Podcast: Nobody else can have Heru’s shirt

The rapper, singer and producer talks with us about his new EP, fashion design, and his contrary nature.

The rapper, singer and producer talks with us about his new EP, fashion design, and his contrary nature.


Photo by Austin Akins.

Photo by Austin Akins.

Heru is the MC name of Obasi Davis, a 20-year-old Oakland native and UW-Madison student. Davis recently finished up his first EP, TheSoulOf, and has been gradually releasing tracks from it on SoundCloud. He produced all eight songs on the EP, and experiments with a variety of flows and styles throughout, from the relatively straight-ahead, mid-tempo raps of “DirtOnMyName” to more mellow and melodic tracks like “BreakItDown.”

Davis’ creative pursuits are all over the place: He was involved in the Bay Area’s spoken-word poetry scene before he began rapping, he makes visual art, and he designs and makes clothes. He’s majoring in textile design at UW, while also participating in the First Wave hip-hop arts program. One thing that holds together all these different strands, he says, is his desire to be unique—he wants to have shirts and jackets no one else has, make music that doesn’t sound like other people’s music, and even avoid ordering the same thing as someone else when he’s out to eat.

Davis and his friend and collaborator Jonnychang join me this week on the Tone Madison podcast. We talked about Davis’ upbringing, working in Dr Dre-style saw wave synths, sampling reggae, and his songwriting habits. Give our conversation a listen below. Heru currently doesn’t have any Madison shows on the books (unfortunately, we couldn’t get this out until after the EP-release show he played last week), but we’ll be sure to note it in our weekly calendar when that changes.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and catch WORT-FM’s weeknight local news show, which partners with us to produce these. Thanks to Dylan Brogan for producing this interview.

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