Oh Wonder – about live shows, humanity and a new album [INTERVIEW]

Oh Wonder

Oh Wonder

Oh Wonder is a London-based duo. Quite suddenly they won the hearts of listeners and critics around the world. How did they do it? Well, Oh Wonder found an unconventional way to promote their music. For over the year, before they released their debut album, they were sharing one song in a month. This way they caught the attention but also fed the emotions. Right now Josephine and Anthony have their record released and they’re playing around the world. How does it feel from their perspective? You can learn it by reading the interview. A month before their first Polish show the duo answered a few our questions.

TDGM: For quite a while writing songs and putting them on SoundCloud was the only way you connected with people. You were releasing songs but not playing them live. What was the first time you played your songs in front of the people? How do you remember your first performance?

Oh Wonder: Our first ever show was terrifying but hugely rewarding. It was a relief to know that the songs translated into a live setting, having lived with them in our studio for a year. We performed two nights at a venue in London, and were seriously humbled and surprised by the reaction. It gave us confidence to continue performing, and now here we are playing around the world.

TDGM: How do you feel on stage right now? Is it something that excites you or you’d rather stick to writing songs in your bedroom?

Oh Wonder: We adore performing. It’s the most magical hour of our day when we get to sing in a room full of thousands of people singing along with us. It feels so communal and free. That said, we’re super excited to get back into the studio and start work on the second album. We’ve missed being creative.

TDGM: In the interviews you mention different stories about how you’ve helped people with your music. Is it something that you’ve been dreaming or thinking of when you started to share your music in the internet?

Oh Wonder: To be honest, it was never our intention to make music for anyone else but ourselves. It was only when we realised the amazing potential and power of music to truly shape and enhance other people’s lives that we realised what we were part of. Music is truly a force for good in the world, and knowing that we’re able to make a positive difference in someone else’s life is remarkable. It’s something that drives us now.

TDGM: I know that making money on music was not your goal. What was it, then?

Oh Wonder: Like anyone with a passion, there isn’t necessarily anything external that drives you. Or rather, it’s just your passion that drives you. For us, it’s more than we can’t not make music. We’d be so unhappy if we weren’t making music, to the point where we’d still be writing songs and performing even if no one listened or came to our shows.

TDGM: In one of the interviews you said that „you’re two songwriters who’ve written a handbook about how to be a human”. What does it mean? Do you think there’s too less humanity in people?

Oh Wonder: All we meant by that comment was that our album explores what we feel like is the most important thing to cherish as humans – each other. Humanity is all about co-existence. None of us could exist or survive on our own. We all need each other for a myriad of different things. But for us, what seems to be slipping is companionship and support. With the influx of social media in the last ten years, though we are more „connected”, we are less in tune with each other. Our album celebrates and asserts the importance of being there for other people – whether that’s your friend, an acquaintance or a stranger. We are nothing without each other.

TDGM: I feel like you are very self-sufficient in your music. Is it true? If so, was it your conscious choice or a matter of coincidence?

Oh Wonder: We write, record, produce and mix all of our music, and it was probably both. We chose not to work with anyone else for the first record because we wanted the freedom and challenge of doing it all ourselves. We wanted to progress and get better at every aspect of making music.

TDGM: You’ve started to record your next album? What this one is going to be about?

Oh Wonder: We went to New York last month to start writing and we’ll be recording it later in the year. We don’t want to say to much about the new album, but we’re obviously writing it in the middle of touring when our emotions are heightened and we’re missing everyone around us. So there is a little more „loss” in some of these songs. But we’ll see how it turns out.

TDGM: Are you gonna release one song in a month as it was with the first record?

Oh Wonder: We’re not sure how we’re gonna release it yet. Probably not one a month just because it’s quite time-consuming and we’re keen to get back on the road. So maybe we’ll just surprise drop it. Maybe we’ll release little snippets of it here and there. We’re not sure. We’ll see what feels right once we have the finished record in our hands. It will tell us what to do with it. Always listen and trust the music.