Young Onassis has paid his dues in the music industry: spending 10 years in Los Angeles. The Phoenix, Arizona native can his start engineering at Westlake Recording Studios, eventually getting into producing, songwriting, and now his own artistry.
Having the privilege of working with the likes of Chris Brown and Jeezy, he’s also met the legends such as Nas and Quincy Jones just from being at the studio. Surrounded by greats, Onassis can only excel from here — pouring his heart and soul into each release.
AllHipHop: For those who don’t know, who is Onassis?
Young Onassis: He’s an artist from Phoenix, Arizona. I’m a songwriter, producer. I’m Nigerian, bringing some of that flavor. I’m a real n##ga. I’m a real one. I’m bringing street element, the truth. Bringing back that hustler, grind mentality and spirit, that independent go-getter type of energy.
AllHipHop: At what point did you realize this music thing was forreal?
Young Onassis: I’m going to be honest, it really became real I’d say in 2016 when I put out my project O, that was my first EP that I put out independently. Just what I saw start to happen with putting out music because sometimes as artists, we get stuck in our heads with making music. If you don’t let people hear it, you don’t know how they’re going to respond. There’s a wide audience out there with the internet so your audience might not be your favorite artist, but there’s an audience for you. You just have to put that s##t out. 2016 was when I realized “okay I could do this, I’m out here!”
AllHipHop: Where were you then?
Young Onassis: Actually I was currently in San Diego, transitioning back to LA.
AllHipHop: Talk about producing, songwriting, and now rapping.
Young Onassis: Producing and songwriting, it’s crazy because sometimes you can get stuck in that box. Because you start to be labeled as that and people start seeing you as that, but it’s not a bad thing that they recognize you for your work. It just takes a little bit of effort to be vocal and step out of that lane. It’s been a great process for me. I’ve had a lot of support from my collaborators and anybody I worked with, they’re really on board with me doing my artist thing. I’m still getting the production calls. I’ve got a placement coming up with 600 Breezy on his project, so we out here.
AllHipHop: What was the inspiration behind your name?
Young Onassis: My name actually came from this rich dude named Aristotle Onassis, he was one of the richest men in the world. Also his wife was Jackie Onassis, who was JFK‘s wife. It’s one of those names like Roc-A-Fella, how Jay Z flipped that. It’s one of those powerful American names that people just recognize. Being a young Onassis is literally me saying I want to be a young Onassis: a young baller, a young boss, a young made man. It plays into everything: that entrepreneur, that grind, that young Onassis.
AllHipHop: Your flow on “Rolls Royce Umbrella” is aggressive and fast. When did you realize you could rap like that?
Young Onassis: Honestly, since I was a kid. Any music I was growing up listening to and studying was Twista to Chamillionaire to Bone Thugs. s##t like Jay Z, Mobb Deep, Snoop, just that Southern energy. It naturally came. It’s pretty interesting because I’m a writer, I can be very diverse as well. As I continue to release music, fans will get to hear some of my other styles as well.
AllHipHop: Dream collab?
Young Onassis: [Whistles] RIP Michael Jackson, but it definitely would’ve been him. Now in this space in the hip-hop world what I’m liking… because I like the same energy, Meek. I’d love to collab with Meek Mill. To do something with Hov would be crazy. To collab with Roddy Ricch would be dope. I like Roddy because he’s authentic. Very authentic.
AllHipHop: What can we expect next?
Young Onassis: You could expect a music video for “Rolls Royce Umbrella” coming out soon, that’s going to be crazy. More music as well, another single called “Teppanyaki” coming soon.
AllHipHop: You like Japanese food?
Young Onassis: I do love Japanese food. Harajuku, all that.