OSHUN consists of Niambi Sala and Thandiwe,19 year old NYU students by way of Washington D.C. Their name honors a Yoruba river deity (Osun) and her sisters (Yemoja and Oya), and represents the pair’s desire to share her essence and omnipresence through music. Their greater goal, according to their website, is “empowering women, and all people, instilling confidence, cultural pride, and self-respect.” This enchanting duo began blessing the internet and the ears of their listeners with their beautiful synthesis of afrocentricity, lyricism, affinity for production and uncontested feminine strength in the beginning of 2014. They classify themselves as lya-sol, which refers to combination of Neo-Soul and Hiphop. Both Niambi and Thandiwe are vocalists, allowing their voices to dance between rapping and/or singing on each track, but Thandiwe also produces and is especially into beats.
OSHUN’s debut EP AFAHYE, released in March 2014, consists of 4 tracks and is a reflective, soul-renewing experience. The project is an amalgamation of societal critique, emotional exploration, spiritual infusion, and evaluation of human connection and relationships. Since AFAHYE, they have released other individual songs including a unique cover of India Arie’s “Video” and Beyonce’s “Flawless” entitled “Queens”.
In the year following their inception, OSHUN has toured around the East Coast, performing in major cities like New York, Philadelphia, and D.C., and have received media attention from OkayPlayer, Afropunk, Nu-Soul Magazine, and more. The Grammy Amplifier cited them as having over 6,000 cumulative online fans and 100,000+ streams with numbers steadily rising.
OSHUN represents a wonderful marriage of old and new, invoking 90s and early 2000s nostalgia alongside a heightened sense of social consciousness, all while very much thriving in the present. They represent an evolution of the spirit of Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu, putting on for strong black women positively and with a great sense of self-love. So delight your psyche and enlighten yourself by learning more about OSHUN on their website or checking out their Soundcloud. Their album ASASE YAA is coming sometime this spring.
Brionna Atkins is a junior at the College studying Sociology and Ethnicity, Migration, Rights. You can typically catch her in a dining hall laughing loud enough to drown out all the voices around her or discussing race relations in America. She may have an unhealthy obsession with J. Cole, and Drake but then again doesn’t everyone? (…or nah?)