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Introducing Oscar


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Oscar Scheller’s favourite song at the moment is ‘Play Another Slow Jam’ by Gyrl and would love to take his dog Jasper on tour with him.

OscarHe would also describe himself as ‘fun, sensitive and creative’ and his music as ‘melodic, eclectic and honest.’ After exchanging a few emails with the twenty-something old musician it’s clear to see that he couldn’t be more right.

Whilst in high school Oscar wrote and recorded ‘Silly Girl’ on a cassette tape Dictaphone which is still in use today. In 2011, eponymously titled project ‘Oscar’ was born. Growing up in North London the Scheller family were surrounded by music, with his mother being a keen keyboard player (and later providing backing vocals for her son) and father playing Blur records around the house. Oscar wrote that it ‘certainly has its effects and almost gives you an innate sense of musicality and understanding.’ Adding that ‘It all goes in there somewhere and comes out in the right way at the right time.’

Since then he has racked up support from the likes of Noisey, Time Out and The Guardian, released the 146b EP – suitably named after his home studio name - and racked up impressive amounts of listens on Soundcloud.

Oscar is part of the ever growing movement of raw, DIY bedroom producers recording and releasing music he believes ‘is the healthiest and most honest it’s been in for a long time for that exact reason’ that music is no longer prim, polished and stuck in a genre.

If you head to Facebook group ‘Oscar’ you’ll see that the genre categorised is in fact, ‘poptart’. Speaking again of his childhood Oscar wrote ‘as a child it was as soon as I could reach a piano, I couldn’t leave it alone.’ 

Later in high school, guitar became a major influence onto the music. Oscar’s laptop tracks execute playful, retro electro homemade beats embedding honest, understated lyrics which at times are almost spoken in a crooning tone. However, Oscar once tried his hand at recording in a studio. But it didn’t work out. Telling how he prefers the home environment in the way that ‘The artist is completely in control and it shows in the output and quality of work. This is such an exciting time for artists, being able to fully express their artistic voices, and not be bound by genre, hi-fidelity or corporate opinion. Everything good is coming from the left, even the stuff that crosses over.’

Speaking of home, being born and raised in London, ‘one of the best capital cities in the world’ where there’s musical influence on every corner, has been described as both ‘a blessing and a curse’

When speaking of influential periods in music such as Britpop and how they have informed his music Oscar explained ‘There is so much influence, and so much history. I think it’s good to remember that but not be dictated by it in any way, when creating. I do think that having a healthy appreciation of the past is important, because you can’t build new and interesting songs without that. No one exists in a vacuum. When it comes to Britpop I’d say that I find the pop-cultural side of it more interesting than the actual music. Of course, there were some brilliant bands that came out of that who contributed a lot to British music, but I feel that it was a very cynical time for music making and that the movement itself was bittersweet. I am incredibly influenced by British pop music, old and new. I think there is a certain personality and magical melancholy in British music which makes it a quintessential influence. It’s charming and ironic and self-parodic and knowing and all those good things. And after all, I am British so it’s only natural to be that way.'

The first recording of ‘Silly Girl’ followed official debut ‘Never Told You’. The single was a repetitive tale of a broken romance, putting a stamp on how Oscar aimed to move musically. Boldly placing a dance beat before juxtaposing lyrics ‘I never told you, how much I want you.’ 

When questioned on the contradiction he claims that it is intentional, but a subconscious choice. ‘I love the happy/sad dynamic that great songs can embody. Things like The Velvet Underground and most recently Alvvays. Using sweet melody to disguise something more forlorn is a classic music methodology. I also think it’s what makes music so beautiful. That dislocation, that subtle tension.’ Thanks to this and personal pop element alongside shuffling keys ‘Never Told You’ kick-started the Medias ‘one to watch’ comments. Second track ‘I Don’t Care’, an excitedly moody three-chord chorus thrill was paired hand in hand. The EP came soon after, a hazier, upbeat; sun kissed yet still honest portrayal of Oscar’s personality.

Speaking of his journey from then to new internet track Be Good, Oscar has discovered 'that I am a naturally reflective person. MY musical output is based solely around that aspect of my personality. I've also realised how personal and direct the music is, how elclectic my tastes are, and how best to manifest that into music.' Be Good is charmingly sweet, but not the type where it’s sickly. 'The song itself is just about wanting things to be simple and knowing that they can be. It's about the potential within two people's lives.' It could easily create the soundtrack of the feeling when you’re in the state of in-between. The weather is alright, you woke up at an alright time, probably even had an alright breakfast. You’re pretty content. All you really want to do is float around the house, maybe dance a little around the kitchen on your own. It’s a song to make you feel safe throughout the summer and afterwards wherever the season may take you. Which is pretty impressive for a song that was 'written very quickly off the cuff' as a 'mixture of Orange Juice and Cutty Ranks. Be Good was my version of that happy medium.’ 

Although Be Good is just an internet track tonight, Oscar tells us to ‘expect another single and then an album.’ And also to expect diva antics from Jasper the dog modelling on the Be Good art work. Jasper ‘was born a diva. His grandpa once starred in a Robinson’s Fruit Juice campaign, so really it’s in his blood.’

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