Hailing from Melbourne, Australia is experimental, R&B, vocalist and producer, Oscar Key Sung who's making quite a name for himself on and offline. He recently did a show at the infamous, hip Brooklyn venue Glasslands Gallery and stole the entire night with his addictive beats, unique dance moves and high energy songs, such as: "All I Can Do" to many tracks from his current EP, Holograms.
There are many words to describe a performance from Sung, unique and familiar. Familiar, because his music style combined with his charismatic spirit and sound has many influences, many emerging artists, and of course from the past.
Below is a conversation we had with Oscar about his music influences, Disclosure, his personal style and more.
I: Interviewer (Marie Flounoy)
O: Oscar Key Sung
I: Is this your first time playing in Brooklyn?
O: I played here in New York for CMJ, last year.
I: How long have you been doing music?
O: I started messing around with music for a long time. I was the only child and my uncle bought me like a Casio keyboard and I'd do like drums with one hand and keys with the other, like slap bass and I had good rhythm when I was a kid so I started doing stupid music. I think it was fun. I like creative stuff.
I: What's the inspiration behind your recent EP?
O: The EP was made during a long period of time. So, some of the tracks have different meanings - and because I produced and did the singing and stuff- there were different stories behind the beats and the lyrics. it's kind of like a romantic EP. It's about a relationship, aspects that I want.
I: About your personal life?
I: What would you say are your influences in music?
O: Well, I think maybe I suffer from the thing that most young people seem to do where I want to be a individual and I would like to believe I have a unique personality or something. As much as it might be a illusion, that's something I think about while making music. Like, I don't want it to sound like one thing. So, I like to get inspired by different elements and genres.
I'm inspired by lo-fi, kind of folk ambient music - but then I also really like aspects of pop, big pop influences. I really enjoyed the Disclosure release. I like garage, two-step and deep house - I like dancing to that stuff, but I love R&B, vocals and melodies. I feel the vocals had a lot of R&B tinges and the pop song structure but a dance context, that to me was pretty cool. I respect the pop guys and back in the days guys, like Chris Isaac, who wore their heart on their sleeves - but in this really a masculine and emotional way. It's really inspiring.
I: Does that resonate in your personal style, inspiration from the past?
O: I mess around with outfits, as well *laughs* - random stuff I guess.
I: And your dancing? Is that something you also do?
O: The first girl who ever broke my heart. She broke up with me and I would have stayed with her for the rest of my life type of thing. I would have and she broke it up. Long story. She told me "I just can't be with anyone". A month later she was with another guy. He was a dancer. I always danced a bit and really liked dancing - but I got this obsession to outdance him, so a I started to YouTube tutorials on moves, a few years ago. I would love to be a dancer, but I'm not.
But I started getting some trick and moves from that period - this is funny, right? You know when you're broken hearted and you're trying to get through it?
I: Yes, of course - and you will try to do anything to get your mind off of it. Whatever works.
I: So, what would you say are your top three favorite songs you're listening to right now?
O: I'd say "Enough Said" - Aaliyah and Drake. I can't stop listening to that one. Aurthur Russell, that like old stuff. Songs from World of Echo and Disclosure… the one that's like…how does it go? Let me look it up.
*Oscar pulls out his phone*
I: You And Me? The one with London Grammar?
O: No, but that one is amazing. There's so many good songs! - it's ridiculous.
I: Yes, Disclosure is amazing!
O: Voices! *imitates song*
I: Yes, Voices. That's a great song. *laughs* Who is big in the music scene where you're from - in Australia?
O: Popular in music is not as good as it is in America. A lot of my friends are really amazing, Cassius Select, Everybody on this thing, a small little label, Michael Ozone, Angel Eyes, Silent J, and there's so many dudes that are really good at what they do.
I: Who is someone you hope to collaborate with in the future?
O: I always find this question hard. Someone who I think is good, isn't always someone I should collaborate with. You know what I mean?
It's a hard one... Oh, there's a girl named Tink G, she did a song with Kelea, recently. She has this track I've got so obsessed with called "Bonnie & Clyde" and she can spit very well and sing very well, and she's super like tough, but really sweet. I think she's really talented. But, I think she wouldn't collaborate with me, but I'd like to collaborate with her. I also discovered a English rapper today, her name Little Simz - god, she's good and she can freestyle too. I don't really rap, I don't think it's appropriate for me so I like to collaborate with rappers more than anybody.
For all things Oscar Key Sung, including news, tour dates and more visit oscarkeysung.com.