Sheismyoasis, is a Pretoria based RnB and Hip Hop artist born William Ofentse Stewart in the city of Rustenburg and raised in eSwatini, formerly Swaziland. Born into a musical family where the sounds of Abba and Dobie Gray were played by his father, those of Glory of the Last Days by his mother, RnB by his sister and Kwaito/House music sounds by his brother. Sheismyoasis inevitably fell in love with music from a tender age. This distinct in sounds and genres also resulted in his versatility in music. His love for music was the exhilarating and somewhat peaceful aura he would have when listening to music and always felt like music was his “therapy”.
Sheismyoasis, or SIMO in short, had no solid interest in singing until he auditioned for a school concert at Sifundzani High School in 2017. There he received a lot of positive feedback and was urged to take it more seriously and hence began working on his voice. He then started diving deep into his favorite artists and gathered inspiration from the likes of Masego, Xavier Omar, HER, 6lack, Drake, burningforestboy, Daniel Caesar, Sir and Aminé just to name a few. He only got to recording in 2020 with his current producer brknforever and together morphed Sheismyoasis into life. He released his first project titled Chronicles Of A Teenager on the 1st of April 2021 .
Below I sat with Sheismyoasis and had a chat about all things music and his journey thus far:
What inspired the name “Sheismyoasis”?
“I wanted a name that was going to represent who I am as a person. By she, though singular, I don’t mean just one person. The person I’ve become was influenced by women mostly, from my mum to my sister to every girl who was a friend and also the exes. They formed me, so they’re a source of my very being, the oasis.”
So how was it growing in Swaziland and how did that influence the type of music you are doing right now?
“I mean it was peaceful, especially my first 8 or so years coz I grew up in the country side before moving to a more ‘city like’ place. But I never really noticed how slow it was and narrow minded it made me until I came back this side because there’s not much happening that side. The music industry is not one you would hope to sustain yourself with in that way and also the audience is not all that great. There’s a lot of talent for sure but there’s no recognition because who’s looking? But in general it was okay, everything is fairly close so going from A to B isn’t much of a problem, which I’ve learnt to value coz it ain’t that easy this side”
From your family who inspired you the most musically? And why…
“My brother, he was a disc jockey when I was a kid and he always showed me a few things here and there and his level of talent basically showed me that anyone can do it so long as you put your mind, heart and soul into it. If God’s given you that raw talent, add all those components then you will rise. He only stopped because of unseen circumstances but yeah he played a big role.“
What inspired the title of your Ep and how long did it take you to record the EP?
“The EP was based on my love life as a teenager, things people don’t really think teenagers go through you know. And the abbreviation (COAT) of it wasn’t even planned, I just stumbled upon it when I was trying to find a short way to name so that on its own was like confirmation to me that it’s the one, haha. Some of the songs were recorded a while ago, before I even thought about making an EP. They were just polished and finished during the making but in essence I’d say about 2-3 weeks. We had about 2 weeks to get it done because of other commitments like school and stuff, so the pressure was quite high but I still enjoyed it for sure.”
I personally listened to The Chronicles Of A Teenager album , how was it compiling that project and what was the thought process that went into doing the project?
“Uhm It was really interesting and quite challenging coz it was my first time working on an EP you know but I wanted something that was gonna show people who I am, but at the same time just enough to make them want more, you know. From the name alone it tells you this is about me as a teenager, so basically how my love life was as a teen, and in addition to that be able to show how versatile I can be within the rnb genre on its own.”
“It wasn’t easy writing down those verses coz they needed me to be a bit more vulnerable than I’d like to be. I’m a very private person so having to do that was no easy task but having the right people around me helped me achieve that. I remember when I was recording company, brknforever saw I was struggling a bit with clearly portraying what I was trying to say. I was saying either too many things or too little so all he said was ‘imagine you’re inside a bottle, and by the lid there’s this person that won’t let whatever’s inside flow out…. Kick him out of the way. Most people wouldn’t get that but I was able to open up all the bottled things inside and company was made.“
Favourite song from your album ?
“It’s hard to say, all those songs in that EP were picked from about 10 songs so they all my favorite songs. I want everything I drop to be my favorite song, otherwise why did I drop it you feel. I’ve met multiple people change their minds on which song is their favorite coz every song has a different message and at different times you’ll relate differently to all of them. And for me that’s what makes em all my favorites, coz I’ll always at some point relate more to one as compared to the others then come back on another day and relate to another one you feel.”
What inspires your musical content ?
“Uhm I’d say my emotions, music is like therapy to me, you know. My own journal if I might. I’m quite a “bottle up” person and struggle to vent out you know, so music is my way of releasing whatever is inside.”
Which one of your pieces was most sentimental to you ?
“I can’t really pick coz all have a certain piece that is sentimental to but I’d say Symphony. Not only is it my debut single but I just enjoyed the whole process of making the song, you know… Had to remind myself that just because your partner is another version of you, it don’t mean y’all were meant for each other you know“
What you got coming for this year?
“Don’t want to say anything right now but expect a few singles, features here and there and possibly another EP, who knows?”
To follow Sheismyoasis…