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Meet Oliver Snuff

Today we’d like to introduce you to Oliver Snuff.

Oliver, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Growing up, I always had an interest for wordplay, initially indulging in poetry as an 8-year-old after my mother put me on to Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou. Obviously, I wasn’t fully aware of the subject matter portrayed within these literary works of art at the time but found myself enamored with the distinctive style and rhythm these pieces offered through expressions intertwined with emotions. It brought something out of me that is still present to this day. My father used to box in his spare time while listening to Tupac, Biggie, OutKast, and other prominent rap artists, as well as Neo-Soul/RNB musicians, which ultimately lead to me playing with rhyme schemes over audio in my early teenage years. At the age of 16, I recorded my first song. As a 26-year-old man, I look back and think of how trash that song was (hindsight is 20/20), but I had to begin my process somewhere. I converted my mindset to appreciate where I began and just how far I’ve come, cherishing the growth that manifested through long nights of putting in work on my craft as a hip-hop artist. This has only brought me hope for the future and gratitude towards where my journey started.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road to becoming the artist I want to be and coming into my own has not been smooth whatsoever. The core of artistry, in my opinion, is making yourself vulnerable. Exposing your vulnerabilities and being susceptible to various interpretations of the things you deeply feel can really wear on a person. In addition to that, doubt from your parents and other family members, friends, and even yourself is a struggle that I’m sure every artist can attest to. My family was never really familiar with the music industry, they were just listeners who enjoyed music. This was the reason it was hard for them to get behind my passion and wanted me to take a more ‘regular’ route in life that included going to school. They saw it as more attainable and something they were far more familiar with. School in itself is a blueprint, but in the music industry, the blueprint varies greatly. I could feel the pressure of their doubts weighing on me. Although some of my friends probably would never say this to me, I’m sure they had their doubts as well. It took me a while to prove to them that I was worthy as an actual artist and not just the homie who does music. And don’t get me wrong, I feel I should have to prove myself. I don’t want blind faith from them or anyone for that matter, I just want the opportunity to substantiate my worth as an artist. All of this lead to self-doubt, which ultimately leads to me wanting to verify my beliefs and abilities to myself and to prove that I could overcome that voice of skepticism. The road has not been smooth, but it’s been worth it, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am a recording artist. What I specialize in is writing and recording. I feel I am able to develop well-written verses through literary devices such as alliteration, allegory, imagery, foreshadowing, conflict, etc, to give the listener a visual of what they are hearing. I am also able to take those lyrics and vocalize them to reflect the intended feeling and emotion of how the song was written. In my opinion, I feel there are people who can latch on to the relatability of my subject matter and the delivery through which I portray this content. I am most proud of the work I’ve put in to get to the point to where I am now. It wasn’t an overnight process, it took a decade of honing the art of fitting syllables together and humming melodies, all while doing it for seemingly a very small amount of listeners and little to no cash. The fact that my love for creating music has still been present, without the critical acclaim and national praise, has shown me that I’m doing what’s best for me and what’s right. I believe what sets me apart is that I’m aware that I’m an individual. We are all individuals and while we may have themes of our lives that overlap, we all have a different story to tell. Being aware of this allows my creativity to take the shape of my individuality.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite memories from my childhood include all of my family coming together and truly enjoying each other’s company. The days of coming together for the sake of tradition, which appears to happen less as we grow older. What I enjoyed back then about my childhood were the things most kids enjoyed such as being outside, meeting up to hoop or throw the football around, knocking on the homies door to see if he could hang out, playing video games, etc. But looking back, I’m most grateful for the lessons I’ve learned from my parents in those moments when I thought they were antagonizing me for no good reason, when in reality, years down the line I would understand they were right, and their past concerns became apparent. Even though I acted as if it was going through one ear and out the other, it stuck with me and helped my growth immensely.

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Image Credit:
Sterling Hampton, Logan Marble

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