Greg Owens
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Greg Owens

Columbus, Ohio, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2006 | SELF | AFM

Columbus, Ohio, United States | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2006
Solo Hip Hop

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"Popularity 101: Greg Owens"

A Columbus, Ohio native with dance moves that rival Will Smith in his “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” days, Greg Owens (G.O.) is living proof talent knows no age.

At only 18, this Columbia College Chicago student has a résumés including seven mixtapes as well as his record label, Young Nation Entertainment, a business he started at 14-years-old. Possessing the strict work ethic matched with the talent and grace, could G.O. be the future of hip-hop? One thing’s for sure, he’s far from amateur. Music has been running through this budding emcee’s veins since infancy.

“I started making music when I was a baby. I started off playing the drums when I was 2-years-old. I had a little toy drum, but that was when I fell in love with music.”
His love for making music grew into an interest in recoding. “I started recording music was when I was 13. I had been making beats, but I didn’t know what to do with them, so I decided to become a recording artist and make my own music,” he says.

While G.O. regards drumming as his introduction into music, he knew hip-hop was always a genre he wanted to pursue.

“I pretty much grew up around hip-hop. Hip-hop is mainly the voice of the young people, but it’s still for everybody. It’s a lot of conscious rap, gangster rap and conservative rap. It’s very relatable. I wanted to make music that was relatable.”
On track to achieving that relatable quality, School Dayz, G.O.’s seventh mixtape, allows the listener to experience the diversity of his skills. His producing talents are highlighted through songs such as “Popular,” while his verbal skills are showcased on songs such as “6 Foot 7 Foot.” He also notes that songs “Graduation” and “Prom Night” “truly came from the heart.”

Known around Columbia’s campus as “Mr. Popular,” G.O. hopes “to be a positive influence, not only musically, but as a person.” Continuing to ride high of the success of his seventh mixtape, School Dayz, an ode to his high school years, G.O. released the video last month to his latest single “Popular” (which samples the song of the same name from the Broadway musical Wicked). Featuring Bianca Portis, the video has racked up over 2,500 vies since it’s release.

When asked what motivates him, G.O. summed it up by saying he is motivated by watching others do their work well. “As an artist and producer, you’re always learning from other producers and artists,” G.O says. “I actually like going behind the scenes, and I listen a lot, I learn a lot and I put it into my work.”

G.O. will release his eighth mixtape, The G Files Vol. II at the top of next year. - Pop 'stache


"Greg Owens - AEMMP Hip Hop Interview"

Today we continue our collaboration with Columbia College’s AEMMP Hip Hop, which is a completely student run record label. Each week they select one Columbia College student to profile as their featured artist of the week. This week they send us Greg Owens, who took some inspiration from Will Smith and turned into a burgeoning career as a rapper and producer. Check it out below.

RubyHornet: What was your first experience with Hip Hop music?

Greg Owens: My first experience with Hip Hop was probably when I was in elementary school. Back in the day I was only allowed to listen to gospel or clean music. But I remember my mom getting me Will Smith’s Willennium album, and I use to bump that CD all the time (still til this day.) I became a big Will Smith fanatic and would get all of his CD’s when they came out. He’s one of the reason why I make music and also the reason why I don’t curse that much in my music.

RubyHornet: At what point did you start making music?

Greg Owens: Well, I’ve been playing the drums since the age of two, so that kind of started it off. As far as recording music, I started back in ’06 when I was 13. I got this program called Music Maker 10, because at the time I didn’t know where to get instrumentals, so I just started making my own beats. I remember at first recording on a distorted web cam (the struggle haha). Since then I’ve been at it non-stop recording and producing for myself and other artist as well.

RubyHornet: What’s it like balancing college studies with your music career?

Greg Owens: To be honest, it sucks. I don’t think people understand what it’s like to try to balance school and your music career. That’s when the word prioritizing comes in to play. My parents are both educators so both of them (especially my dad) preach about handling my business in school first, and then everything else after. I tend to put music first the majority of the time, but I also remember that almost $40,000 is being invested into a school year.

