New York City-based duo OSHUN is just the right combination of neo-soul and Hip Hop seeped in Afrofuturism. Comprised of Washington D.C. natives Niambi Sala and Thandiwe, OSHUN forged an instant bond while attending their freshman orientation at New York University.
Now, Dr. Martens has encapsulated their journey in a mini-documentary for the Dr. Martens Music & Film series, the simply titled Dr. Martens Presents: OSHUN.
Shot on location in the Big Apple, director Vincent Martell provides a platform for OSHUN to describe how they got started before attending NYU on the Martin Luther King Jr. scholarship, their songwriting approach and finding their own musical tribe in a city of over eight million people. They hope the film educates others.
“We’d like young artists to learn the importance of remembering their purpose,” OSHUN tells HipHopDX. “As creatives, in the beginning, we’re inspired to create for a greater mission. But after the challenges and experiences that we interface throughout the course of our careers, it can be easy to forget why we started to create in the first place. When the journey gets hard, always go back to that starting thought, feeling, or goal that motivated you early on and cherish it.”
Perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects of OSHUN is their unwavering commitment to the culture and their music. But as they explain, it comes at a price.
“Our lives have been bittersweet,” they say. “We have been guided by our community and our ancestors to carry the huge responsibility of dedicating our lives to representing our culture, and with that has come many blessings and opportunities, but also many challenges and sacrifices. We made a decision at a young age to create in a way that is loudly and unapologetically black, sacred and feminine.
“In making that decision, we’ve had to work harder than some of our peers, be more disciplined with how we manage our artistry and deal with judgement from people who don’t understand or fear our message. Nonetheless, we feel extremely blessed because we recognize that we are making a long term impact with our music. We are willing to deal with the bitter side of the journey because we know our legacy will engrave sweetness into the future.”
OSHUN recently announced a Spring/Summer run called the 100k Tour featuring over 30 U.S. domestic cities. The tour kicks off on April 21 in Philadelphia and wraps up in Brooklyn on June 19. It will include several dates as direct support for Lauryn Hill along the way.
Check out the Dr. Martens mini-doc up top and tour dates below.