Oisin Daly, of XuluProphet, is a man of many talents. When he is not dee-jaying, shredding guitar, or producing in Savannah, you might find him in his native Ireland performing at music festivals. Here, he talks about his first destructive musical memory, how he got his DJ name, plenty of upcoming projects, and much more.
What are some of your earliest musical memories?
Growing up in Ireland my parents ran a pub and were big supporters of traditional Irish music, once an inquisitive toddler I came down in the morning after a late session and dismantled a well known accordion players instrument, and in a panic, threw the parts in the fire haha, luckily he forgave me. I also got exposed to a lot of flamenco guitar playing in Spain. What really stands out is the first time I heard my Dad play a Rory Gallagher record, then it was always gonna be electric guitar for me. My older brothers introduced me to playing guitar then a bit later when I had the patience to learn and started with Nirvana, etc.
I still mostly do it for the love, I’m not your guy for a top 40 club.
Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Too many to mention, but Rory Gallagher and Jim Hendrix were my main lead guitar heroes in the early years but as I diversified I would have to mention Radiohead for sure, DJ Shadow and Portishead first were what pulled me towards more electronically made music and as I went further down the rabbit hole artists like Leftfield and Fourtet were big influences, but like I said, far too many to accurately recount.
How did you get into DJ’ing?
I have been producing far longer than DJ’ing, I dabbled with a copy of Cool Edit pro and would record through a webcam mic and mix primitive tracks while in high school, then in College I studied Music tech and got exposed to Studios, Pro Tools etc but when someone first showed me Ableton Live I really got into making beats and electronic music. Then Getting into DJ’ing was a natural progression from there, I’d actually never DJ’d in a club or bar until I came to Savannah but I quickly realized it was something I enjoyed and eventually could start making money from, but I still mostly do it for the love, I’m not your guy for a top 40 club, haha.
So we started busking together and trying to find some gigs for money under the table …
What are some of your favorite venues in the Savannah area?
The Wormhole and Barrelhouse South have always been good to us, and credit to the Jinx and El Rocko for advocating for original and indie music amid the chaos of downtown Savannah. Not sure if it counts as Savannah but we always love playing at Huc a Poos on Tybee. Last but not least Victory North has been a huge boon to the local scene, finally having a proper venue is really putting Savannah on the map.
What were some of your favorite performances ever in Savannah?
Getting to open for The Wailers at Stage on Bay was an unforgettable night even if the venue was doing its best to fail. So many great nights all around town but getting to play at Victory North for the first time the other day was fantastic. We also play a really fun semi private festival just outside of town every year that’s always a blast. As for Dj’ing it was great to book and play with DJ Dara for his final tour at The Wormhole, a fellow Irishman who made huge waves in the US Drum and Bass Community.
How did you link up with XuluProphet?
I met him while I was running sound at The Wormhole, he had previously met my wife Vanessa when they were busking/selling art on River st. He was homeless and I was technically undocumented (but not illegal just couldn’t work) so we started busking together and trying to find some gigs for money under the table and through the open jam night I was helping at we met many musicians and added a drummer and it just snowballed from there.
They passed the joint back and forth for a while spouting out words and one uttered … Obamabo
What are you most proud of in your personal life or musical career?
That’s a tricky one because it’s a long road and I’m young yet haha, I guess I’d have to say being able to go back to Ireland and play big festival stages always means a lot…. over here being able to get my band on big stages and winning over new fans and being able to travel regularly is something, considering our humble beginnings!!! Also with LCO it has been a rocky road, but providing a haven for non commercial electronic music lovers has always been an important objective, and I’m always happy when the dance floor is popping off.
What does your DJ name Obamabo mean?
Haha…. ok. Pull up a chair, this’ll take a second. The year was 2008, The economy had just tanked and a plucky young African american senator from Chicago was making waves in the Democratic primaries. Somewhere on the East Side of Vancouver a couple of 21 yr old Irish guys had just completed a 20 minute post electro rock masterpiece that they were excited to upload to MySpace… but they needed a name, they passed the joint back and forth for a while spouting out words and one uttered… Obamabo… he laughed, they all laughed, it stuck. Haha, It’s actually a reference to an old Simpsons episode, Sax-0-mo-phone, Vio-mo-lin, Tuba-ma-ba, Oboe-ma-bo. I actually sampled the exact quote in an old track I will put the link below. Of course it’s also a Palindrome but I don’t know If I even realized it at the time https://obamabo.bandcamp.com/track/learning-disabilities
After 11 years I feel need to move on from Obamabo, too many people think it’s politically affiliated, when it was really just a stoner joke, but hey that’s America.
Your thoughts on the current state of the Savannah music scene?
Promising, As aforementioned, Victory North is a huge boon, as well as a few new venues and the fact that Starland district is coming into it’s own as a viable alternative from the over saturated downtown scene. There has never been a shortage of talent here, but as in any small city the gatekeepers have been hard at work keeping the status quo, but a little birdie tells me that won’t last much longer.
Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like to mention?
I am finishing up a new EP for Colonial FX (my dub/reggae related alias) that will be coming out on Boom One Records next year, Based out of NC they have been a great help to me releasing my music since I moved here, XuluProphet had a release with them too. I’m also finishing up mixing a studio version of a XuluProphet track and will be working on a video for that too. Long term I’m working on a new project/alias called Oceanman, not saying goodbye forever but after 11 years I feel need to move on from Obamabo, too many people think it’s politically affiliated, when it was really just a stoner joke, but hey that’s America.