Young Cisto is a rapper from Oslo who has Ghanain heritage. He’s just released a woozy heavy beat track No Alcohol so he tells us about that and what he likes to do on a night out when he’s not drinking.
I’m a hip-hop artist out of Oslo, Norway, but grew up in Italy and have a Ghanaian background. I feel more international than anything, but of course I have a Ghanaian cultural background and know my mother-tongue of Twi.
As an artist I started out dancing hip hop, pop’n’lock, and loved the feeling it gave me being on stage, but soon found that I could use my sense of rythme just as well as a rapper. The message in some of my tracks is to just enjoy yourself and try to be carefree; as a former dancer, I do wanna make people dance.
In other tracks like my newest single No Alcohol, I dwell more on society – it’s maybe a bit introspective – but the expectations put upon young individuals are a subject I often revisit.
What are your musical influences?
My earliest influences were 2Pac, 50 Cent and Eminem. Later I’ve drawn inspiration from as diverse artists as Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, Young Thug and King Los. I really don’t want to limit myself to one artist or style, not to be too influenced by one particular sound, rather develop my own.
What‘s it like to work in the music industry where you are?
We artists have many possibilities here in Oslo because there are good access to studios, a lot of talented artists around, and the government are being great at facilitating opportunities for new artists.
The only obstacle is that the artist community isn’t as unified as it could be. Many artists view everything as competition, so much that they at some times end up trying to sabotage each other. I feel we gotta come together and put out good music and make some beautiful art.
What‘s a night out like where you live?
I like to chill in the studio when am not working, but usually am working on the weekends. So if I go out it’s mostly to one of the larger hip-hop events with some of the great DJs we have here like Club Juicy and Oh! Mama Crew, or a concert by one of my favorite artists.
We’re really lucky to have a lot of international acts passing thru.
What song do you listen to: (a) turn up to (b) feel sexy (c) pine over your ex
I listen a lot to myself to be honest!
a) I like to turn up to Rectangle or some Metro Boomin-kinda songs
b) I always feel sexy 😂 I don’t have any particular songs.
c) Pandora by Jacquees… Almost everything from Jacquees
Tell us about your latest single No Alcohol. What is it about?
No Alcohol came about as a spontaneous freestyle. I was in a somewhat altered state of mind just listening to some beats and the hook just kinda made it self. The lyrics are basically about a realisation of being in a broken state of mind – to put it more eloquently than on the track – whatever the cause.
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