Oompa is an artist hailing from Roxbury, MA who is always putting on for the hood, the queer, the black, the orphaned, the boi/ys, the silenced, the survivors and the unapologetic. She dropped her debut album “November 3rd” (available on Bancamp) this November under the independent music label “HipStory”. When she isn’t on stage, she’s probably in the shower singing to Beyonce, Kendrick or Aretha, or trying to find ways to get back on one.
Oompa is a member of the Flatline Poetry Collective & Hipstory, a 2016 National Poetry Slam Finalist, a VOX Pop Slam Champion, a Verses Rap Battle Champion and according to Allston Pudding, “…one of the city’s most promising artistic voices”.
Oompa is currently raising money to make it to compete in the Women of the World Poetry Slam going down this year in Austin, TX. Donate at her GoFundMe page!
Who has been your most influential mentor?
I can’t say I have a most influential mentor, but I do know I’ve learned a lot from love and loss. And the women of-color in my life. And maybe the two have been inextricably linked for me, but I still have to note my mothers (biological, adoptive, and circumstantial), my sisters (by blood and battle), professors, and the women I’ve loved, for the ways in which they have broken me and held me whole — often at the same time.
How did you get here today?
Good question. I’ve been trying to figure that out too! But I’m glad I’m here. I like to think love is the reason I’m still here. Maybe it’s the reason any of us are here. The love I keep giving keeps coming back to me. I’m thankful for every person I’ve encountered who has taught me a little bit about that. I keep learning about myself because of it. I’m also thankful for the people who gave a part of themselves even when I didn’t have that to give — even when they didn’t have enough of themselves to give to me.
I’m also thankful for the people who gave a part of themselves even when I didn’t have that to give — even when they didn’t have enough of themselves to give to me.
I owe a lot of people for that, and I just hope I can be that when I’m called to be. I hope that if those people who ‘got me here’ were asked this same question that an interaction we shared elicits the same response from them. Then I’d know I was doing it right.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I want to be great. I want critics to be in conversation about whether or not I’m one of the best Hip-Hop artists of my time. I will be my own boss. I will see and own every bit of what beauty is inside of me. I will be traveling the world and making art that is permanent and for the culture. In 5 years I’ll be closer to buying back my city…OUR city…from anybody who dares to say it doesn’t belong to us. In 5 years I will look back on each moment and be proud of what it took to get to that.
What about the city inspires you?
The people, straight up. We have A LOT of work to do as a city, but my people refuse to be invisible. We refuse to not create. To not show up. To not speak. We affirm each other. We create. We hold each other accountable. We resist. We take no shorts. We make space and hold space. We create. This city holds a lot of resistance and culture in its blood, yo.
We make space and hold space. We create. This city holds a lot of resistance and culture in its blood,
We can’t help but feel that blood. It runs through us, and unfortunately on us. To survive in this city, we as a people need to remember that. What can the city do more of? The above. And do it like our livelihoods depend on it. Because they do.