RubyHornet: What does Columbia give you as far as being an artist?

Greg Owens: Columbia is definitely a great place to network. I’ve met so many talented hip hop artist, singers, videographers, dancers, etc. You pretty much can build a team with people that are in different fields just by attending Columbia. I also got a chance to meet and chop it up with people who are in, or were in, the music industry. You also get to run into people outside of Columbia, especially the rising artists here in Chicago. So from that aspect, the $40,000 is worth it.

RubyHornet: For anyone new checking this article out, what are three things you want them to know about you?

Greg Owens: First, I am a musician, music producer, song writer and recording artist. Right now I’m working on my 10th project Young, Black and Gifted, which should be out early next year. I feel like this project will be “the one.” If any artist needs any production or just wants to collab, don’t be afraid to contact me. Last but not least, visit my website at gregowensmusic.net, follow me on Twitter @gregowens614 and hit me up on facebook as well. Thanks to RubyHornet and AEMMP Records for the opportunity. - RubyHornet


"Standing room only at Columbia's Got Talent"

Stage Two, in the 618 S. Michigan Ave. Building, reached capacity on April 22 as performers took to the spotlight for Columbia’s Got Talent, an annual talent competition hosted by the Columbia Urban Music Association.
This year marked the first time the event has followed an award show format, said Greg Owens, a senior business & entrepreneurship student, vice president of CUMA and winner of CGT’s Best Original Song award. The event served as a fundraiser for the Kamoinge-Ferman Scholarship, which was established by the Humanities, History & Social Sciences Department to help finance international travel associated with African or African-American Studies research projects, he said.
CGT is an opportunity for artists from all majors and disciplines to showcase their work, Owens said, adding that CGT gives students who otherwise might go unnoticed the opportunity to be acknowledged for their contributions to Columbia’s artistic community.
“You also get to see students who other people may not have heard of yet,” Owens said. “If that student wins an award, they may be able to network with other people, both from Columbia and outside of Columbia.”
The show honored nominees and winners in 11 categories, including Best Live Performer, Best Original Song and Best Actor or Actress. Owens said friends and family nominated students for the awards. People were then voted for the winners before the show via online survey in the weeks leading up to the show.
“I didn’t know anybody had nominated me, so that’s really when it hit me,” said Shenise Brown, a junior interdisciplinary arts major who won the award for Best Actor or Actress. “I’m just so humbled and thankful. It means that I’ve been chosen to entertain and people are recognizing that. It feels great.”
Along with the award, winners in each category received prizes geared toward helping them advance their career in their chosen industry. Various sponsors, including Classick Studios, Level-Up! Magazine, Sunrai Consulting Group and Party Gone Wild, provided prizes such as free studio time and brand consulting.
Hosted by Vicki Street, a senior journalism major who also received the Best Host award for her work on “The Vicki Street Show”—a talk show on Columbia’s Frequency TV station-—CGT featured a variety of acts, including vocalist Jet, a sophomore cinema art + science major who won the Audience Favorite award.
“[Students] need to keep pushing and make the best experience that we can at Columbia and be thankful for everything that we’re doing right now,” said Jameel Bridgewater, a senior business & entrepreneurship major who won the award for Best Visual Designer. “It means a lot, and when we graduate, we won’t have it.”
Other winners included China Orr, a freshman dance major, for Best Newcomer; Dedrick Gray, a senior marketing major, for Best Choreographer or Dancer; Amanda Charles, a junior creative writing major, for Photographer of the Year; OBY, a JazzHop band, for Best Live Performer; “Angry Black Woman” by performance group WordPlay for Best Video; and Kyle Shawn, a junior journalism major, for Music Artist of the Year.
“It’s important to recognize not just those who do things constantly, but to give an opportunity to those who are not able to be recognized or know how to be recognized,” Brown said. “There are some people who are just quiet storms, who walk around campus and we don’t even know the talent that’s built inside of them. The fact that we’re able to showcase them, I think it’s a beautiful thing.” - Columbia Chronicle


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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