Anne had a chat with London-based OSCAR while he was supporting Sportfreunde Stiller on their tour in Germany in Berlin. She asked the indie pop-R’n’B enthusiast about the tour so far, his very cool friends and his musical influences.
First of all: do you like Berlin?
Yeah, I love it, it’s got such a good kind of energy to it! Berlin feels pretty laid back for a big city. It’s harder to breathe in London, whereas I feel like in Berlin there’s lots of spaces that you can go and just kind of relax. I really like it, it’s got a good vibe.
How have German crowds been treating you so far?
Really well actually! I realized that they love to clap, like clap along to songs, so I kind of started to get them to clap along to songs!
Do you ever get stage fright before you go on stage?
It’s weird, I get a bit nervous but once I’m on stage I know exactly what to do and I almost don’t think about it, but I think I prefer playing to big crowds. I get more nervous playing to small crowds; they just seem to be more intimate and it’s more intense. You can kind of feel everyone a bit more and that can be good and bad you know, depending on what they’re doing!
I assume you’re friends with Marika Hackman. Is there a story behind deciding to do ‘Only Friend’ together?
I kind of had that as duet in my head for a long time and it was really about finding the right voice to go with mine. Also about to tell the story of the song and to kind of have the right character to be part of that song and hers was perfect. I think she’s really special, her voice has this magic to it which not a lot of other present-day singers have, so she was first on my list and she said yes! It was really fun to record in the studio and I love that song, it’s really good to listen to.
While writing the album have you had any specific musical influences?
I think in terms of the beats I looked at a lot of hiphop: everything from Nas to J Dilla to even Run-D.M.C. All those kind of breakbeat samples, that was the main rhythmic influence.There was also a bit of reggae and a bit of dub, such as Ace of Base, that kind of thing. And then in terms of the instrumentation I just love CASIO keyboard, so I wanted to put it on everything! Make it sound really cheap, because that’s always quite fun. The band that I was influenced a lot by using cheap materials is The Radio Dept – they’re a Swedish dream pop band, they just do everything with like really shitty instruments, but it sounds amazing, they were an influence. I guess just growing up, singing classical music and also listening to classical music, but also listening to all the stuff I listen to like R’n’B and hiphop hat was all an influence as well and found its way on there somehow.
You’ve been working with pop princess GIRLI a few times in the past: you did a remix of ‘Girl I Met On The Internet‘ and featured her on your song ‘Breaking My Phone’. Are you planning to do any more collabs with her in the future?
Yeah, BIG stuff (Editor’s note: We can’t wait!!). We’re best friends, we’ve done lots of different ideas together and maybe one of them is going to be on my next record!
Do you have anything special planned for KOKO London on NYE?
Mostly my outfit is gonna be the thing I’m planning. I want to wear something silver, I want it to be shiny, kind of like an Elvis vibe, like a modern Elvis! I may even try to do a cover in there somewhere, that’d be fun. It’s a good occasion to play.
How would you describe your style?
Oh God, like a walking pop art painting or something?
Would you mind drawing yourself? How do you see yourself?
If you were a character from ‘Friends’, which one would you be?
I haven’t seen that in a long time! Probably Ross because his love life is always so disastrous, he has that melancholic vibe about him. I probably look the most like him out of all of the ‘Friends’ characters. I think mine and Phoebe’s sense of humor is really similar. I’m kind of absurd and really stupid at times and just don’t care about being serious. I’m a mix, if Ross and Phoebe had kids that’d be me.
We have got a playlist on our blog called ‘Oh shit, I’m so hungover’, what do you like to listen to when you are hungover?
That’s a really good question, something that’d be soothing, you wanna be comforted. Right now it’d be Solange ‘Cranes in the Sky’ or maybe ‘Blur’ – Sweet Song.
Check out our playlist here: https://miserablegirlz.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/oh-shit-im-so-hungover/
Get his debut album ‘Cut and Paste’ here: