YouBloom Music Festival


OSIYM has been making a lot of noise this 2017, dropping 3 new singles and with music videos to match. Youbloom is excited to name one of these singles, the party anthem FLEX, as #7 on our countdown of 2017 releases. With its infectious beat and slick bravado, FLEX is a hot addition to your party playlist. The rap duo Nova and Charlie Black have become synonymous with the boom bap and trap scene in their hometown of Toronto and thanks to their witty word-smithing and on-stage charisma, OSIYM’s music has spread the continent. While there’s a lot of exceptional talent spilling out of Toronto right now, OSIYM is in no danger of being drowned out. Take a listen on Spotify or Soundcloud, and see what we mean.


OSIYM, "Look At God feat. Clairmont The Second"

Hip hop duo OSIYM just popped up on our radar recently, but we're digging their unique style that effortlessly blends trendy trap with boom bap rap of yore. On their latest release, "Look At God," Nova and Charlie Black link up with another young emcee from the city, Clarimont The Second, to trade bars over a bangin beat courtesy of Danthrax of Bass And Bakery (known for his work with Tasha the Amazon). OSIYM is actually an acronym that sounds for "Out Of Sight; In Your Mind" and while this duo might be a bit of a hidden talent for now, we're willing to bet they'll be a lot more visible if they keep this up.

OSIYM: Making the music is half the battle. You have to figure out a whole sh*t around that.


OSIYM stands for Out Of Sight, In Your Mind. This duo consists of rappers Charlie Black and Nova.

On this episode, Charlie and Nova talked about the advantages of working together compared to working solo. They also answered how Toronto has changed as a music scene, and how they stay original and true in an environment of trend chasers.
They’re performing at the Drake Hotel with pHoenix Pagliacci & Chop-z. Last minute $7 tickets available online.


Excerpts from our conversation.

Creating A Lasting Legacy


Chedo: OSIYM, What is the definition of that name? What is the meaning of that name?

Charlie: It stands for Out of Sight, In Your Mind.

Nova: It comes to the whole idea of trying to create timeless music. Even after decades down the line, people still talk about the Rollingstone and James Brown. Even though you don’t see them anymore or they are not making music anymore, their sh*t still lasts. Even though we are out of sight we hope that we are still in your mind.

Chedo: I think that is really important when you are trying to be an artist that has a legacy. How do you balance that with what’s going on right now in Toronto where some artists are also trying to make their music timeless?

Nova: We are trying to put a little bit of content to it. We can still mix the melodies, the flows, and the hot beats; and put a little bit of content it. We are putting something for you to think about. Just giving own approach as opposed to providing disposable music. In general, there’s a lot of disposable music. There’s a difference between being hot and being good. It is easy to become hot. You can follow whatever the last hot rapper or the last big rapper did. Maybe make a copy cat of that and that shall be hot too… For a couple of months. When that time passes, nobody really remembers.


Being Original


Chedo: How do you balance that Charlie from rapping since the age of 14? As you said, you can follow the latest rapper and be hot. From a fan’s perspective, you can see how some of these guys are not original and they are just following.

Charlie: You take from what’s popping. You take a little bit from your past. Then put that together and put your spice on it. That’s how you stay original. Technically, there is no such thing as originality. Everything is taken from something mixed up. The way I think we stay fresh is we can appreciate what’s going on right now. We know where the genre came from and we know what we want to do creatively. I think I am too nice to copy someone’s work.

Nova: Just be you. A lot of people forget that important element. Do what’s hot and be you. Everyone wants to emulate the success. That’s what f*cking people want in life. People just want to be successful, “Oh that worked, I will do that too.” At the end of the day, you have to be you. A successful person is someone who’s being himself and bringing something new. That’s why it resonates with people.


Having A Strategy


Chedo: What is your goal as an artist? As a duo? Is it to just make music and have fun with it? Or try to see what else we could do with it? Are you trying to make a career? Or like, “Yo! We are just gonna have fun with it and see where this will take us.”

Charlie: It is a career. It is a struggle to figure out the moves, who to meet but that’s part of the game. We are definitely chasing it as a career. It is not something we do on the sideline. We definitely put everything into it by being strategic. Now, we are doing things in the city. [We] take it over to the stage. [We] trying to go to Europe. [We] make sure that [our] music is heard everywhere possible. You’ll never know who’s listening. A bigger artist might be listening and be like, “Oh sh*t! Let me reach out to these guys.” If you are not pushing your music everywhere you could be losing out on opportunities that you never knew that were there.

Nova: Even though there is more spotlight here in Toronto I still think that we are at a disadvantage. We gotta work twice as hard.  Doing it for awhile as we have. Doing it together and all that. Getting some acclaim… Getting some recognition… Making the music is half the battle. You have to figure out a whole sh*t around that. Marketing, promotion, and all that stuff really to reinforce… Just like what Charlie is saying… Get your music heard all over the place. It’s not just like, “Oh! I’m going to record this track and pop it out on Soundcloud or iTunes and hope for a million downloads. There’s a whole lot more to it.

OSIYM – There are very few rap duos in the game right now, and even less in Toronto – but OSIYM (oh-sigh-em) is absolutely breaking a lot of those boundaries. Their infectious personalities not only play off each other flawlessly, but also serve as the thread that ties their music together – that is, of course, alongside high-energy production, crew anthems, lyrical diversity and an amazing live show. If you ever have a chance to see them live, run towards the stage!



