Local Artist Feature : Onyx Walker
“I’ve always been inspired by people’s drive to push their talent forward.”
This was Onyx Walker’s answer when asked what inspires him to pursue a music career. After a thoughtful pause, he continued, citing a few of his favorite artists that embodied that idea. “Kehlani. Definitely. She was homeless, but she didn’t let that stop her from working towards her dream and now she’s at the beginning of something great.”
Onyx considers himself someone who embodies that same insatiable desire for greatness. Since the age of twelve, Onyx has known that music was going to be a part of his life. Initially thinking about a career in singing, the budding musician quickly realized that if he wanted to make a career using his voice, it wasn’t going to happen without hard work. After years of training his vocal chords, and a brief venture into rapping, the artist now uses both mediums to create his art and spread his talent.
Born in New York to Jamaican immigrants, Onyx continuously strives to make his family proud, while maintaining his own self-esteem when things get hard. His mother is one of his biggest supports along with his uncle, Michael. “Whenever I’m going through something, my uncle is there for me and will analyze my situation. I appreciate what he does for me.” He also turns to his friends for support, especially Austin, a friend since high school and one of Onyx’s biggest sources of encouragement.
“The hardest part about being a musician is finding like-minded people to work with,” he says. He thanks his friends and his family for their support throughout his journey and is glad that he has found like-minded collaborators to help make his dream a reality.
While Onyx’s ultimate career goals in the music industry make him fascinating, what’s even more intriguing about the aspiring musician is what he does outside of the studio. In addition to his music career, Onyx devotes his time to empowering young people as the Co-Organizer of Youth Development at Future of Tomorrow, a youth-led organization based in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn that is committed to improving New York’s public education system. Future of Tomorrow is a member of the Urban Youth Collaborative, a coalition of community-based youth advocacy groups from across NYC that fights to end the school-to-prison pipeline and promote educational equity for all students.
As a youth organizer, Onyx interacts with talented young people every day and he works to ensure that young people have spaces to develop their own ideas and thoughts about their futures. On a recent trip to Philadelphia, Onyx talked to youth organizers about their passions and was disheartened by what he saw.
“These kids had so much talent, but they didn’t show it. They were afraid to showcase who they were because it didn’t fit the traditional picture.” His advice to those young people and for any young person who is struggling to break free from society’s expectations is to be true to yourself.
“If you want to sing about something, do it! You can achieve anything you want as long as you’re willing to do proper research and prepare yourself with knowledge.” He went on to add, “Success doesn’t happen overnight, but with hard work, anything is possible.”
Onyx’s message of working hard and persevering through life’s challenges resonates with us at the Rockaway Advocate. We look forward to watching his career grow. Check out Onyx’s next performance on Tuesday, May 15th at the King of the Cypher event in Newark, New Jersey. You can also follow him on Instagram at @ouranosalmighty and on Soundcloud at TheOfficialOnyx.