Influenced by Brockhampton, Jay-Z, Billie Eilish and Pharrell Williams, the 23-year-old Northern Irish hip-hop newcomer USNA has shown his world class potential within his first few releases. His debut track ‘BOO’ (featuring Santino Browne) was named as BBC Introducing’s Track of the Week, earned Radio 1 airplay from Gemma Bradley and Jack Saunders, and featured in the Netflix drama ‘One Of Us Is Lying’. Subsequent singles ‘HELL YEAH’, ‘LIKE IT LIKE THAT’ and ‘THEY’RE RIGHT’ continued his support at Radio 1, leading to a set at last year’s Big Weekend in Coventry. Watch the performance HERE.
Now USNA places his first real footstep into the music industry as he today drops his debut mixtape ‘OOSHNA’. It is released alongside his new single ‘SYMPATHY’. Listen HERE.
If you’re new to USNA’s world, ‘SYMPATHY’ is a massive introduction. His energy and force of charisma bursts through every moment, as USNA creates an effervescent rush of hyperpop synths, free-flowing hip-hop rhymes, and battering drum ‘n’ bass rhythms. Solely produced and written by USNA, ‘Sympathy’ is a feverish, feel good sound which he contrasts with lyrics which openly unmask his inner insecurities.
USNA says, “The song talks about my struggle to open up about issues to other people and how I use music as my way to heal. It starts with romantic relationships breaking down, and later talks about having friends die, an absent father, bad birthdays and online insecurity. The song is used as a platform to unload everything I could possibly need sympathy for and replying, ‘I don’t need no sympathy.’”
The ‘OOSHNA’ mixtape compiles all of USNA’s singles to date, along with ‘SYMPATHY’ and three other new tracks. Written between 2019 and 2022, it demonstrates his growth as an artist over that time and leaps across genres, taking in hip-hop, punk, drum ‘n’ bass, alt-pop and a whole lot more. Even the title is a reflection of his identity. As people discovered his music, so many people mispronounced his unusual Irish name. So by naming the mixtape ‘OOSHNA’ he is also giving people its correct phonetic pronunciation.