ODIE is that rare phenomenon: an analogue artist in a digital age.
In today’s society, there are few role models for young men on how to communicate one’s feelings and emotions in healthy, productive ways. Scarborough native ODIE was one of the lucky ones, having the heart-on-his-sleeve alternative hip-hop of Kid Cudi to shape and influence the honest and original style and sound of his debut album, Analogue. Kid Cudi, and the constant influence of anarchic Afrobeat legends that occupied ODIE’s living room’s record player, set the foundation for his musical expression. The result? A refreshingly candid album.
Analogue takes us on a genuine emotional journey. The uncanny similarities in vocal tone to Kid Cudi creates a familiar foundation for listeners, where Kid Cudi experimented and bent with the rules of hip-hop, ODIE imparts a minimal Frank Ocean-type rhythmic approach to his sound, putting his Afro influence all over it. When Kid Cudi sounds vulnerable, dark and broken, ODIE manages to stay grounded. He’s an old soul that spillshis heart out with everythingthat a 21-year old aspiring superstar could go through- balancing pressures of success, both internally and externally; coming face-to-face with existential questions that most young adults do; and finding a way to be quietly confident in his path. Analogue expertly expresses all of the little feelings that flood the first few years of adulthood, but it feels as if ODIE is looking back on this time as an obstacle he’s defeated.
Select tracks, like “In My Head” and “Little Lies” feel musically like an introduction, preceding something grander, but instead we just find a young artist who already understands the value in slowing down. ODIE is at peace self-reflecting; his contemplation soothes him rather than adding to his stress. ODIE pulls and conveys emotions through his music in a way far beyond his years. You can hear the depth in his thoughts, and you can’t help but be impressed by their poise. In “Midnight” he sings “there’s more to life than every single old moment”. Here, ODIE displays an ability to separate short-lived intimate moments with a girl or small moments of success away from the bigger picture of his own triumph and development.
The album’s name, Analogue, also shows a quiet grace. He’s an old-school musician at heart, not unlike Leon Bridges, and he aims to invest each and every appearance or release with intimate value for his fans. This is why you’ll never see daily social media appearances; he doesn’t want to oversaturate his own product. Although young himself, ODIE is becoming a positive role model for younger musicians through patience and self-awareness. He’s the result of years of detailed, hard work and can influence younger artists to stay humble and play the long game, instead of reaching for Instagram fame with no foundation. He wants his intrigue to build in a positive, linear direction as he continues to create something sonically different than his counterparts. He’s that rare phenomenon: an analogue artist in a digital age.