Toronto is home base for many of 2016’s biggest artists including Drake, The Weeknd and PARTYNEXTDOOR, so it’s no surprise that the producer/singer behind Obesøn—also from Toronto—has already made a name for himself in his rather short-lived career.
25 year-old Meshach Gordon first dabbled in music production at age 14, but it wasn’t until recently, through releasing his debut project, Beyond a Billion Stars, that we were largely introduced to Obesøn’s experimental soundscapes. But his success didn’t come easy—he still faced his fair share of limitations, especially when it came to accessing the necessary studio equipment to create music.
“I did what I could with what I had,” he revealed. “I really did feel at a disadvantage creating this body of work because of the lack of equipment, but I feel like because of that reason exactly is why I sound so unique.”
Now, Obesøn has carved out his own space in the world of hip-hop and R&B with an inclusive style and diverse range of features, all while working without the help of a music label or manager. Learn more about the emerging artist, below.
Describe your sound.
It’s progressive [and] spacey—kind of what I was going for at the time. I like to make so many different types of styles of music, so I wanted to merge everything together. I use a lot of hip-hop grooves and I like R&B, so I go softer with the vocals. I like to put ambience and atmosphere in my tracks.
What’s it like navigating the industry on your own?
That’s a hard question to answer because when I started making music, I started because I loved to do it. But then things got a lot busier and I don’t know—I never really had someone who was able to do anything that would help me, so I ended up doing a lot of it myself.
What’s the meaning behind your name?
I had a manager for about a year and the only thing he really did for me was tell me to change my name because I used to go by my real name, Meshach Gordon. He told me it was too long and no one could spell it. I was talking to a friend of mine and he asked me, ‘What do you think of when you listen to your music?’ I said it feels like an out-of-body experience, so that’s where I got the o-b-e from. I didn’t want just a three letter name, so I added the ‘son’ at the end.
It feels like a lot of Toronto music has that “out-of-body” vibe. Are you influenced by any of Toronto’s bigger artists?
Toronto has a very unique, dark, filtered-out type of sound. And it might have just rubbed off on me, even if I don’t realize it. Even though I don’t produce the same sound as a lot of these Toronto artists, I feel like Toronto itself gives off that sort of vibe and influence. But I like to mix it with all the other types of music I listen to.
If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?
I dabbled in so many different things. I played basically every sport; I used to do fighting, like jiu jitsu. I thought I would be fighting in the UFC at one point in my life. I thought I would be doing a lot of different things, but it just kind of ended up this way.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I see myself scoring films and videos game—doing a lot of licensing.
What are your dream collaborations?
The Weeknd and A$AP Rocky, for sure.
What do you want people to take away from your music?
I want people to connect with it. Even though my music doesn’t have a lot of lyrics, I want people to be able to relate to the vibe and feel of it. A lot of my music is super emotional, [so] I want people to connect and feel like it’s something they’re missing in their life.
Stream Beyond a Billion Stars, below: