Rising mother-daughter duo O.N.E. may still be an unfamiliar name in country music, but in hip hop, these two artists are already well-known. The band consists of Tekitha Washington, who served as the in-house female vocalist for rap giants Wu-Tang Clan during much of the late ’90s and early 2000s, and Prana Supreme Diggs, the young adult daughter Washington shares with Wu-Tang frontman RZA.
As they walked the 2022 CMA Awards carpet in November, the two singers spoke to Taste of Country about how their unique entry point into the country genre allows them extra freedom in their new career as a duo.
“I think my background with Wu-Tang Clan and within hip hop music allows me a different vantage point of how I’m approaching all music genres,” reflected Washington, whose 25 years of experience in the music business gives her a solid grasp on the workings of the industry while still allowing for a fresh perspective on country music.
“It also, I think, kind of gives us this foundation of no fear,” she continues. “A lot of freedom in how we approach the music, but we’re not locked into anything. We appreciate country and appreciate the genre, but we also are not afraid to give it some of us: The essence of who we are.”
Part of the artistry they learned from the hip hop world is coming with them into their new country career, Washington points out.
“I think hip hop music is a fearless genre of music itself, and is something that we are proud to represent here, in a country space. It’s really important to us,” she adds.
Now, the duo is at work on a full project, and they’ve enjoyed embracing some of country’s signature elements: Mandolin, pedal steel guitar and fiddle, “which is Mom’s favorite, hands down,” Diggs explains.
“So we love to experiment, try new things, and we were fortunate enough to work with songwriters and producers that also are open to experimenting within the country space,” the younger member of the duo goes on to say.
They worked with some titans of Nashville’s music industry: Brett Maher produced four songs on O.N.E.’s upcoming album, and Nash Overstreet — son of Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Paul Overstreet — handled a few more. Songwriters Hall of Famer John Bettis is a co-writer on the album, as is Shane Stevens, a songwriter who has worked with Carrie Underwood, Lady A and Walker Hayes.
“You’re gonna get country,” Washington promises, “but you’re gonna get this bright, fresh take on country. That’s what Prana and I are bringing to the table.”
“It’s definitely country and it’s definitely genre-bending,” Diggs agrees. “We’re hoping that people listen to that album, and they’ll walk away with an expanded definition of what country is.”
New music is due out from the duo in the Spring of 2023, but O.N.E. have already offered a taste of what’s to come, including their take on a classic country trope — the murder ballad — with their song, “Guilty.”
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