I am probably the strongest gay, male feminist you will ever meet, as strange as that might sound. So when I came across a big-bootied white girl talking shit about body image and singing an anthem for female empowerment alongside a rapper with an added male perspective, I knew I was going to become a huge fan.
OCAD is a duet made up of Olivia Cipolla and Arie Dixon, two of the most down to earth and driven people you will ever come across. They both bring different backgrounds to the group, which is part of what makes them so appealing. I was lucky enough to speak with them about their viral track, “Muse,” and its sassy counterpart, “Too Much.”
On “Muse” and its unexpected success.
Cipolla: We both talked about the concept of woman empowerment and the different aspects of how a woman can view it and how a man can view it. Then bringing that into a concept piece and artistically showing it in a different way visually. We want to speak for the unspoken and talk about, quote unquote, our flaws in a way that we can embrace them and not feel like they are flaws. They are what makes us individual as human beings. We didn’t know how far it would go and how viral it would get, with dancers making up their own dances to it and stuff. But we definitely knew that we wanted it to be about empowerment.
Dixon: We were, like, there is no reason to fight this, this is definitely our first single. Let’s just shoot the video from there on out. It’s kind of been snowballing from there. It’s been really shocking and really exciting at the same time.
On their booty-based track “Too Much.”
D: It’s about women embracing their curves. At least from a guy’s standpoint. I don’t know too many men who really want or like the women that the media tries to sell to us. I think the media likes to airbrush and tell people they need to look a certain way. When in reality a real woman has an actual body. I think it’s a beautiful thing to stand up for that, embrace that, and encourage people not to feel insecure because you think that you don’t look like the girl on the magazine cover. Everyone is beautiful in their own right. That is the message that we wanted to give off in our own playful way.
C: It kind of stemmed from us just having a conversation. I was coming from a dance thing and I was feeling really crazy because the costume was nonexistent and we were talking about how ridiculous I felt. That kind of stemmed into a conversation of something that we wanted to talk about. It’s just about embracing who you are and finding your power. It’s even for my fucking fierce guy friends that just wanna put on some heels and be like “I feel this way too!”
On working together.
D: It’s kind of a long story, but long story short: Before this, Olivia was a commercial dancer and she was a commercial dancer her entire life and we originally met a few years prior because we hired her and a few other dancers to dance for a gig that we were doing. Needless to say, they were too professional and we couldn’t afford them anymore so we had to let them go. So that was originally how we met.
Fast forward about two years after that. We ran into each other out in LA. When you are from New York and you see people from New York in L.A, you are, like, “Give me your number now!” Long story short, we just built this creative relationship and started working on each other’s projects with each other. Then we were just, like, “Why don’t we just do a joint collaboration project with each other,” which embarked on the Truth album, which is the first album we came out with.
The rest is kind of history. We were kind of creating something that we didn’t know what it was. It was kind of our Facebook, it was really cool. Now we have OCAD.
It was definitely a total surprise. We didn’t even plan on it. We didn’t even know each other’s interests as far as music and our complete talents that we now know. It was just straight out of chance and a beautiful thing.
C: I think the biggest thing that we have learned from each other is that we come from two completely different backgrounds. We are two different people. We see the world differently and we are treated differently. We have experienced differently. What is so beautiful about what we do and what has pushed us to get to this point is that we challenge each other. And it’s been forcing us to grow musically as people and as artists. We support each other to try new things and grow in the studio and then take that to the stage. It’s really exciting because I wouldn’t have gone as far as I have gone without his ideas of trying new things and vice versa. It’s really exciting because we don’t know what’s next, and there is so much to try.
He raps, he produced, but I did opera. He’s from upstate and I’m a city girl. So there’s just so many different things.
OCAD is currently working on a new album with the release date soon to be announced. You can follow them on their journey, below.