OJ Montana Opens Up About His September 2020 Release, 'Not Easy'
And More In This Exclusive Q&A
Introducing another breed of talent,
The young rapper, song writer and trader OJ Montana is here to show you he’s Ottawa’s next. Pay attention as bar to bar, melody to melody, OJ Montana has the skill set to rise and make his mark in this industry.
Today, We Got In Touch With The Young Rapper To Bring You This Vocal Exclusive Q&A
So First, Tell Us Your Name.
Jonathan “OJ Montana” Kabuika
Where Were You Born?
I was born and raised in Ottawa, precisely the westside, I lived on Ritchie street for about 16 years.
Do You Have A Childhood Experience Or Memory That May Have Led You To Where You Are Today?
Lots of violence, I remember looking out the window and seeing a father beating up his kid outside, me and my sisters were watching from the window being sneaky but I was the youngest so I wasn’t as slick and he seen me and screamed at me like “Hey you get out the window, now!”. The neighbourhood was full of violence so I wasn’t allowed to get out my backyard much until a little later compared to other kids, I’d always run out but my mom would drag me back in like 30 minutes to an hour, when ever she would find me. It was chill though I still had a social life because the basketball net in my backyard was an attraction to a bunch of kids, that’s how I got close to a lot of the FTG guys, that plus school and community programs. I remember hearing gun shots at night, actually remember hearing gun shots the night an old head died, it was crazy. Another night I remember hearing a girl screaming sounding scared and I knew what to expect after that and boom gun shots were fired. It’s crazy because a lot of these things won’t get on the news unless an actual death is involved or some things won’t even get an article or anything. It’s weird, me and couple guys concluded that it must be to protect the city’s reputation as the capital. I guess it works because when me and other guys try to rap about some things we seen, did, been through there’s always those few people from Toronto or the states trying to discredit us and act like we can’t see nothing out here, meanwhile I remember my boys sister got chased with a gun before, I remember me and my boys walked up behind some guy on our way to basketball practice and he pulled out a gun facing the other way though, he didn’t see us. I was the first to see and froze and people were like what’s wrong then I pointed, we all ran super hard, my boys hid behind a car, I didn’t get that memo though I ran back all the way and took another route to the gym. Some boys I used to hoop it with robbed a corner store and beat the cashier up, walked out with the cash register, the police found them later and all but no article was made you feel me all that to say it’s crazy out here and it can bring out crazy sides of you good or bad.
What Was Your Family Life Like, And How Did You Grow Up?
My family was cool man, real talk. Grew up in a cool Christian family. Watched church services every weekend together and all. Like I said before, my mom didn’t like me out too much because of how hot the block was but yeah other than that it was chill. Only times it wasn’t chill was when I got in trouble which was pretty often, I got kicked out the house a few times too, spent a night out in -10 degrees, that wasn’t when I lived in Ritchie anymore so I didn’t know much people round where I lived and I had no phone on me that night too it was crazy. I had flip flops, pyjama pants and a hoodie.
What Is Your Family’s Involvement In Your Life Now?
My family still here to be honest, same as before just trying to keep me safe and well surrounded. Nothing much to say they don’t really play a part in my music life unless I make a song about something that happened in the family. For example, I’m “Not Easy” I said, “I remember when pops said I’d be in jail or the pavement.” That really happened, and that hurt at the time, some things I just won’t forget. We cool though we get along real well, do a bunch of things together and all.
Did you participate in anything growing up that you loved?
Yeah I was a big baller. Used to go crazy, lots of accomplishments all throughout high-school while playing school ball and club. I already started rapping by grade 9 though I was a trending topic when I had made a diss song exposing a situation that I was in with a girl after she was disrespecting me. After that I dropped a more normal song which people enjoyed because it showed a more emotional side to me. I kept dropping some more unprofessional music on SoundCloud until grade 11. I recorded some in grade 12 that didn’t drop and started doing real music right when grade 12 ended so like early summer 2019, made a song called Hot, people were going crazy about it. I teased it for about 4 months before dropping it. That’s how much hype it had.
What Was One Of Your Favourite Things To Do As A Kid?
When I was a kid it was playing ball, then as a teen it turned into playing ball plus writing poems on paper. It was a fun way of expressing myself. That was the rapper part of me, rap came so easy that writing poetry in class for English classes was so easy and I’d always get great grades while impressing teachers, that’s probably why I have the capability to be very lyrical in my songs.
Did You Expect To Be Where You Are/ Going Where You Are, When You Were Younger, Or Did You Have Other Plans For Your Future At The Time?
I honestly wanted to play ball and go pro just like a lot of other kids from the hood, but I remember telling my sister in grade 9 that I wanted to be a rapper. She didn’t like that because we from a Christian household but I don’t think it mean much like in terms of holding me back from rapping. I was actually the first one of my generation/class to rap so people knew I genuinely liked it and wasn’t just one of those hopping on the wave later on but I never seriously wanted to rap as a career until around grade 12 or 11 when I really quit taking basketball serious.
Is There A Specific Person In Your Life That You Want To Thank?
