DON’T FORGET TO READ OVIE’S
FULL EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH NSR!
Soul Mates! Can I just say y’all look so good right now reading this article it’s making my heart smile. I always ask artists what music means to them, but to me? It’s such a universal language that everybody seems to understand no matter the language barriers or genres. The vibe is always understood. So when Universal Ireland asked us to do an interview for their up and coming artist Ovie, you already know I had to jump at the chance to put y’all on!
Ovie is a singer, songwriter and videographer who’s music blends in with Caribbean style beats and laid back R&B lyrics. His two singles ‘Dublin Girl’ and ‘One More Time’ get you pumped and wanting to whined ya waist, even if COVID shut down all the clubs and parties. You could blast his music in your living room and have a party with your dog if you felt it in your spirit to do so. Now, y’all know I have such a weakness for music that makes me day-dream about the club, so when I tell you it’s giving party vibes, you can take my word for it. ‘One More Time’ is my all time favorite song of his, hands down. I love everything about it. During our interview, he explained that the song was a juxtaposition, which meant putting two totally opposite elements together to make this extraordinary sandwich of different layers and textures. It’s a happy/sad song. The story line and lyrics are telling a sad story, but the music makes you wanna still dance and enjoy life, even if that literally means dancing the pain away. He explained during our interview how he wanted to do something different. “Why does every sad song need to be slow? Why can’t it be fast and make you want to turn up in the process?”. His music just fills the room up so much, it’s like all you have space for is Ovie and his musical creations.
He is just a super chill guy who shares the same passion for music as I do. And of course as soon as he mentioned he loves fashion we had to dive into a whole topic about that. He mentioned that Dolce is his favorite designer of all time, gushing about how, “Dolce was one of the earliest, for me, to do their own thing with street wear and stuff . . . Also the way they do their sneakers . . . They’re not jut following a trend, you know?”. Then he explained how when he gets the chance to design his own line (because we only manifest things that will happen here), he would without a doubt create his very own sneaker brand designs. Along with fashion talk, we also had a chance to chat about his love for film and how involved he gets when directing his own music videos. For ‘One More Time’, he broke down the choice of color contrasts between different scenes to differentiate between the happy moments and the sad ones. It’s the attention to detail for me.
Then of course we couldn’t avoid the topic of the COVID-19 Pandemic. For him, it was like a slap in the face at the beginning. Having all these plans for travel and creating music and then all of a sudden everything got cut off. He mentioned how he got really down and he hadn’t realized it was because he wasn’t involved in that creative side of himself for six weeks due to lockdown. “I did a lot of research and it said ‘find something creative to do’ and I was like, ok I might as well record some music cause ya know, that’s what I do. And then literally within four hours, I was fine . . . I have to write [and create] to stay sane”. I think with the pandemic, so many creatives felt that shock of sadness and almost a sense of loss. To be so immersed in all those incredible things that involved being in crowds and working in groups and then having to literally be by yourself all the time was painful. It taught me that things like music, dancing or just creative activities in general can really make a huge difference.
WHEW! Guys I’m emotional, everybody calm down.
No but for real, just picking Ovie’s brain on his creative processes, his belief system in just going with the flow and allowing himself to genuinely have fun with his music and learning about his dreams for his own future was hella inspirational for me. It felt like I was having one of those catch-up conversations with a good friend after not seeing them for a long time. Then playing both his songs this morning while I was waking up and getting ready to start my day just put me in an even better mood because that’s just what his music does.
I tried getting y’all the exclusive scoop on when he was releasing his next project. He revealed that he was going to be dedicating these next few months towards the creation and release of his first debut EP, so don’t forget to check out Ovie and his two singles ‘Dublin Girl’ and ‘One More Time’ on all streaming platforms so you can be up to date before his next drop! You already know I only put y’all onto the best.
EXCLUSIVE NSR INTERVIEW
1. What got you started with music? What fuels your passion for what you do? OVIE: I used to find this question so hard to answer until the pandemic. It turns out I have to do it. If I am not creating, I get depressed! So yeah that’s it. I have to be creative, and obviously music is my creative outlet, and film as well. But yeah! During the lockdown I wasn’t able to do much of anything else and I got really down and I couldn’t understand why. And then I did a lot of research and it says “find something creative to do” and I was like, ok I might as well record some music cause, ya know, that’s what I do. And then like literally within four hours, I was fine. I was in such a bad mood for like six weeks . . . So yeah, I have to write [and create] to stay sane.
