 – it was called Nights Like These – and it featured the platinum single Tonight Is The Night.
What was the name of the very first song you wrote, how old were you, and what was that song about?
The first song I wrote – Woah! Well, I was like 12. Me and my buddy wrote a song on guitar. He played the guitar and I sang in it – and it was a little punk rock song called I Should Just Give Up. Wow, there you go! I had to think about that, but yeah! Bringing it back!
How has Warped Tour been going so far and what have been some of the highlights for you?
Every day is a highlight. It’s really getting better and better for me. The first couple of days just trying to get my feet wet – this is my first Warped Tour – I’m just kind of feeling it around. But I get to know a lot of people – the crowds have been great – the energy has been great! I feel like that every day is getting more and more momentum and I’m just lovin’ it.
Select two songs that you may be playing at Warped Tour and what inspired the lyrics.
There’s a song called Figure 8 that I have that was the name of an EP that I put out. I definitely took the title and inspiration from Elliott Smith. But more than that, it was a song I wrote when I was on the shelf at my record label. I was broke and depressed, and I was in the studio just trying to make as many good songs as possible, but I was doing it my way and nothing was budging. And so the hook was, “Lately I’ve been trying to best, but maybe it ain’t good enough.” It was kind of like one of these things were I say, “It never stops, just like a Figure 8.” To me, there was a moment in time where I just felt like maybe nothing was good enough and that I wasn’t going to be able to make a dent. And then I have another song called Stays The Same that was the B-side to Tonight Is The Night – it’s my personal favorite song. It’s very inspired by LCD Sound System. And the lyrics are about just partying and growing up and how it all starts to become bullshit as you get older. The hook is, “Things change all the time and everything stays the same.” It’s kind of like “different places, familiar faces” – like a running into growing up and feeling stupid doing what you’re doing kind of song. It’s a very personal song. Those are two songs that I really love performing all of the time.
How do you feel when you’re up there and performing these deeply personal lyrics to all these people?
It feels great – especially when the crowd is really super into it. I’ll get chills! I just love it! I don’t consider what I do to be a job at all. It’s a blessing – it’s a dream – and I love it, love it, love it!
How did your song Tonight Is The Night wind up in a Pepsi commercial and how do you feel when it’s shown on TV?
It’s not on TV anymore – but when it was, it was a big deal – and for me it was big deal, because I was at a point in my career where I was trying to figure out how the hell I was going to make this into a living. I had a record deal – things just weren’t connecting the way I wanted them to. My management basically just pitched the song on to Pepsi – and Pepsi loved it – took it – put it on this amazing commercial that featured Michael Jackson, Kanye West, Mariah Carey – it was basically like a montage of all former music Pepsi commercials. So for me it was like I’m a music fan – I’m a music lover, so it was like it’s a great commercial and I would love to be a part of it. Basically that kind of exposure just helped the song take off – and then it was on the radio and people just gravitated towards it – and I just got to live an amazing year and see the world and do a lot of cool shit that I never thought was going to happen only a few months before. So it was quite the ride!
What did you do on The X Factor?
I was a guest performer on The X Factor because of the song Tonight Is The Night. That was my TV debut and it was intense. I was fuckin’ nervous, but I loved it – I loved every second of it. You know, whatever happens in my career, these are things that no one could ever take away from me. I feel really blessed to have accomplished these things – perform in front of 20 million people on TV – it was electric and I will never forget how I felt before I went on that stage. And when I went on that stage, I blacked out and just did what I always do. Before I went on that stage – you know how you have butterflies in your stomach? I felt like I had dragons in my stomach! It was an amazing experience!
If you could open up for any band either now or from the past, who would that be and why?
Probably Stevie Wonder in the 1970’s because he’s the greatest musician to ever play music and the greatest songwriter. He had an incredible run- he won three straight Album Of The Years for Grammys. Stevie in the ‘70’s – I try and make popular music with soul, so I would most graciously love to open up for King Stevie.
What could one expect when they come to see your show here at Warped Tour?
Just a lot of energy. A lot of fun. We like to dance and get people moving – just have fun – just let your freak flag fly!
What’s up for you after Warped Tour is over?
I’m gonna keep on creating and performing. I’m working on my next record. I have an EP coming out this summer that will be five songs that anybody can download for free off all my social records. I’m just going to get home, work on my next album, and probably set up a long tour in the meantime. Just nonstop action.
Any messages for people reading this who might want to check you out?
Yeah, if you’d like to check out the music, you could just go to ITunes or Spotify or wherever and just type in Outasight. I just put out my album Nights Like These also. On my Soundcloud is all my music – a lot of free stuff – it’s soundcloud.com/iamoutasight – you could always hit me up on twitter.com/outasight!
(Interview and Photo by Kenneth Morton)
Outasight in Facebook