Offica Talks His Journey, Forthcoming Mixtape, Headline Tour, A92, & More
27 Aug 2021
Standing as one the first rappers to break out of Ireland is Offica. Since his 2019 release of “Naruto Drillings”, the once-masked figure has captured the eyes of many across the world and with that built an ever-growing fan base. Although being faced with a global pandemic at the beginning stages of his career wasn’t in the plan, Offica continued to build a fast-rising momentum around him, and has since collaborated with the likes of KSI, Fizzler, Blanco, and Skengdo x AM.
Now, if you are familiar with Offica then you will be more than acquainted with his fellow A92 crew who entered the charts globally with their hard-hitting ‘Plugged In’ freestyle alongside Fumez The Engineer. Which by the way, has since accumulated over 34 million views on YouTube alone. Wow.
As we gear up for his headline tour at the end of this year, Mixtape Madness got the chance to catch up with Offica via Zoom for a quick chat about his journey this far and more. Tap in below to see what he had to say!
We’re coming out of a weird period with everything surrounding the pandemic. How have you been finding the past 18 months?
I’ve just been keeping busy really! Obviously, you can’t do certain things, but it doesn’t mean you stop working. We couldn’t do any shows, so we’ve just been making sure to get tracks done and putting the music out there.
I would love to take it back to the beginning with you! Talk me through how you were introduced to music and how it all came about for you.
Growing up, I listened to anything. If it was good, I listened to it! I wasn’t even trying to get into music, I was messing around with one of my friends and I rapped something to him, and he said it was cold, we went to the studio and laid it down. Pretty much everyone was f*cking with it.
At what point did you decide to take it seriously? Was it after the first drop and you had that initial reaction or?
No, not really! Even when we had did the first drop, I didn’t expect it to do anything it was just there to have fun with. I dropped my second single and it had the same reaction, it wasn’t until we dropped “Naruto Drillings” that it started to take off. I had a remix made with KSI, when you get that exposure, you have to stay on top of things and that’s when I started to take it seriously.
What artists would you say have maybe helped to influence or shape your sound?
I listen to the UK scene a lot, I tend to make it different because I am from Ireland but originally, I am from Nigeria, so I put my African swag into what I do to try and make it different. I am playing around with it, just seeing what sounds good at the moment.
I think the Irish scene is just beginning to push through and make some noise. Did it ever feel like a disadvantage at the beginning stages of your career because it isn’t as close to London and you weren’t getting as much recognition?
When I started, I wasn’t expecting to do much. Around that time, there was one Irish artist who was getting into the UK scene named JB2 and he used to do his ting. For me, it happened very quickly and nobody else in the country has really done it, so it’s crazy.
Since 2019 your career has evolved so quickly, and you’ve collaborated with some huge names already! Do you feel a pressure at all, being one of Ireland’s fastest rising rappers and essentially carrying somewhat of a torch for that scene?
Not exactly because anything I do right now will be in the history books. There is no pressure because nobody else has done it, I’m just setting the steps to do so. Maybe if someone else had done it then maybe I would feel the pressure but we’re just taking each step as it comes.
You are also a part of the A92 crew. How did this come about? Are these people that you have grown up alongside or?
A few of them I have grown up with, we’ve been friends since we were little. The boys have been supporting me before I started rapping and it became a thing where we needed to get others rapping to. We made a big song, and it took off from there!
Ok cool. So, it was never a thing where all of you did it, some of you joined later on in the process?
Yeah, literally! It was me and BT that started rapping first and everyone else gradually joined! They are doing sick!
What song do you think really changed things for you?
Definitely “Naruto Drillings”.
Do you think you’ve grown a lot as an artist since that release?
Yeah, 100%! I had to start taking things more seriously so being invested in music was the biggest thing.
Is there anyone else you would like to collaborate with maybe in the UK or overseas?
Obviously we all have our dream collaborations but in the UK, I really like Dave and Stormzy! It would be crazy to do something with either of them, but KSI is the best artist I have worked with, he is such a nice guy.
You took your mask off quite early on, what made you do this? A lot of people these days seem to run with it…
It was sweaty under that mask you know! *laughs* On a real though, I just wanted people to know my personality a bit more. I was being referred to as “the guy in the mask” and nobody knew who was behind it! I think it was the right time to take it off and I wanted to go mainstream, it’s rare for a person with a mask to go mainstream. I was having trouble getting verified on Instagram and things, it took me a while!
You are going to be going on a headline tour at the end of this year! Which songs are you looking to perform most?
Obviously my boys are coming with me, the ‘Plugged In’ will be sick to perform with all the boys! My mixtape will be out soon before that so I can show people some new music
What kind of things can we expect to hear from the mixtape?
You are going to hear a different side to me! I really experimented with the mixtape; I want to show people that I am more than a drill artist.
What else can we expect to see from you this coming year?
I have a new single coming really soon, next month actually! I am going on tour as well. I am trying to end the year on a good note so we can go again next year!