Jack Wills: You’ve had a busy two years since graduating from Central Saint Martins. How do you come to think about forming an album?
Oscar: It was quite a gradual thing for me. I took some time becoming more and more confident as an artist, being able to be a better producer, developing ideas, but I think that working on and releasing singles and EPs gives you that time to grow. I was lucky enough to be given that time – also to get the live stuff going on alongside recording as well.
JW: What made you choose Sometimes as the lead single from your album?
OS: I knew the singles would come from the album, in a sort of old school pop way, so I sort of had a plan for that in motion. It just felt right.
JW: As you know we chose Daffodil Days as our song of summer this year.
OS: I know, thank you so much, it’s amazing news. That song is a funny one because I started to write it without any instrumentation. It was literally my vocals and a guitar, almost like a lullaby, a sort of grungy lullaby.
Then the lyric came from an auto-correct mistake. ‘It was an honest mistake’ – I was trying to text my friend as I was going through the first stages of a break-up. The girl went to Saint Martins too. Sad times. It auto-corrected to ‘daffodil days’ – I haven’t been able to replicate that so it was a really weird fluke. Then I wrote the rest of the lyrics around that kind of feeling.
JW: You played SXSW this year. How was that experience?
OS: It was crazy; it was like living in a scene from American Pie. We were staying in a college dorm where there were parties every night, people in the swimming pool, cakes, bands playing all over the place. It was so, so American. In the best possible way though! It was like Americana with an injection of MTV. But the show went really well too, no f**k-ups, and it ran really smoothly. We’re doing Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds, and Latitude in the UK, then there’s quite a few in Europe – so it should be a good summer actually!
JW: What do you think of the Glastonbury line-up?
OS: Ummm… it’s just mad isn’t it? There are some really talented people on there but then some people that I’m like whaaaat? … The guys from Wolf Alice are amazing and there are a load more that I can’t remember… but it’s always quite impressive. Adele will be meteoric. A real tearjerker.
JW: What advice would you give to people making their own music who might be reading this, people who, like you, might consider themselves a ‘bedroom producer’?
OS: I’ve had quite an up and down time in my head – in terms of the progression of everything. When I was at Saint Martins I released a track online and started getting some, y’know, ‘attention’ and industry interest. But I didn’t really have a plan, I didn’t have a band, I didn’t have anything lined up, I didn’t have any other tracks ready. So I kind of did it back to front. Then I had to wait to graduate…
Just try and stay focused. Especially in a city like London, there are so many people trying to achieve similar goals… You know like Drake, ‘you just do you’, and don’t worry about anyone else.
JW: So glad you got Drake in there. What will be your essentials for the summer?
OS: My summer essential would have to be a good pair of socks, a bright pattern, maybe a pastel for a festival. A good bomber jacket is an essential too; they’re pretty comfy to sit on. Lots of pockets – y’know, ‘Kanye West’ it up. Also a good hat or cap.
JW: Have you had that thing yet where your fans start singing your songs back to you?
OS: Yeah that is starting to happen actually. It was towards the end of last year people knew some of the words. I mean they aren’t singing the whole set back to me yet but they are singing along. Maybe I just can’t hear them…
JW: We’ll see you at Glastonbury!
OS: I’m playing early on the Sunday so you’ll have to get up and come find me.