Octavia Rose Interview: Vintage Vocals

Octavia Rose is best known for her vocals on Jamie Berry's Electro Swing hit 'Delight' In this interview she reveals her musical inspirations, future plans & what songs she would like to hear when stranded on a Desert Island!

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Date published: 8th Dec 2016

Chris Nanook caught up with Octavia Rose ahead of her performance at Prohibition, Manchester on Saturday 10th December...

Give us a bit more info about yourself. Where you from, for starters?

I grew up in Gloucestershire and have been surrounded by music since I was little. I was always singing around the house and making up tunes on the piano, I think it drove my older sisters mad! I live in London now and love it! It's such a great place to be for music, there are so many shows to see and new artists to hear all over the place, it's the best!

You're well known for collaborating with Jamie Berry, on tracks like Delight. How did you both meet?

He contacted me on SoundCloud asking if he could remix one of my songs and later suggested the idea of making a song together. I went up to Leeds and we recorded Delight! I only thought it was going on SoundCloud initially, I had no idea it would take off the way it did! It was all so exciting as it was my first song to get released and it was such an amazing feeling!

Your Soundcloud has a lot of music from Genres other than Electro Swing. Lots of folk and downtempo acoustic too. Who or what are your main influences on that side of things?

I?ve always loved folk vocals and their eery atmospheric elements. I love Lucy Rose, Bon Iver, Keaton Henson, Laura Marling, James Vincent McMorrow, Ingrid Michaelson - the list goes on!

And who are your more dancier/swing influences? With the more dance / house music I write with Christian on SoundCloud, my influences are Royksopp, Bonobo, Daughter etc. I love that genre of music. I actually didn't know much about Electroswing at all before writing Delight, Jamie just gave me an idea of what sort of sound he wanted and I sent him a couple of ideas and it all sort of fell into place!

Do you find there is a huge change in headspace for yourself, between folkier chill and electro-swing? When I write folkier music or lyrics for the slow deep house side of things, I tend to write about my own experiences / what I feel, whereas the electro-swing lyrics are more wide-reaching and it's about getting into the right kind of headspace for a fun dance track that hopefully gets people up on their feet!

What fuels your creative process? Do you write what you see/live/feel? ...

I do for the folk music I write and the deep house tracks I write with Christian, I write about personal experiences and those of people around me. It just sort of happens. If I ever got stuck I used to write about couples from TV shows that had an interesting relationship, which actually helped!

What got you in to writing/producing? There wasn't really a specific time or event that got me into it, I started singing when I was really young and just always wrote little things here and there since I was little. I started off making up small piano melodies, eventually getting into writing full length piano pieces, and I was always singing little made-up phrases. When I got older it became a creative outlet for me; a way to wind down and be carefree for a bit. I always loved the feeling of a new chord sequence or set of lyrics coming together.

You're fairly new to gigging... are you looking forward to sharing a stage with Jamie at Prohibition? ...we've rolled in some extra sound system especially!!

I can't wait! I joined him for a couple of songs at his gig in London at the Electro Swing Club a couple of weeks ago for the first time and that was such a great experience! I'm really looking forward to Manchester and performing with him again, he's such a great producer and really fun to work with!

You've been increasingly working with Jamie in the studio...any news we should know about!

We're hoping to try and fit some more performances in along the way I think! When I saw him in London we chatted about writing a new track together sometime soon, which would be so much fun! -------------

Whats in your 2017 diary we need to know about? Aside from hopefully working with Jamie more, I'm hoping to release an EP with Christian (who I've done a few things on SoundCloud with), under our group name Sienno. It?s a really fun mix of chilled out deep house tracks and some more upbeat dance tracks. It's been a lot of fun to create so hopefully people enjoy it!

Who are your fave artists at the moment? ... ..."one to watch" and perhaps an old fave you keep coming back to.

My favourite artists really depends on the day and the mood! At the moment they would have to be Bonobo, James Vincent McMorrow, Mac Demarco and Royksopp. The 'one to watch' for me would be Vulfpeck at the moment, they're so funky and have such an original sound. An old fave that I keep coming back to is The XX / Jamie XX, they're so versatile and unique I'm always coming back to their music.

------------------- Okay...change of pace.... When you're partying..... top three things you never leave home without? (wallet, keys, phone don't count!)

Ooh well I always carry Ear plugs, sweets or a kitkat (I'm always hungry for junk food, especially kitkats) and my portable charger (that thing is a life saver).

Desert Island discs time... Top three tunes of all time...

Rock Your Baby - George McCrae (cheers up any bad mood every time) Something In My Heart - Royksopp (always had a soft spot for this one and it was amazing live) Have A Coke With You - New Jackson (when those strings come in - ahhh best thing ever! Great track) (and if I was allowed a fourth, Wicked Game - Either Chris Isaak original or James Vincent McMorrow's cover! - Goosebumps track) ------

and a final word?

Please check out my SoundCloud page and keep an eye out for the Sienno EP coming soon! Thank you to everyone who listens to mine and Jamie?s music!

Hope to meet some of you guys in Manchester at the show!

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