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Milwaukee rapper The Oshi aims to build bridges

Milwaukee rapper The Oshi makes turn-up music, so it might be a surprise to learn that she works on it while she's at her most turned down. “I'm a really earthy, spiritual person,” she explains, so her process for writing songs often involves meditating to beats and doing yoga – anything to make the most of her limited creative time. Parents can probably relate: She's a mother and she also runs her own business, a meal prep and juicing company, so she's got to multitask.

In January The Oshi released her latest album, “ Confidential,” a fleet seven tracks of snappy, club-ready rap, including her warm-weather banger “Acting Up,” a single just begging to blare out of car windows all summer. Her flow is distinct – fierce but warm around the edges – and so, too, are her beats, which flirt with R&B and electronic pop. She produces them herself. “You have to be engaged in your sound,” she explains. “You can't rely on others to create that sound for you.”

As much as she loves hip-hop, she's got a soft spot for electronic dance music, too, as well as a love for dance itself. She was a choreographer in high school and college, and sometimes, she says, the moves for her songs come to her as readily as her lyrics.

“Most of the time, my dances are invoked by the feeling of the song,” she says. "I have songs that make me feel like I'm in a disco, songs that make you want to go out somewhere and have fun, but I also have songs for when you want to decompress. I have a lot of songs where you can relate to them emotionally. I'm an artist that evokes emotions with each track.”

It was that shared passion for club music that landed her on the latest single from New Jersey producer R3ll's latest single, “Fantasy,” a strobe-lit come-on of a track released on Steve Aoki's Dim Mak label that was featured on Billboard earlier this month. She plans on more collaborations with that scene. “I love that EDM is so vibrant, so full of connection and love,” she says.

In truth, though, she says she's open to collaborating with just about anybody (so long as they “don't treat people rudely.”) She's especially hoping to build bridges in the Milwaukee music scene. “I want to be able to uplift the music community here,” she says. “I was talking to some creatives and music execs recently, and the one thing we agree on is that the city's music scene is a little separated. I want everybody in the Milwaukee music scene to feel connected; that's how we grow in the music community.”

“I'm trying to break barriers,” she says. “I want to make people who have never even heard of each other collaborate. I really plan on doing that.”

You can stream The Oshi's new album below.