Black History Month

My name is OURAA

13th October 2020

My name is OURAA and I’m a singer/songwriter based in South East London. People ask me all the time ​”why that name?’” or ​”why that spelling of it?”. OURAA stands for orange energy: the ‘O’ for orange and then the ‘URAA’ from the word ‘aura’, with an additional ‘A’ at the end for that extra pop! My government name is also Deborah, and when pronounced phonetically, its ending sounds like “OURAA”.

The colour orange is warm, vibrant, personable and reminds me of myself, so I’ve aligned with it quite strongly, and it’s evident in my brand. I wear the colour all the time. It’s easy to remember and hard to forget – and I think that represents my music well.

My music and I are inspired by a plethora of artists across various genres. From Jill Scott and India Arie to PJ Morton, Robert Glasper and Kierra Sheard, there’s a lot of music that influences me. A soulful pic’n’mix, if you will.

I was born into a musical family. My mum is a singer and all of my aunties and uncles either took interest in music, sang or played an instrument. I’d go to church every Sunday where my mum was part of the choir and I always wanted to sing with her. I’d even try to wear the colours they would wear and sing with the choir on stage.

When I’m not being OURAA the soloist, I’m a session singer. I’ve had the opportunity to sing with artists such as Justin Timberlake, Pink and The 1975 at different BRITs award shows, even providing vocals on some of The 1975’s singles, such as ‘It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)’ and ‘Love It If We Made it’. Of course, the pandemic has been a barrier to this type of work, but I’ve stayed optimistic and have luckily still received amazing opportunities this year.

During this pandemic, I’ve been creating at a monumental rate. I’ve released two singles and a remix. I’d actually say this is the most productive I’ve ever been.

I’ve also been doing loads of livestream performances during this time. Two of my favourites was with Sofar Sounds and Lemonade Social, but it’s time to sing to people (socially distanced of course). I’ve received so much more love than I’d have anticipated, especially in regards to radio – a massive shoutout to BBC 1Xtra, Reprezent and No Signal! I’m hopeful that gigging will go back to some type of “normal” next year. I’m so ready to get back into the flow of performing! Maybe even a tour…

The creating continues regardless. I’m very excited for the release of my first-ever EP coming out at the end of October. ​Bites and Nibbles​ is inspired by my love of food and all the double entendres that can come with it. The EP will be launching with a headline show, which you can get tickets from here​ . This will be my first live performance since this pandemic started in March. I’m looking forward to finally singing in front of humans again; the zoom fatigue is getting very real. All in all, I’m feeling really positive and looking forward to my next release!

OURAA’s Month of Power Playlist

To celebrate Black History Month, I’ve put together OURAA’s Month of Power Playlist, which consists of black artists that inspire me to push for greater. The tracks are from independent artists like Tiana Major9 all the way to well-established artists like India Arie and Jill Scot.

 

Author

Deborah 'OURAA' Osibodu

OURAA (also known as Deborah Osibodu) is known for her soulful pop-meets-Gospel-meets-RnB sound, showcasing her vibrant personality and positive energy, through honest lyrics. A vocals graduate from BIMM Institute London, OURAA possesses such colourful, personable and bright stage presence that it’s easy to see why so many have fallen for her contagious and unique artistry – including BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Jamz Supernova, who recently played her track ‘Make a Wish’ to her UK-wide audience.