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OJ Law's Banana Indie Soultronica and Performing in Everyone's Dream


OJ Law describes himself as a “student of melody”. The one thing that strikes the listener when hearing OJ Law’s songs is that his melodic gifts always shine through, as he switches effortlessly between indie rock, soul, and electronica. He has had success on the Malaysian music scene with indie radio hits such asStopgap, Start/Stop, My Life As A Film, and his duet with Liyana Fizi, Fantastic Adventure. His music has even inspired an ice cream flavour to be named after him. Following the critical acclaim and success of his album “Yesterday is a Distant Dream” (TimeOut KL’s Album of the Year 2012, and a Deezer ‘Best of 2012’ pick), OJ Law returns in 2014 with his long-awaited new album, “Let’s Be Adult”, due for a summer release. Since he”ll be performing at Putrajaya Youth Festival which whill be held on 23rd – 25th May 2014, we got a chance to interview OJ Law to discuss about his influences in music, his inspirations, and also his opinions about the youth.

It”s been two years since your last album release. Any upcoming projects?

Just finished recording my new album. It’s called Let’s Be Adult, and I’m planning to release it in August.

What was the idea behind the music video of “Tongue-Tied”?

It’s an exploration of our relationship with technology. But it’s quite a fragile relationship. It would only take a few people turning off some switches to, for example, to turn off the internet. Imagine the chaos!

When researching for the video, the director, Ling Low and I discovered that in Japan, people are developing androids that can watch over patients in hospital. And even with good intentions, there’s still something very unsettling about these androids. They’re not quite human enough yet. But I guess if you project a personality onto an android, then you can overlook the flaws and they’ll seem more lifelike to you. So I hope that dynamic comes across in the video.

You’ve collaborated with Liyana Fizi for “Fantastic Adventure”. One of the more notable ones even. Did you expect it to be such a hit? And any other local acts you’re thinking of collaborating with?

It was a genuine attempt to write a pop song in the vein of The Cardigans, but you never know if people are going to actually like the songs or not. The night before I released Tongue-Tied, I was having panic attacks, because I suddenly thought the song sucked. You become to close to the songs and can’t see them objectively.

What I want to do after releasing my next album is produce an album and nbso online casino have other people sing the songs. You know, I want to be the Pharrell or the Timbaland, the guy in the background. But minus the terrible posing and freestyilng. There’s lots of great singers in KL, some of them aren’t even in the scene. There’s this guy called Faiq, he’s not even a professional singer, but he has such amazing voice! Somewhere in the vicinity of Bon Iver, Sampha, Thom Yorke… it’s This pushing the envelope on analysis is an exciting aspect of the big best-data-recovery.com analysis move- ment. pretty ridiculous. So my plan is to have him sing on my songs before anyone realizes how good he is. I don’t think he even realizes how good he is.

Where do you obtain inspiration to write your music?

The changes in weather patterns. The seasons. ;)

Your album “Yesterday is a distant dream” was given Malaysia’s Best Album by Time Out KL. Did you expect such exposure for your music? Tell us a little more about its writing process

If you could perform anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Hook me into people’s dreams, we’re only limited by our imaginations.

Your genre on your facebook is described as “Banana Indie Soultronica”. Could you describe that to us?

Banana is a (slightly racial, but I don’t take offence to it), to describe Chinese kids who were raised in English-speaking countries. You know how you have “soul” music. Then you also have ‘blue-eye soul’, which is basically a politically correct way of saying ‘soul music sung by white people’.

So what am I? Banana soul? But if I like indie rock and electronica as well, and you mix it all together…I mean, I’d rather have no genre, just call it pop music. But people always ask for one in interviews!

If you could pick which era in time to be a musician, which one would it be?

Today is the best. You get the entire history of music to go with what’s happening now. But I’d love to know what people are listening to a few thousand years from now. Do you think people will view The Beatles and Michael Jackson like we view Mozart? Like, Mozart is cool and all, but I’m not listening to it when I’m sitting in rush hour traffic.

The youth music culture is picking up in Malaysia and you’re performing for “Festival Belia Putrajaya”, how would you youngsters in Malaysia in regards to the local music scene?

It’s all about the youth, they’re the music pioneers of the future. I can’t wait to see what music the 14 year olds start making, especially the weird kids who go onto Soundcloud and try to find underground music like mine or the other people in the scene.

Don”t forget to catch Oj Law and the other great local artists at the annual Festival Belia Putrajaya 2014 from 23 – 25 May 2014. The three-day Festival will be held at Persiaran Perdana, Presint 4, Putrajaya from 10am to 10pm.