Q&A with Oddisee

by Kara Kokinos

Q&A with Oddisee

Kara Kokinos of WRBB had the privilege to sit down with Oddisee at Block Party this past week to discuss TJ’s best snacks, spooky funeral homes, and stick n’ poke tats.


Listen to Oddisee’s most recent album, The Iceberg, here:



If you had to get a stick n poke right now what would you get?

I can make it up? I’d probably do something very cliché and trashy, like put my daughter’s name on my neck.

What’s your favorite Trader Joe’s goodie?

The cinnamon granola cereal, the clusters one, no cornflakes.

What song would your Tooth Tunes play?

I’m trying to remember who makes that song, it’s called ‘I Be Strokin,’ I can’t remember the name of the artist.

(Author’s Note: For the record, it’s Clarence Carter, what a gem.)

What type of movie would your music be the soundtrack of?

I think it would be the soundtrack to a Sci-Fi film.

Would there be a lot of battle scenes or would it be more exploration?

It would be more of an exploration Sci-Fi film, exoplanets.

What actor would play your Lifetime original movie character?

I mean according to Hollywood there are only two. The guy who plays everyone from Martin Luther King to the baseball guy, and he’s now Black Panther… or Will Smith. Based on my color grade, I’d probably go with Will Smith.

What’s the spookiest thing you’ve ever seen?

I’m trying to separate spooky and scary… Spooky? It was definitely that time me and my friend Trek Life were on tour in the Netherlands. We were in a town in the north of Holland, and we had always dreamed of riding bikes in Holland and the promoter was like, “Please, five minutes and a crackhead or a heroin addict will try to sell you a bike.” Literally five minutes later we turned the corner and a heroin addict sold us two bikes for five Euro each and we went riding along on this pier. It became very, very foggy and then we saw this man in the fog walking and it was the creepiest thing and my friend, Trek Life, says, “Yo, who are you?!” and the guy’s response was, “I’m a man.” I’ll never forget that.

Did you just leave it at that and then run away?

We found out he was just walking his dog.

Oh, okay, so it has a happy ending. Favorite fair food?

Corn dog. Love a good corn dog, if I get a Hebrew National, yeah, I’m good.

How do you take your coffee?

Black, preferably single origin, pour over, B-60 or a Kalita. That’s fine by me, that’s what I usually make every morning.

Love that, it’s so art life.

18.75 grams, 300 milliliters of water.

Not leaving anything up to chance.

No, no, no, I make my own coffee every morning.

Worst tour moment?

I couldn’t possibly begin to select one… aw man…

The funniest worst?

Sleeping in a funeral parlor.

And that wasn’t the spookiest?!

It was – the guy in the fog was scarier than the funeral parlor! Moving things – there were things moving and I couldn’t see it, ya know? There was nothing moving other than a door that needed to be oiled in the funeral parlor. It was in the beginning of my career, there was this gentleman by the name of Jannis Stürtz, he owns a record label called Jakarta Records out of Berlin, a very popular record label. In his very humble beginnings, he booked me in his hometown outside of Cologne, Germany, in a recreation center. He offered to let me stay at his house and after the show he wanted to party. He didn’t want to drive me back to his house, so he said, “Amir, you can stay at my friend’s house across the street. It’s literally across the street.” And I said I didn’t care, as long as I had a place to crash. He didn’t tell me that his friend lived in a funeral parlor because his mother ran a morgue. You walked in the front door and then there were all the coffins and there was the smell of embalming fluid. Then he was like, “Okay, so your room is upstairs, I’ll take you upstairs…and, um, make yourself at home.” It was in the attic and he left me up there alone and went back to the party. The windows were open and I’ll never forget the crick of the door, I was freaking out, I couldn’t sleep all night.

Damn, no warning! Are you two still friends?

Yeah, me and Jannis are definitely still friends, he’s my homie, that’s a story we just laugh at. I was like, “Jannis, you made me sleep in a funeral parlor,” and he said, “Ah, that’s what his mother does for a living!” It’s all good, I like those stories, it gives you character.

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