Man, everybody, good or bad there’s always some they contributed to my growth. My mom for sure she always believed in me. I almost didn’t graduate high school with all my boys. My school was on some hater shit and took out my credits for my co-op and another class a month before the end of school. I had no choice but to go to Algonquin College & St Paul HS’s alternative high school program where I reunited with my boys Metro and Reggie from FTG because I already moved out the block by that time. Only one who believed I could bang out 3 credits in 3 weeks was my mom and I did that, made me and her proud. I’m grateful for that. I’m really grateful for Metro as well. He’s the one that pushed me to go to a higher quality studio and taught me saving money shouldn’t be an excuse for less quality. He played a big part in my growth as an artist while he was still alive.
What Genre Do You Consider Yourself?
I consider myself a singing rapper. I don’t want to just say rapper because I feel like singing rap or melodic rap I would say is like it’s own thing now. It’s all rap at the end of the day but yeah that’s pretty much what I do. Don’t get it wrong I could spit some still you know and I definitely got real and relatable bars.
What Are Three Things That You Are Proud Of That You’ve Accomplished In Your Life?
Graduating when I was put in a situation where I had to do it against all odds, getting out of the lifestyle my life was going towards, being serious with my financial life and finding more ways to make legal money while getting off illegal methods. There’s still a lot to reach though although I do think it’s good to recognize your milestones and pat your own back, I don’t remember too much just because there’s much more to reach.
Have You Been Featured Anywhere Recently?
Yeah I’ve been featured on Capital Heat Canada and a few Instagram blogs.
Has Covid Impacted You In Anyway?
Oh hell yeah. I would of shot so many music videos by now if it wasn’t for the lockdowns. I have 2 EPs ready to roll out right now but I need music videos for the singles before I can put them out there.
Is This Year Different Than Last Year For You? If So How?
I mean it’s better I guess because I learnt which styles work best for me now and what I’m most comfortable with. I also found myself as an artist more you know, like I know myself more now, I get in the studio and know what range of notes I can hit for sure and all just makes the recording process easier, plus I got better connections now. Only thing holding me back is Covid to be honest.
Do You Have Anyone Consistent In Your Life Right Now? A Partner Or A Friend You’d Like To Mention?
Yeah I’d like to shoutout my cousin Jboogie. He always there giving me input, judging songs with me, he like the first guy I show and most of the time he always in the studio with me while I’m recording. He comes up with brilliant ideas on all aspects of the music, comes up with great video ideas as well and also directs my videos from now on along side the videographers. Anything after the On A Roll video is and will be directed and approved by him. He plays a big part in picking what songs make it to my projects and all.
What Is Your Biggest Accomplishment Of This Year?
I couldn’t say. I didn’t get enough time to go crazy yet. Maybe the fact I made a whole EP in a day.
What Are Your Goals For The Future?
Being big in the rap game, starting a clothing line, YouTube channel like a more lifestyle type of channel and giving back to the community. Also want to be an advice giver and also share the word of God with people.
Where Ideally Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?
Ideally taking trips, both business and vacations but more business because can’t be partying too much. Comfortable lifestyle and all giving back to the people.
What Is The Biggest Thing You Want To See Come Out Of Your Music?
I want to put my country on the map with my music. That’s it.
If You Had To Try To Convince Me To Listen Your song, What Would You Tell Me?
This song is great. Has a beautiful flow change and frequency of flow changes is cool too. Nice delivery and all. Good content on the lyrics.
What Was Your Mindset When You Were Thinking About Making The song, Or Writing It?
I was pretty down, had a lot of things on my mind like my grandpa and my friend passing away. Also had some issues with my ex girlfriend which was upsetting me a lot at the time and raps always been my spot to take out these type of feelings to. I never shy away from expressing myself so I went and did that, wrote it down told myself I didn’t want it to be too long because I wanted it to be something you could replay a lot. I loved the outcome, it worked out and it’s a lot of people’s favourites to this day.
Did You Have A Specific Vision For This Piece? Did You Think That Outcome Would Be Difficult To Achieve At The Time?
It wasn’t too hard to make things happen or shoot the video, luckily we went on stage 2 with Covid which was less restrictions.
What Makes This Specific Piece Different From Every Other Artists Music?
What’s different is that I have my own unique sound, that’s why a lot of people when they tried comparing that song to anyone they had to name a bunch of people mixed together because I don’t really sound like anybody else. I got creative and simple lyrics but they hit you deep so it’s easy to relate and feel them, my flow is pretty sick on that song too. It’s a song easy to have on repeat since it’s not too long but it’s also not too short. It’s a song about tough times and sad feelings but also contains motivational lyrics like “I’m ‘a come back ‘round and flex on them who doubted me, I’m ‘a look my mama in the eyes like is you proud of me” you know, stuff people could feel. I also don’t even really cuss besides the N word so my music pretty clean, I noticed that stands out a lot to parents and older people. No drugs, no sexual talk or sexualized females in my videos etc, I keep it simple and cool.
Have You Learned Anything New Or Found New Ideas Through Making This?
I learned that people love this for real and I never had a problem just being myself and honest so I’ll just keep doing that.
What Are Your Total Streams For This Song?
Over 50K I think.
Would You Like To Mention Anything About Anyone That Worked With You On This, Or Did You Do Everything Yourself?
This one was definitely all me, nobody to shoutout on this one.
Be sure to catch OJ Montana's video for 'Not Easy' on 6ixbuzz and on his instagram @_ojmontana