The Unlikely Journey of Houston’s Orchestrate96
Born in Edo State, Nigeria, hip hop artist Orchestrate96 has built his career on an energetic style and the diversity to mix musical and cultural perspectives. After moving to the states in his early teens, he never planned to become a creator or musician.
However, he was inspired by G-Eazy albums like Must be Nice, and These Things Happen and many musicians his age that were taking off as established artists.
Orchestrate96 began as a producer, releasing his music on SoundCloud until 2018 when he received an instrumental from Morteh, a producer. He and a close friend wrote over the beat and released what came to be his debut single, “Dirty Dance.” Orchestrate recalls, “I remember the feeling I had while recording that song. I just kept writing to new instrumentals and recording them.” This led him to eventually release his first album titled Young & Naïve.
Currently, Orchestrate96 does not produce his own instrumentals but works with different producers from all around the world. Some of these include Kevin Hues, Chain, Dru Stylez, Kenwiza, and Houston producers Big Kang, Tobin, and Bryant Troy. In a personal interview, Orchestrate96 also spoke about the artists who currently inspire him revoicing, “At the beginning of my rap career, G-Eazy inspired me the most to make music. His earlier works were so raw and down to earth. That just motivated me to be my authentic self when I write my verses. I currently listen to Saint Jhn, Juice Wrld, Comethazine, and Lil Baby on rotation. I enjoy their unique styles and cadences. Their sound is confident. I like surrounding myself with that type of energy.”
Challenges face any artist on their musical path, and Orchestrate96 is no stranger to hurdles. He related that the hardest thing he had to overcome was going to college while trying to build a fan base from scratch. He explained, “my condition in 2018 was in such a way that dropping out of college was easy and tempting. I was working at UPS as a Package Handler and was already struggling to get Cs in school. I wanted to drop out so badly to pursue music full-time. Music would be a great escape. But, just because it got tough, I didn’t want to let go. I picked up music and did my thing with school. I graduate in May 2022.”
This balance of music and school has created a mindset that has become a message in much of Orchestrate96’s music. He emphasizes the drive to continue pushing when situations get tough, the motivation to make more money, and, ultimately, the desire to become a better version of oneself. His life is a prime example of making a career from a passion and hobby. Orchestrate96 hopes to take the next step in his career with the recent announcement of his new album Money Baby. The final release date is yet to be announced.
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Published November 22nd, 2021