South-London, British-Finnish artist, otta, has just dropped delicate new single ‘near enough a woman’ – along with a partially stop-motion video – ahead of upcoming debut EP, after it all blew over.
“I think the songs on this project were very much inspired by classic songwriting, I was listening to a lot of pop music amongst all kinds of other things,” explains otta. “This project was a product of me knowing I wanted to write more ‘structured’ songs but then just letting them end up as whatever they wanted to be. Production-wise I have always been inspired by my friends tbh, they showed me so much to do with production and introduced me to the music of Herbert, Dean Blunt and JPEGMAFIA, whose production sounds chaotic in the best way whilst also feeling really natural.”
“This project was a product of me knowing I wanted to write more ‘structured’ songs but then just letting them end up as whatever they wanted to be.”
On after it all blew over, otta’s beguilingly honest practice forms into something that slips through the net of any known genre. The new material moves organically through dynamics that touch on elements of electronic music, UK jazz, future-pop, RnB and neo-soul, all delivered with a unique combination of worldliness and abandon.
There’s a playful approach to the way in which these flowing arrangements have been formed. “I had always been writing songs on guitar but at this point I was spending a lot of time experimenting making more random music with my friends,” says otta. “We had no real intention of having a structured song within these ideas, it felt great…”
“This was the first time I made a song on Logic and was like ‘wait, maybe I can just do it myself or even just start to trust the sounds I’m using’.”
“This was the first time I made a song on Logic and was like ‘wait, maybe I can just do it myself or even just start to trust the sounds I’m using’. I also often find it hard to finish songs and always go off on a tangent, which I guess you can hear in the choruses of some other tracks on the project.”
Whilst new techniques have been applied and learnt it’s clear that otta’s sense for melody and songwriting is far from novice. All songs on the EP have been written, recorded, produced, engineered and performed by otta, with additioanl production and mixing by Warp Records producer, kwes (Loyle Carner, Mica Levi, Damon Albarn, Solange Knowles, Tirzah). ‘small hours’ and ‘near enough a woman’ are desirous tastes of what’s yet to come from otta and a statement of intent for 2020.
after it all blew over is set for release via [PIAS] / BOKKLE on 24 January.
Catch otta live at SET Dalston, in London on 12 February.
Photo/Artwork: Lara Laeverenz