“I could have been a Justin Bieber,” laughed Oscar as he explained where it all began, and admitted his disinterest in composing music when he first realised his love for singing.
“This is before Justin Bieber because I was about 13 when I realised I wanted to be an artist. A very different kind of artist though – I wanted to be like a proper pop singer – I didn’t care about writing my own songs. I was really into R&B and hip hop so that was when it started,” Oscar explained.
Eleven years on, the Londoner solo artist has reached his goal of being in the music industry and is touring all over the UK as well as overseas this summer; all in promotion for his new album ‘Cut And Paste’ that is released on May 13.
“I started writing the album in the last three or four years, and there’s a song on there that is about 10 years old. I was about 19 when I first started doing solo things, though.”
Despite beginning wanting to be like a Bieber, Oscar has diverged away from that genre and created Guitar Pop in a way that, vocally, isn’t dissimilar to a sound of Bloc Party crossed with The Horrors. After growing up playing the piano and learning guitar, he composes music himself utilising his talents in addition to writing his own material. After (rightfully) taking the artist similarities as a compliment, he said:
I think my music can share sounds with other musicians from the past and the present but I don’t know if I sound like anyone else. It’s hard to say, though.”
Taking influences from his exposure in music culture has without a doubt been responsible for his unique style. As well as being emboldened by the fact that his dad was in The Regents, Oscar took advantage of exploring good music in his childhood which spurred his ambition to create music.
“Velvet Underground was the band that I was really inspired by when I was growing up. It was how unique their sound was, how honest their messages were and how raw it all was,” he explained.
Well, big thanks to Velvet Underground for being a part of what has created such a brilliant artist that is Oscar Scheller: an artist that is one we are lacking – a talented stand-alone guy with both passion and skill with quirks beside the determination.
Proving his quality is Annie Mac’s Hottest Record In The World on Radio One, which Oscar has won three times. Being in the early days of his career, we can’t doubt that there will be many more winnings ahead.
“The biggest achievements in my career would be getting a number one album or winning a GRAMMY… that would be pretty dope.”
Oscar’s single ‘Sometimes’ also won Radio One’s Best Record Of The Week in March when it was released, which is a groovy tune compelling a nod of the head. After watching the music video, you want to do more than just that; Oscar’s energy is contagious through the screen. Being a video that is comedic yet cool, it’s one that fits Oscar’s style perfectly.
“It was such a laugh to film, I was just cracking up it was so funny,” he said.
“The music video I chose was the most sympathetic to the message I wanted to bring. It was pretty much all the director’s idea – he really had a huge part and did an incredible job – all I did was make sure it looked as good as it could be. The director is amazing.”
‘Sometimes’ will star on Cut And Paste as the opening track, followed by nine other songs including other single ‘Breaking My Phone’ to complete his first album. Seeing two different sides to Oscar through his two releases makes the anticipation grow, but he gave us one to look out for.
“My favourite song on the album is Only Friend which features Marika Hackman,” he said, “That means the most to me. My album is like a diary of sorts, it’s a moment in time and I’m not in that place any more because my life has moved on – it’s like a real moment that’s been captured and it reflects that.”
Not only is it obvious that Oscar has versatility in music, but he has it in fashion, too. One of the things you notice when you first see him is his style that looks effortless yet uniquely fabulous.
“I have definitely always been into fashion, even as a young boy, and I think I’m inspired by pop art. Also playing a big part was Elvis, Richard Harold, James Dean, Vivienne Westwood, and Picasso. It’s the big stylish people.”
Oscar is bringing both his exclusive fashion and music to 19 different locations, starting on May 9 and coming off tour on October 4. In between his own touring he’s also going abroad with Bloc Party.
“Out of the whole tour I’m the most excited to visit Detroit with Bloc Party which is in May. I’ve never been but I’ve seen pictures and heard some exciting things! I am really excited about that,” he said.
Oscar is visiting Manchester on September 30 at Northern Quarter’s very own Soup Kitchen. After he said he was going to Detroit, could Manchester really compare?!
“Detroit and Manchester have some similarities I think…,” he laughed.
Having southern roots being from London himself, Oscar still shared his excitement for coming up north and visiting us here in the smaller place of Manchester, expanding on his crazy nights in his student days.
“I love Manchester! I actually used to come up to Manchester when I was at Art School because one of my best friends went to MMU. Every other weekend I’d come to visit my friend and we’d go raving and have the best time! A lot of the time we’d go to the house raves in old hotels and it was great.”
Its undeniable that Manchester has a buzzing music scene, and after being emerged in that in his younger years, Oscar let us into his expectations of the crowd at his own gig.
When a Manchester crowd is really into it then they’re really into it, like they’re very supportive and I like it. They’re kind of a tough crowd to please in a way because they’re similar to London where they’re quite cool and collected, but when they’re behind something they’ll back it which is really cool.”
Not only is he visiting venues for gigs, but he is also attending festivals such as Latitude and Secret Garden Party.
“Festivals are a bit more unpredictable and tend to be more of an adventure in a way just because everyone there is ready to party. So I think I am more excited to play at festivals because it’s more of an adventure, but then gigs seem to be more productive somehow.”
He continued: “Myself, as a punter, I prefer gigs to festivals because I think it’s a better way to experience live music; it’s a bit more contained and just has less distraction.”
The antics after his 2016 tour is one that can only get better. With talent flowing and attitude rearing to go, Oscar’s ambitions only go up from here. He let us into his desires and listed the things he wants to do next.
“Tokyo is next on my list, it would be amazing to be there. I aspire to play at a festival by the sea like Benicassim or Primavera. That would be fun!”
His fans should prepare for Oscar’s career being action filled as he is doing a good job of demonstrating his productivity and aspiration within the industry. He’s already got plans for when he finishes his current tour that hasn’t even started yet!
“After this year and touring the album I’ll be starting with the second album and I’ll try and get that going for the end of next year and that will be my main priority.”
Before you get excited about his upcoming work, make sure you get Cut And Paste (May 13); Oscar Scheller is not one to miss.
By Amy Williams