Oompa, a Boston born rapper, is acting as an advocate and representative for communities that are typically not highlighted in mainstream media. Raised in a society that did not provide much warmth towards her, Oompa felt lost.
After spending the majority of her undergraduate education homeless or in a temporary shelter, Oompa switched her track towards teaching. “I knew I loved young people, and I wanted to inspire them to live unapologetic, love-filled lives no matter what they saw around them,” Oompa explained.
Although she was passionate about this job and the ways in which it not only benefitted the youth but herself as well, music was a calling she could no longer ignore. “So I buckled down, got my entry-level game right, and I have been building since then. This is my fourth year as a full-time artist (with no benefits lol),” said Oompa.
Oompa then discussed her new album being called “Cleo” and the significance of its inspiration. “The album title was inspired by one of my favorite characters on TV at the time, from the Hood Classic, Set it Off. The character, Cleo, was a gun-toting, square-jawed, fire-starting hood intellectual, and from the first time you saw her, she stole your heart or inspired something in you that made you love her,” said Oompa. She continued to explain that Cleo’s character ended up dying in the film. Oompa wanted to rewrite Cleo’s story through the album in the same way she gave herself a happier ending than what may have been expected. “To give myself and the other shorties watching a human, well-rounded narrative and also the possibility for something more than being the sacrificial lamb whose car and body get riddled with bullets by the cops while smoking on a Newport,” said Oompa.
In addition to creating music, Oompa is a strong voice in the effort to connect communities. She hosted a campaign in 2016 called #sayhername to show support for making women of color more visible. The campaign, which has since closed, can be found on the Oomp Out Loud website. The campaign was designed to raise money to help the artist put together her first album. Donations would be shown appreciation through the sender receiving a #sayhername t-shirt or free admission to the album’s release party.
To understand the mission Oompa is taking, it is best to turn to her art. The song “I Deserve That” encapsulates her struggle being a teacher and trying to create a difference in her community in that way, to breaking into her music, and finally finding the influential voice she had been craving. She explained that her support for young people shifted in medium, but the original mission and passion are still there.
In regards to her mark on the music industry, which she coins as quite gloomy, Oompa said, “I do know that my contribution to the industry will be that I will make art on my own terms and on the terms that life puts them on. However, I want to be successful in a way that changes my family’s life and my community for generations to come so the chance for me- little ol’ me— to be an entrepreneur is hella exciting. Never thought in a million years I’d be able to call myself that,” said Oompa.