The goddess Oshun is a symbol for femininity, love and fertility, material wealth and is the patron saint of rivers and bodies of water. It is not very surprising that Thandiwe and Niambi Sala have chosen her name for their joined venture in music. As the duo OSHUN, they create art in a spiritual sense: they are titled the “Nubian Mafia With a Message of Peace” by Complex Magazine and the Washington Post praises their shows as a “healing affair”. OSHUN themself draw on similar pictures: The ladies from Washington D.C. Describe themself as “the new goddesses on the block” and they are representing afro-futurism perfectly with their acoustic and electronic tunes and their mix-up of rap and soul. They describe their self-made genre as “Iya-Sol”. The duo’s music videos are an audiovisual synthesis of the arts, their musical style lies somewhere in between Lauryn Hill and Daft Punk, hippie sunflowers and alien contact lenses.
Niambi Sala and Thandiwe met at the end of their time in high school when both got the “Martin Luther King” scholarship of NYU. Mutual interests and the same questions for life were the binding material for both artists then. “It was all grounded in us coming into ourselves as women “, Namibia reflects in an interview with Vice Revue. Which means both artists share common ground early on: Female Empowerment, Sisterhood and coming into one’s own and of course the celebration of their African roots. The perfect means of transportation was discovered in the following winter which Niambi and Thwandie spent in their student housing in New York: It had to be music, together under the name OSHUN. And what began with a few releases on YouTube and SoundCloud and Dilla-Beats quickly turned in to a sound concept of its own. In 2015 they put this concept on their debut mixtape “ASASE YAA” and immediately blew up their international fan base. Collaboration with Jorja Smith amongst others, as well as the first full album release in 2019 connected directly to OSHUN’s story of success. Both musicians do still see themself as activists and revolutionary first and foremost – and hip hop and soul are their weapons. Bow to these goddesses!