2. Do you feel like COVID has affected your artistic development in a positive or negative way? What are some things you’ve learned during quarantine? Skills you’ve gained, monumental realizations you’ve come across, etc? OVIE: I think it’s positive. Because like I said, at the start of the pandemic, I was just sitting there because I had a whole bunch of trips planned before the pandemic. And then we had lock down, so everything had to be canceled. That was so weird for me. Because what happened was once I started writing again, I had the chance to almost like, experiment because there was no expectations at this point. No one was expecting anything. So I just sat there and wrote whatever I felt like. I didn’t plan on releasing any of these things. It was just to write something. I wouldn’t say I found out exactly who I am because I’m still growing, but I gained a lot more steps towards figuring out who I am. But basically I got to know myself a lot better than I did before the pandemic hit, you know what I mean? So with the new music I wrote, I was a lot more honest with myself than I had been prior to this. I realized because, you know, I’m a writer. Sometimes you can write from other people’s perspectives and you can write songs that aren’t necessarily for yourself. I learned exactly which ones are for me and which ones I should give away. I couldn’t do that before the pandemic. I struggled a lot of times before that. I would write these song and think “oh this is a great song”... but is it me?".
Do you write songs for other artists as well? Well yeah, I do. It’s not a thing that I’ve always done, but it is something that I’ve started. For every song I’ve written I would say, “yeah that’s my single” and then I learned that every song doesn’t need to be for me. So songwriting for other people is a thing I’m going into now. If I got the opportunity to write for or with certain people, that would really be a dream come true. I don’t think I’m quite ready yet to be like “yo, let’s write a song together” haha.
3. Tell me the story behind your song ‘One More Time’. Were there any memorable moments during the creation process? OVIE: Yeah. Ok when you listen to the song, without the beat just what I’m singing, it’s actually a slow song. I wrote a slow, sad song. But the problem is, when I was writing it, the vibe just sounded nicer when it was upbeat. But it’s supposed to be a sad song, right? And I remember sitting there trying my best to make it into this slow thing and it just wasn’t working. And then I had this moment like wait. Why can’t I be at the club on the dance floor, sad but still turning up? So basically I decided it was gonna have a club track and I’ll be sad but I’ll still dance. So I remember calling the producer and beat boxing what I had in mind and he was like “Ok Ovie this is gonna sound crazy”!
Can you explain what you mean by a juxtaposition? Haha ok, juxtaposition. This is the only thing I learned in art class back when I was in school. My art teacher is gonna be very proud of me when she hears me saying things about juxtaposition! So basically it’s when you put two opposite things side by side to create contrast. So let’s say you put two colors like the color red and then the color orange side by side, that would be a color contrast (gosh I sound like such a nerd). But yeah it’s putting two opposite things side by side to create the ultimate contrast. So like a sad song with sad lyrics next to a happy beat is the contrast between happy and sad, do you get what I mean? Even in the music video: in my scenes the colors are super dark and muted. And then in the girl’s side, it’s all vibrant and she’s dancing. So I wanted to contrast that with my not so happy life.
4. I heard you love fashion!! You mentioned before that your favorite designer brand is Dolce. What about the brand do you love? OVIE: Out of all the high end designers, because most of them are jumping on that wave of street wear and stuff, but Dolce is one of the earliest for me where previously high end fashion brands were targeted more towards formal wear fashion, where as now you can go into the Gucci store and it’s like jesus, this is stuff I could actually wear because they were emulating street wear. But Dolce was one of the first ones to do it. Also the way they do their sneakers. It’s almost like they understand, they’re not just following a trend, do you know what I mean? Most of my sneakers are Dolce, and I try explaining this to my Instagram followers because they’re always like “man this guy keeps buying the same shoe” and I’m like no it isn’t! This is not the same shoe haha. Their stuff is also just so comfy. Dolce is just one of the first ones to, in my opinion, start trends. You have off white too but that was always a street wear brand anyway. But now all the other brands like Dior are doing it too but, I like that Dolce does their own thing.
Would you ever be interested in creating your own line of clothing? OVIE: If that day came, hell yes. Oh my god yes, that would be, ugh. I would most likely design sneakers. Then probably I’ll branch out from there.
