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By SHARON JENNINGS
ONR, the Scottish musician has a great outlook on life. He believes that studying the classics has given him the ability to create new music that listeners love. ONR is mysterious, rarely showing his face and mainly that’s because he wants his music to be center stage.
We caught up with ONR before he celebrates the holidays and asked him the questions from the fans.
Tell us about your latest single and video for “5 Years Time” and how you came to create it? Does it have special meaning to you?
5 Years Time was one the first tracks I wrote as ONR, so in that way, it does have a bit of a special meaning for me – it reminds me of the birth of this entire thing. Also, it was an easy process to write this track, which isn’t usually the case for me – it’s usually a lot more detailed and laborious! – so it’s a track that’s done me a lot of favors without asking much of me in return, I guess. I wrote it at a time when I and a lot of other people were beginning to develop a real deep frustration at the progression of the wider-world around them. Jericho (previous release) is the same picture, but 5 Years Time sees it through a different lens; I guess it’s much more frustrated and cynical than the raw fury that I tried to capture in Jericho.
What is the secret to a good collaboration? How did you meet your producers?
James Flannigan produced this track for me – we were introduced through my manager and a mutual friend that we’d been working with, and we hit it off straight away. I love working with James. He comes from much the same world as me musically, and his eye for detail in the arrangements whilst being able to maintain that raw energy was exactly what these tracks needed. I think allowing an artist to put forward the best version of themselves is the real secret to being a great producer – knowing when to let a writer cut loose, when to reign it in, things like that. James was fantastic at that. I can’t wait to do more with him.
What is your favorite kind of music? What is so attractive about that genre?
I change all the time, I don’t really have a favorite genre. I was an indie kid for a long time, but I’ve always been a fan of the classic songwriters no matter which genre they come from. My current fascination lies more in the world of electronica, but that will change too once I discover my next favorite song or artist.
Who are the musicians you most admire and why?
My idol has always been David Bowie. Going back to your previous question, I adore the way that he could skip between genres without ever coming across as uncomfortable or demanding. He was, for me, the epitome of a great artist – a phenomenal writer, performer, musician and producer, as well as having this incredible cultural output outside of his music. Other than that, I love Kate Bush, Arcade Fire, Depeche Mode, Joy Division, Gary Numan…
What do you enjoy about touring? What is the biggest drag about touring?
Well, this is so early in to this process that I don’t feel I’m really in a situation to speak from a position of authority! I’ve played a handful of shows with the band to this point… but we always love them. I’ve known the guys that play with me for years, we’re like brothers. Going out every night with your closest friends and taking your music out in the world is pretty much as good as it gets, I think. If that ever gets old, I’ll be surprised.
What advice would you give other young artists today?
Sheer persistence will get you a long way. That and being a decent person. And to push themselves musically. Don’t get comfortable, and certainly don’t try to make others comfortable either.
Where can we follow you and where can our readers catch you live next?