OUTASIGHT: Dream Chaser

Growing up as an only child in the upper side of Yonkers, New York daydreaming and a vivid imagination are a necessity. And Richard Andrew, better known as “Outasight,” may be finally achieving the vision he saw at a young age.

Words: Jason Weintraub

As the music scene continually undergoes artistic growth, renaissance men like Outasight are sought after by major labels to spark new musical styles and taste in the marketplace. “Usually artists have horror stories about labels, but Warner Bros has never told me anything to discourage me and have been very supportive of what I do. They’re all about it and they’re about hoping something can spawn from the different music.”

Although it’s nearly impossible to categorize the musical form of Outasight, the many genres handed down from his parents play a major emphasis on his music today. Recalling his first record to be Stevie Wonder’s “You Are The Sunshine of My Life,” it’s easy to identify the soulful influence in the emcee’s vocals and instrumentals. However, Andrew doesn’t try to constrict himself to the trappings of his influences. “It’s along the lines of hip-hop, rock, soul and pop. I don’t really worry about genres though. Whenever I’m in the studio, if I feel something that inspires me, I write.”

Like many successful songwriters, Outasight has managed to bridge his childhood imagination into his songwriting today. Although the topics and experiences may be different, the process is not. Describing its importance he says, “As a kid I was constantly singing to myself all the time.  I had a big imagination growing up, and I always had these dreams, images and ideas in mind of being able to make music. So I guess you can say I’ve had this vision since an early age. Now, I think there is a mixture of the imagination that sparks the creative side, but you also write about experiences and what you are going through. The beauty of being a songwriter is being able to express [all of] those ideas and experiences.”

One of Andrew’s most extreme influences may be his fascination with drum and bass. While the sound does not heavily recur in his music, over the years he’s developed a practice revolving around it, including regularly attending many drum and bass shows. “I used to watch drum and bass; I used to rap to drum and bass, just cyphering in the corner with other kids. I also used to sing with it too, and what it did was give me freestyle practice as well as a melodic singing [style].” He continues, being more specific about his strategy, “You just have to make sure your voice is the instrument with the beat and be very melodic with it.”

Now, with competition growing each day thanks to social media and other tools, this hip-hop enthusiast must find ways to create the kind of music that sets him apart from the pack, but that will also resonate with many people. Outasight’s recent release, Figure 8 EP (April 26, 2011), hopes to give the people feel-good, summertime music and then some. “Figure 8 is definitely the start of something and can be the trailer to the motion picture coming. The title track is definitely one of my favorites [of the] songs I’ve done. It may be the scene you keep seeing in the trailer, but that’s not the best part, there is definitely a lot more.”

The album will feature the familiar takes on love, life, death and the desire for success. What inspires him the most should come as no surprise, as evident on the EP. “Women are such an interesting inspiration. The song ‘Everything’ on Figure 8 was actually a combination of a few different girls that I made into one. I needed a fuck you attitude in the song, so I used a couple of different instances with women of my past.”

As music continues to explore new limits and genres blend with one another, Outasight is certainly an artist who has no fear in the end destination of it all. Whether you’re a fan of pop, hip-hop, rock or soul, Outasight continues to produce an easy-going yet insightful soundtrack to many listeners’ lives.

“I personally don’t have any limits as an artist who enjoys being able to create music. I never want to be in a position where I’m saying I can’t do this and this. I’m just going to continue to push it and see how it goes.“

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