An Interview With The Retro Hip Hop Duo, ODDBALLAZ!
Posted On 04 Jun 2018
Oddballaz is an off-the wall, retro hip hop duo with a positive pop twist: think LMFAO meets Bruno Mars.
Michael Copeland (Wyte Mike) and Angelo Morales (Olo) have been writing, producing, and dancing together in Southern Florida since they were teens. Wyte Mike, grew up in West Park Florida with two siblings. He was raised by a single mother in an inner city infested with drugs, prostitution and gang violence. Although he blended in well with the street life, he wanted to be different. Using the first paycheck he made from a working at a local fish market, he went to a pawn shop and bought his first guitar. He taught himself, not only how to play the guitar, but drums and piano too. Wyte Mike never quite fit in with his inner city peers, his foes often labeled him an oddball, soft, or ridiculed him for “talking white.” So when he met Olo, a fellow weirdo who shared his love for breakdancing, they both knew it was the beginning of a special creative partnership.
Today Wyte Mike, a southern street kid with swag dresses like a hipster rockstar and credits Olo for saving his life. “Olo was like a big brother and a guardian angel,” said Mike. “He was my idol growing up. His break dancing and skating boarding inspired me. If it weren’t for Olo, I would probably be in the street or dead.” Mike describes Olo as “a corporate cornball clown with a big personality. He’s happy-go-lucky and when he goes into a room, he’s the life of the party,” said Mike. “I am more serious. I can be more laid back, more introspective, a street kid. Olo brings me out of my shell.”
Angelo Morales (Olo) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, moved to Florida at the age of 10, and attended Hollywood Hills High School where he got into breakdancing and music. He was working for a shoe store when he met Wyte Mike. “I was in a bad situation when I met Mike, and he took me out of it. He’s become my life support. He’s more street smart, more hood than I am, so he’s become protective of me,” said Olo. “Mike was very different from me. He was a hood nerd, into computers and video games. Mike brought out the best in me, coached me into harnessing my craft, pushed me to get better, into being the person that I am.”
Mike and Olo formed a lasting friendship and an award-winning breakdancing crew called Elemental Masters. Over the years they competed to funk and jazz which influenced their music taste. Using $500 from a competition they had won, Olo decided to purchase a second hand MPC 1200. This drum machine help the duo start expressing their unique musical voice.
They were magical together. The two of them soon became part of a rap supergroup which was signed to a major record label. The creative chemistry between Mike and Olo, combined with their shared musical goal to bridge the gap for listeners 16 to 35, drove them to do something entirely new together. Oddballaz today is crafting a new style of hip-hop infused with old-school influences, including doo wop, witty lyrics, brilliant metaphors and catchy melodies. The unique sound of Oddballaz is sparking a fire with a totally original style that’s both playful and polished. On stage and off, these two wacky, spontaneous artists are living life to the fullest, whether dancing, producing, performing or goofing off.
In 2017, Oddballaz was signed to a worldwide deal with the Las Vegas-based music label Artists at Play, formed by music executive Tolga Katas and entrepreneur Joey Restivo of the 1990’s hit boy group Linear. “In today’s world of cookie cutter music, Oddballaz unique musical style stands out,” explains Restivo. “They are filling a need in the musical marketplace.”
Their first single is Be Happy, an upbeat song filled with hooks and a great message. “It’s catchy and clever,” explains veteran record executive Marc Nathan. “It’s every bit as competitive as most pop dance records of the last few years.”
“Be Happy” Music Video
Connect With Oddballaz Here:
Learn more about Oddballaz in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! So how has 2018 been treating you all so far? What is one musical goal that you have had for this year?
We wanna be Grammy nominated. For us, we just want to reach a bigger fan base and let our true fans know that we are droppin the magic. It’s all about our fans!!
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this band together? Has anything surprised you about it all so far?
At birth!! Lol. Being able to reach out to others with our music is a great feeling.
How difficult was it to come up with a band name? What other names were you considering?
Very Hard. It wasn’t easy to capture how different we are productively in a name. So we created our own. We had quite a few different choices, but we’re gonna keep those to ourselves since you never know. You may see an album with one of those names and we will let you know if that happens.
How do you think being from your hometown in Southern Florida has influenced your sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group?
Taught us to respect all art forms in music. They are some great artists in South Florida. Some heard. Most not. But being here gives us so much diversity.
Let’s talk about your newest track, “Be Happy.” What was the inspiration for this song? How do you think it prepares listeners for more new music from you guys?
People hating on you and learning how to get passed that. You are in charge of your own happiness. Take from our words what you need. “Be Happy” to us is about showing everyone around us that we want more out of life and since there is only 1 life to live, it’s up to us to attain it. So you may be satisfied, but we want more out of this 1 time life experience. Never leave it in anyone else’s hands to make you happy. You have to do that for you.
When do you plan on releasing more new music and a full collection of new songs?
Very soon. Stay tuned into us. We have so much to share with the world.
Why do you think that that the Las Vegas-based music label Artist at Play is the right place for you and your music today?
Vegas is where dreams are materialized. It’s a buffet of entertainment. To be great in Vegas is to be great everywhere.
I am curious to know how all of your experiences with your rap super-group and the breakdancing crew, Elemental Masters, has influenced who you both are today and the kind of music that you create and want to continue making?
As Bboys we know what gets us moving and the crowd going. So while being true to our messages we can do the same.
Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere? Do you have any upcoming shows that you would like to tell our readers about?
We love how free we feel in the studio. No judgment, no opinions, just creativity at its rawest and purest form. Everything else is just bonus, but the studio gives us the greatest feelings. Stay in touch with our social media. We will keep ya posted when we are hangin around your town.
How do you think being a musician and in this band gives you all the most joy in life today?
Music is what our feelings sound like. Not just the words, but the whole experience. Even the rightly placed drum kick and hi hat will make you feel some type of way. So as musicians and writers we try and give that a perfect blend so you can feel what we felt as we recorded the magic in the booth. We love what we do and that’s not a job, it’s a lifestyle. We are totally free in the studio and having no barriers is a feeling that can’t be explained.
With everything going on in the world today, how do you think your music is a reflection of it all? And if you don’t think it is at all, why is that? Do you find that the music being made today in general is reflecting these politically and culturally charged times?
The world needs to “Be Happy” right now. So it fits. Today’s music touches on lots of needed topics. It’s just a matter of who you are listening to.
How important do you think social media has been to this band? Do all you help to maintain all your sites or is one of you more into it all? Or do you rely on your PR/management team to handle it all?
Our social media has been our direct contact to our fans and we have been through a lot but we are always in touch with our fans.
Who would you love to work with in the future? Who are some of your favorite artists right now? What do you think would be a dream collaboration for this group?
We have our bucket list lol. As it comes true we will share it. Our favorites span from old-school to new artists so it’s hard to pick just 1 since there are so many talented artists that we would love to work with.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs? What do you hope they take away from one of your shows?
Music is Art. Art is feelings. Feelings are expressions and expressing it is healing.
Would you like to share anything else about your music or this band with our readers?
We are Oddballaz. Genuine, unique, real, motivated, and driven so Join us on this journey because we can’t stop till we die. Just trying to “Be Happy”!!!