Nova and Charlie Black are the guys behind the OSIYM duo (which stands for Out of Sight, In Your Mind – by the way). This year they dropped a project titled Spirits, which featured songs like “B.O.M.B.” and “Us.” One thing I love about OSIYM is that they have so much energy. And it’s not in the turn-up-and-let’s-get-lit kind of way – they’re just really passionate spitters. These are the kind of guys that get me excited about rap. They have a distinct Toronto sound that I’ve often heard compared to that of Drizzy Drake. But I still think they hold their own. Rap duos are kind of a rarity these days. Especially rap duos composed of two rappers.


OSIYM – Spirits EP
Toronto duo OSIYM fell through with the release of their 10-track EP, SPIRITS in 2015. Offering an array of bass-heavy, eclectic and industrial soundwaves, SPIRITS celebrates the machine behind OSIYM. Whether it’s “Us”, that pays homage to Charlie’s late brother Nate, the internal struggle showcased on “Do Too Well,” or the club heavy trap singles “Go Down”, “No More” and “Fuckery”, OSIYM showcases a range of content while keeping a cohesive sound and balance as Charlie Black and Nova effortlessly trade bars.

It’s very rare to come across two emcees who not only complement each other in the studio, but also onstage. As one of the few duos in Toronto, OSIYM (pronounced: oh-sigh-em) is just that. Made up of Nova and Charlie Black, the duo has filled a void that’s been missing in Toronto’s hip hop landscape, and it’s been a long overdue moment to once again celebrate the liveliness these two individuals bring to the stage. With two mixtapes under Charlie Black’s belt, and another project under Nova, the two came together to release their debut EP Drunk Words x Sober Thoughts in 2014, and followed it up with SPIRITS this past July. “Out Of Sight, In Your Mind,” as their stage name projects, have created a sound that moves effortlessly through the realms of boom bap to trap, while their live performances challenge the ‘Screwface Capital’ to let loose – whether you expected to or not. – Erin Lowers

OSIYM will be performing at Live at the Square at Yonge & Dundas Square on September 19. Follow OSIYM @OSIYMMUSIC on Twitter!

What part of Toronto (GTA) are you from/ Where do you live in Toronto (GTA)?

We both live in the West end. Nova lives in Malton, and Charlie lives in Etobicoke.

What is your favorite thing about where you live or the part of the city you are from?

Nova: For better or worse, I love all the different characters I see in Malton. As soon as I think I’ve seen it all, I come across something new. From the old lady catching the bus to work at the crack of dawn, to the dude walking the streets with his guitar belting out reggae songs. Even though Malton is so small, there’s a sense of pride from the people who grew up here. It made us who we are.

Charlie Black: I love the DJs in our city. I feel like we can’t be touched when it comes to setting a dope vibe for a party. I’m not the most travelled individual, but any other place I’ve been in the world so far can’t do it like are DJs can. Also, I love summer nights in the city. I feel like as long as I have the intention to have a good time, I can find something to get into in Toronto.

How have you seen art and creativity directly impact the area of the city you live in?

Charlie Black: I can see it in the people! The way they talk, the way they dress, the way they consume art. If you’ve ever been downtown Toronto, it’s pretty much a living, breathing art museum. Nowadays, that’s spreading all over the whole city. I was blessed to be a part of The Remix Project when it first started, and it is programs like Remix that have helped inspire and open doors for the artistic minds coming out of our city right now.

Nova: It has impacted me by creating opportunities for me coming up. As an aspiring artist, my craft was honed and perfected in bedrooms and basements in my neighbourhood. Some of my biggest mentors were around the block or just a short trip away. The time spent with them gave me priceless lessons which helped bring me to where I am today.

What do you think that you as a creative person brings to the table that is different than other artists?

We do our best to stay original – from our sound, to our content and flows. We keep our lyrics honest and true to who we are instead of putting out a fake persona. Our stage show is something we really take pride in as well. We make sure to actually practice our sets and think of creative ways to keep our crowd entertained. We’re always challenging ourselves to think of ways to better our art.

Why is it important for you to take part in the Manifesto Festival?

For years, Manifesto has been a trademark in our city showcasing all the elements in hip-hop culture. The Manifesto Festival created a platform that gives opportunities to artists in a city that doesn’t always give its rappers or singers the benefit of the doubt. Putting artists centre stage in the heart of downtown Toronto is major exposure. Who wouldn’t want a chance at reaching people you might not otherwise? To be recognized by a festival that does so much to empower the artistic community is a milestone that every up and coming artist should strive for.

What Canadian rap song epitomizes your childhood?

Charlie Black: It’s a toss up between “Northern Touch” and “Bakardi Slang.” Growing up those songs were everything to me! I remember going crazy with my older brother jumping on couches singing out the lyrics to both of those records.

If you were to name a Canadian rap song that embodies our hip hop landscape, what would it be?

Nova: I would have to say “EZ on the Motion” by Ghetto Concept. Back in the day, there was such a divide between American and Canadian hip-hop. That was the first song that made me feel like we could hang with our neighbours south of the border.