OBY ready to dominate center stage


Courtesy photo/Isaiah Oby

Isaiah Oby, a senior music major, and his band OBY, will perform for the first time this school year on Sept. 30 at Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave. 


Three students and an upcoming Chicago artist are ready to hit the stage Sept. 30 at the Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave., for a night filled with collaborations and funky new sounds.

Music Garage, a rehearsal facility and event space, and Provsounds, a production company owned by Prov Krivoshey, a senior business & entrepreneurship major, began organizing the event in mid-August. They selected the band OBY, a “jazz-hop” band led by Isaiah Oby, a senior music major, to perform along with solo performances by his classmates Rebecca Brunner and Rocky Jones, junior music majors, and Seb Torgus, a junior media communications major at DePaul University.

“It is always an honor when someone asks us to perform and definitely an honor when someone asks us to headline,” Oby said.

Oby said that at this time last year, his band was performing two to three shows every week, which he said was exhausting. At the beginning of the summer of 2015, the band made a collective decision to take a break from performing to focus on perfecting its craft and live show expertise, he said, adding that this event will be the band’s first performance  since July 2015.

“We made sure to not book any gigs before this so we could build up the hype and get as many people [as possible],” Oby said. “[We also wanted to] write as many songs as possible and make some really cool and weird stuff for it.”

Oby said working with other students is always a good experience because everyone pulls on each others’ strengths and understands one another.

“You don’t have to do a lot of searching [to find someone talented],” Oby said. “You can just throw a rock, and you will hit someone talented. That is something cool [about Columbia].”

The performance is not sponsored by the college, but Oby said events like this one demonstrate how hard students work and how often they book performances.

Brunner, one of OBY’s vocalists and solo performer, said she is excited because it is her first performance of the school year.

“Performing is my passion, so I am always excited—small gig, big gig—I am always excited to be on stage performing,” Brunner said. “You never know what the crowd is going to be like or what is going to happen during the show.”

Torgus, punk hip-hop lead vocalist, said he has been making music for two years, but this is the first time he is performing with a live band.

“I am not afraid to push boundaries and do things that are different than what everyone else is doing,” Torgus said. 

For this show, Torgus said he has new music and will be putting a visually theatrical twist to it.

Torgus said he performed with OBY a year ago. He first heard them at Columbia’s Biggest Mouth in 2014 and thought their sound was “funky and cool.”

“I am really looking forward to playing again with [OBY],” Torgus said. “I have definitely heard a lot of the other artists’ music and I really like them. Overall, it should be a really cool show with good vibes.”