Owari is Kent’s latest producer. Coming from Tunbridge Wells, his music is refreshing; bringing heavy oriental influences and relaxing sounds to create an innovative vibe. He has been recognised by Abbie McCarthy (BBC Introducing Kent) and recently, has been a regular appearance on her show. This project is really exciting and can’t wait to hear what he has coming up next. Read on to find out more about Owari.
So Tell me a bit about yourself as an artist, what are the origins of Owari?
I started learning the piano classically at a very young age, although I’ve never done any official grades. Instead I always wanted to play what I enjoyed listening to or what felt good to me.
I got into DJ’ing a few years later which then naturally transitioned into music production, making simple tech house beats and uploading them to Soundcloud. Of course they were awful, but it’s all practice.
Around about last year I changed my artist name and image, focusing my direction on music I wanted to listen to at the time, which has seemed to work ok so far.
I assume you’re still at school – how do you find the balance between being a producer and school?
Yeah it is hard. You have two very different environments, especially when the school’s attention is primarily on the core academics where there isn’t really much room for creative thinking.
That being said I’ve always kept making beats after school, but now that the exam period is coming up I might have to go offline for a few months. You can expect a lot more from this project once exams are over.
Recently, you have picked up a lot of air time, through Abbie McCarthy and her BBC Introducing programme. How has this helped you as a artist?
A lot. Abbie’s been really great pushing music from the county and it’s nice to see it get on the airwaves.
From BBC Introducing and Abbie, I was recently played on BBC Radio 1 with Huw Stephens, and that in a way has set this project up for the future, which i’m hugely grateful for.
Your music seems to have heavy oriental influences, whats the reason behind this?
It’s just so refreshing. East Asia’s culture is very different to Western Europe’s and people are always going out of their way to find something new. I think that’s why we’re seeing a lot of oriental elements in music today. Although I am trying to add my own element to it, that’s most likely where my sound comes from.
Tell me a bit about the recording process behind your latest track, ‘What we’re feeling’?
This was really fun. In a cliché way, the chords and melodies you hear at the start just came to me. I went through lots of versions and re-works, making the same track in the styles of my favourite artists and seeing what worked and what didn’t. It took a long time but I found something that set well with what I was looking for.
I also included an electric guitar in this one, I don’t play guitar, but i’m always trying to include real/organic recordings in my music. That and countless nights seeing the sun rise.
As an artist, who are your musical influences?
Bonobo, his production is quality, very forward thinking. I’ve been listening to his latest album ‘Migration’ pretty much non stop since its release in January.
Jamie xx, Flume and Lapalux all have very unique sounds that I always go back to, lots of respect to them for pushing electronic music into new grounds. However, more recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Maribou State and Mura Masa.
I also take quite a bit of influence from the classical pieces that I play in terms of harmonics and tonality, and how you can build a piece with melodic and harmonic devices, so I guess the likes of Mozart in a way.
Who would be your dream artist to collaborate with?
Maribou State or Bonobo, they are both very creative when it comes to the electronic organic blend. I’ve also been digging Jadu Heart for their late night jams and smooth guitar riffs. Not really people you would expect but often the best music comes from two contrasting fields.
What are your plans for 2017, in terms of live performances and recording?
I definitely want to go more left-field with this, trying to shape up my sound, but it’s early days at the moment so all is chill. I’m also starting to work with vocalists which will be pretty exciting for the future. But for the next few months, education will be my main focus.
Describe your sound in 3 words.