Give us your bio: Umar J Wilson III, better known by his stage name Oohwee Been Smoove is a rapper/songwriter based in Buffalo, NY. Taking cues from the hip hop practitioners before him, he writes music that is always associated with a message and packed with lyricism. He is an observer of his environment and the culture he is a part of.
Who are your top 5 influences? If we’re strictly referring to rap influences, they are Nas, Black Thought, Guru, Andre 3000, and Royce Da 5’9. When I was younger, I grew up listening to a lot of my parent’s favorites as well. Marvin Gaye, Rick James, Parliament-Funkadelic, Prince, Michael Jackson, and the list goes on. A lot of those songs still stick with me today. My musical palette is very rich thanks to what I was exposed to.
When are your new projects coming out? My latest release is a track titled Justice featuring another wordsmith from my hometown OldSol. It’s now available on all streaming services. Going forward I’ve been experimenting with my range as an artist and focusing all my efforts into an EP that I plan to release before the year ends. I want to bring something natural and inspiring to the industry so I’m working very hard to polish the music and get it true to my vision as possible. Unfortunately there’s no definitive release date set for this project.
What helped you get into music? Family. Specifically my brother and my uncle. They’re both music enthusiasts and they’ve always held me down with their support and encouragement. Whether it was buying equipment for me or just calling me about songs I should sample. They helped me stay focus on the end goal. My uncle is no longer living, but I still feel him rooting for me. I’m not stopping anytime soon.
What is one thing you would tell your fans? Thank you to anyone out there listening and sharing the music. It’s appreciated. Let’s take this journey together and see where it leads.
What are your biggest goals for 2021? Building my audience through consistency and hard work. Once the COVID restrictions are lifted, I’d love to perform. Any stage that’ll have me I’m ready and willing.