Oscar’s cut and paste approach to pop
- Credit: Archant
West Hampstead-raised Oscar Scheller studied at Belsize Park Fine Arts College, but has quickly built up a musical following with his brand of loose-leafed guitar pop. Ahead of a show at Tufnell Park Dome on February 18, he spoke to the Gazette.
Hi Oscar. Your parents were both involved in music and fronted the band The Regents – what effect did that have on you growing up?
I think it had a huge effect on me. More of a subconscious thing from just being constantly surrounded by music. I think being saturated in it from the day you’re born has to have a pretty deep effect on anyone.
Your debut record (out May 13) cuts from various cloths of pop, indie, electronic and hip-hop. Is that part of the thinking behind its title, ‘Cut and Paste’?
That’s a huge part of my thinking. At art school I became enamoured with collage and the philosophy of it. It’s definitely my M.O. It reflects the way the songs were constructed and also, my sensibilities too.
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You’ve talked before about being inspired by the “erratic atmosphere of schizophrenic London”. What do you mean by that?
I suppose what I mean by that is the energy you get from growing up and living in such a colourful, intense and multi-faceted metropolis is definitely a big source of inspiration. London is my muse. The people, the stories. It’s my background. How it’s a cultural patchwork, historic, strange and ordinary. I feel as though that is part of the music.
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How have you found the experience of being a ‘bedroom producer’? You seem to have avoided the lo-fi sound usually associated with such an approach.
It’s funny, because really a ‘bedroom producer’ is what the punks were. Just doing it yourself, your way, avoiding a mainstream process. Of course people have made music in their bedroom for years, but being dubbed a bedroom producer is really just a culture. Believe me when I started, the sound was beyond lo-fi. It needed its own name. It was unbelievably chaotic. I got better as time went on though.
‘Move over Moz, there’s a new miserablist in town’ is what The Guardian once said of you. Is that fair?
I wouldn’t like to de-construct a journalist’s work on a public platform, but what I will say is that the media love a nice and easy label. I think music concerns feelings, and melancholy is a very relatable one. It’s certainly one that I can’t help but express in a lot of the songs I write.