If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that growth and innovation are key to finding solutions and what a better way to bring resolve than through music. Entrepreneur and San Diego native Steven Ozbun is doing just that with OzMusicNation.
Ozbun grew up in San Diego’s “mixed bag of cultures” listening to rap with his older sister which allowed him to discover his love for music. “I used to borrow my sister’s music, without her knowing. She was older than me so she had access to music that I wasn’t able to listen to because it had explicit lyrics,” Ozbun said.
“I would borrow her mix tapes and they would have Slick Rick, Eazy-E, Too $hort, and Snoop Dogg. I would make copies of them for myself and listen to them with my friends.“
Steven shares that music has been there for him and has helped him “get through good times, bad times, and everywhere in between.” His goal is to put out music for everyone to relate to and can move through whether on the dance floor or just your everyday life.
“Lately, music has been intersecting a lot with my sunglasses brand, Trading Looks. Too $hort just wore several pairs, and we’re creating a special custom pair for him. The hip-hop artists are really liking the sunglasses too.
Tell me about your earliest musical inspirations! Definitely Prince. I used to borrow my sister’s music, without her knowing. She was older than me so she had access to music that I wasn’t able to listen to because it had explicit lyrics. I would borrow her mixtapes and they would have Slick Rick, Eazy-E, Too $hort, and Snoop Dogg. I would make copies of them for myself and listen to them with my friends. In the house, my parents always had music on and they would listen to Elvis and Cher.
I also grew up listening to house music such as DJ Irene in the 90s. As I listened to music growing up, the analytical side of my brain would count beats and I would visualize rhyming words, which is what made me want to combine rap music with the soulfulness of house music.
As an entrepreneur and music producer, where do you draw motivation from? Thinking back at how music would get me through good times, bad times, and everywhere in between. To put music out there that everyone can relate to, either on the dance floor or through their day, is what motivates me.
Lately, music has been intersecting a lot with my sunglasses brand, Trading Looks. Too $hort just wore several pairs, and we’re creating a special custom pair for him. The hip-hop artists are really liking the sunglasses too.
How has living in San Diego inspired your musical tastes? I recently moved to Oregon’s wine country. It’s my peaceful retreat. San Diego did play a part in it because it’s obviously where I grew up and it’s a mixed bag of cultures.
What’s your philosophy in life? Not to spend so much time contemplating and spend more time creating. I know a lot of people always talk about what they want to do but they don’t have an action plan or do anything. I push the limits and take risks, especially when it comes to music.
When I first started mixing rap music with house music, it always sounded off-beat and I took a brief pause from creating. When I returned to making more music, it was easier to blend both genres because of the new technology we have now.
Tell me about this new virtual reality software you’ve been developing, Virtuavision™. Virtuavision™ is a virtual reality software that will only require a VR headset and a phone. The software will allow users to experience concerts from the comfort of their own homes, enriching their listening experience. Right now, we are about to begin the user testing phase.
You have a song with Snoop Dogg coming out. What is the story behind this collaboration, and can you tell me more about the song? The song combines nostalgic vibes and EDM with rap lyrics. It’s a very special project that was possible all through networking.
Do you have any dream collaborations? Too $hort, E-40, Ice Cube are the big ones. Basically the legendary hip hop artists. Also Green Velvet.
What’s next for you? Any plans on releasing an album or more singles? I recently released “I’d Rather Be Broke” and “Pay My Bills.” I’ll be releasing one song a week in the next few months, and a full album in late July on all streaming platforms.
“I’d Rather Be Broke” just aired on Puls FM Borås 104.1 and 91.9, two major radio stations in Sweden. It started playing on June 14 and they signed a contract to play it 100,000 times.
The definition of Contrast is ‘to be strikingly different.’ What makes you strikingly different? It’s the blend of hip-hop and house music. I’m creating my own genre.