This year saw a number of excellent releases by instrumental artists: Sean Ashe, Sithu Aye, Plini, i built the sky, and StarSystems, just to name a few. With only a few weeks left before the end of the year, Norway’s Owane surprised us all by dropping his second EP, Dunno, on December 19th. What better way to wrap our Weekly Featured Artist series for 2016 than by catching up with Øyvind Owane Pedersen, the man behind the solo project.
It Djents: Who is “Owane?” What started you on your music journey? How has that journey been thus far?
Øyvind Pedersen: Owane is just a nickname from when I was “DJ Owane” back in the high school days. The name itself was an attempt trying to make my real name more “English friendly” *laughs*.
Before I started the self-titled Owane project, my only experiences in music was playing in metal bands. But suddenly one day in 2014 I thought, “Ok, let’s try writing whatever comes to mind,” and from that experiment came my first “Saturday Jam” video. At the time, a good friend of mine went to some music college studying jazz guitar, so I was very interested in what he was doing. Since then I’ve just kept writing stuff and making songs out of it.
ID: What’s your creative process like? How do you go about writing your music?
OP: It usually starts out with a simple lead or some chords. Sometimes it just comes to mind, other times things just pops up from random noodling. When the idea is “shaped” I write some drums and bass and try to arrange it the way I imagine it.
I’ve recently started writing more music by the piano. I’m still not very good at it, but I love playing around with chords and melodies on it. It’s a nice instrument because it’s easier to play chords and leads at the same time than on the guitar.
ID: What are some of your biggest influences, where do you draw inspiration from?
OP: I listen to everything as long as it catches my interest in some way. So inspiration comes from everywhere. But I would say moods are my biggest inspiration. For some reason I get this crazy feeling/mood when I wake up in the middle of the night having to pee. As I walk from the bathroom and back to bed, melodies with a different vibe than those during daytime pops up. So I try my best to remember them until next day because I’m way too tired to do something about it on the spot.
Speaking about influences, my personal guitar hero has been Jakub Żytecki since the day I saw his video “Jakub Żytecki with an Ernie Ball Music Man JP7” on YouTube back in 2013. He made me start taking guitar more seriously than before. I have been lucky enough to hang out with him a few times, what an amazing dude.
ID: A lot of our readers are pretty big gearheads; what kind of gear do you use to record and perform?
OP: For recording I just use my laptop with Cubase, Axe FX II and a midi keyboard. It’s a pretty portable setup. I haven’t started performing with this project yet, but hope to do it sometime.
ID: Do you have any funny stories about performing? Show shenanigans, gear malfunctions, anything of that sort.
OP: Yeah, when I was 18 I played a show with my band at the time. There was a part where I sang some clean vocals which were played back. Everyone noticed and it was cringe.
ID: If your music were a beverage, which would it be?
OP: Multivitamin Juice
ID: What are you up to when you’re not playing music?
OP: It varies a lot. Sometimes I work with fish for a couple of months. Sometimes I paint houses, teach guitar.. Some of my hobbies are gaming, table tennis, playing poker and going on boat adventures.
ID: In your perspective, what is the most challenging part of being a solo musician? What is the best part?
OP: Most challenging: being alone about every decision. Best part: being alone about every decision.
ID: This might be super limiting, but if you had to describe your music in one word, which word would it be?
ID: What are your plans for the future?
OP: I’m already a few songs into the next album, so my current plan is just to work on it and some new YouTube videos. And also start working on a new quite different project in 2017!