What are some underground fashion designers or stores that you like that you’d recommend? Young War. He’s an Irish designer. Their stuff is so fire. I worked with them before a few years ago and the stuff that I see on their Instagram and their website and stuff: if you like street wear and stuff, then you should definitely check out Young Wars.
5. What’s your creative process like? What’s the first thing you start with and the last thing you do while creating? OVIE: Ok so here’s the thing: I am a melodic writer. Basically, before I write a word of the song, I have every melody written. So let’s say ‘One More Time’ for example. There’s a version called One More Time Version 0.1. That version is just me singing the melodies with random, useless words from start to finish. When I go back to listen to that first original draft of that melody, you can see how I got to wear I am now, but obviously lyrically I wasn’t making any sense. Once I have the melody sorted, I feel like the song is done. Because lyrically, I just have to tell stories, and I find telling stories almost, like, easy because I can just write from experience or my friends’ experiences or whatever the case. I don’t have to think to hard. While melodies, there is so much more to do. There’s so many ways I can go, there’s so many options. I enjoy that part the most actually because I can listen to a song and know what they’re talking about and still love it. For example, ‘Despacito’ was one of the biggest songs a few years ago and it was like, what were they talking about? So the melody can be so strong that you’ll love the song and it’ll go #1 and you can have no idea what it’s talking about. So I can write a melody that I can then play back for myself and get goosebumps and that’s how I’ll know the song is done. So the first thing I do is create the melody. Then I listen back to it and get the emotions its giving. Is it giving motivation? Is it making me sad right now? The melody tells me what the lyrics should say.
Tips for underground artists to stay organized in their writing? I don’t like rules, but there are certain rules that make things easy for you, right? This is what I do: I go on the beat and just come up with all the melodies that I feel. All the ideas that come naturally from you. Once you get that bit done, it all just kind of falls into place. Also make sure that while you’re writing, the space you’re in you are comfortable. Don’t let there be people around you who don’t understand the process. If you allow that person to be there, they are gonna judge and give me an opinion like oh no, don’t do that or that doesn’t make sense and I’m like I know it doesn’t make sense right now it’s just my process it’s just me building the song.
Talk to me about some upcoming projects you’re getting ready to release! Right now I’m working on my debut EP and it’s just a body of work that I’m really excited about. But the way things are going with the pandemic it’s hard to predict when anything is gonna happen. But, that’s the main thing I’ll be working on for the next few months.
6. If you could direct a music video for an artist, who would it be and why? OVIE: Hands down, no competition, Chris Brown. Because he acts: he’s a great actor, a great dancer and [he] has so much energy it just feels like there would be no bounds to the creativity like it would be out of this world. Most artists have an aesthetic to it. Not him. He literally comes from left field and I feel like that would just give me so much creative freedom. Then after Chris Brown, it would be Beyonce you know that Beyonce energy haha. So those are my main two people I would choose.
Would you want to direct a movie in the future? A lot of these questions you’re asking me are yes lol. Those are dreams I dream about. But yeah with a movie, it would definitely be something like very, very aesthetically pleasing. Like Blade Runner kind of vibes like a dystopian future. You could watch Blade Runner 2049 and enjoy it that’s how beautifully shot it was. So that Blade Runner vibe with the dystopian future; that’s the kind of movie I would wanna film.
7. I saw in a recent interview that you do a great King Julian impression? Give me your best! Would you ever want to do acting in the future? OVIE: If I could be King Julian, yeah! You know, when I meet people that I low key idolize, my personality changes. I just don’t wanna make a fool of myself, I just go mute. I directed a music video last year, right? With Damon Johnson. He’s in the avengers and all that. He was in the music video. An actor and a director. And no joke, I couldn’t speak to him. I felt like apologizing for anything I said. I felt like I wasn’t worthy giving him conversation. But later on I chilled out and he saw how nervous I was and he was like, “Ovie you’re doing a great job, trust me”. Basically he knew that I was just freaking out. So, yeah I don’t trust myself so much around people that I idolize.
8. If you could describe music with one word, what would it be and why? A: Jesus I had so many thoughts going through my head and now it’s just blank. I keep thinking: life. Music gave me life when I was in lockdown when I felt like I had none. So yeah, music basically saved me. Music saves lives. When I was kid, I had just moved to a new country. A new continent and I was so shy it was all very weird for me. But then I went into my music bubble and that literally helped me in every single way. It’s how I express myself now. It helped me express myself then. Literally helped me my entire teenage life.