Opiuo Shares What His Music And His Fans Mean To Him In iEDM Exclusive Interview
Oscar Davey-Wraight otherwise known as Opiuo is a New Zealand-native who currently resides in Australia. His music is comprised of unique electronic sounds ranging from downtempo to upbeat. Opiuo doesn't stick to one genre, he moves along freely creating ridiculous electronic noises that make his music indescribable.
Opiuo is a down to earth individual who was more than happy to share his musical journey with me. Check out the interview below.
iEDM: How does it feel to be at Electric Forest for the first time?
Opiuo: I’ve been coming to this part of the United States for about seven years but I’ve never done this festival before. I’ve heard about it for a long time and people have talked about it, in a really honest way. I’ve never really done a big festival in this part of the country.
I walked around for a bit last night and everyone is really aware and really kind to each other. It’s not just like a mob of people, you can get through any crowd. It’s different in that way. Some big festivals can be really hard to deal with because there’s so many people.
iEDM: How do you feel your music has been perceived in the United States?
Opiuo: Amazingly. I just made music for a while, people started noticing it, and I came over here in 2010 for the first time. In the last few years it’s gotten to a point where I like to focus touring in this country. Some people have been with me for years now and so there’s a history and a connection. I guess I never even thought it would be possible to do it and somehow it ends up being possible, it’s awesome.
I make music that satisfies my soul and I’ve connected with people here and I understand the culture here as well. So the influence its given me in my music I think connects better with people here and more so as it evolves. I make music that I like and when I meet my fans I’m inspired by them. Coming here so much has been a major influence on me and it’s become a part of my reality.
iEDM: Who have been some of your major influences through out your life?
Opiuo: With music it changes really quickly and it evolves. I really get in to production value in terms of mixing, so people like Noisia, they're some Dutch Drum n Bass Producers. Ever since I got in to electronic music they’ve been some of the most amazing producers on the planet and still are. Tipper, which I didn’t even know about when I started making beats or Bassnectar. And after I started doing it, people in Australia were like “hey you should check this out”. And it was cool to realize that there are other people out there doing this kind of stuff because when I started out there were not many.
I started making music 15 years ago. And then seven years ago it’s all I’ve done, toured the world constantly. You look at anyone who’s doing something amazing that people look up to, they’re doing what they love. You can’t force it, you really just have to do what is good for you and be influenced by the things around you. Otherwise, I think it’s easy to get lost in the game if you don’t do that.
I didn’t have a financial drive. I was just stoked to be able to live off my music. That’s been something that still to this day I’m like…. I buy my food that I eat everyday from the music I make, thats crazy, that thought, just a small thing like that. To be driven by finance you’re going to slip off even if you do have something amazing going on it’s just never going to go somewhere. And so even when you get to a point where you are living off it completely and surviving well, finance becomes less of a thing.
You’ve kind of got past that and it’s even more so purely about the music because you’re not trying to get your day to day meal. You don’t have to have that second job. Which is an amazing thing to be able to do and the music becomes even more important. It’s a huge blessing. You really cherish the music because there’s no attachment.
iEDM: What are some of the differences between performing solo and with a live band?
Opiuo: When I perform solo I am able to move about within the music I make a lot easier. With the band we have to plan what we’re going to do for that set and we have sections that we stick to. We can move stuff around, but it’s like if we play theses songs we’ll do it in this order.
We improv within the music and set lists can change. It’s just a very different live set. The band enhances on so many things. We can take break downs in to a whole other reality.
I play nearly twice as many songs in a solo set than with a band set, because we can expand so much. I enjoy them the same. The band has gotten to a point where it works and it took years to figure out how to do it properly. It’s a touring adventure.
iEDM: Opiuo Live Band and Emancipator are co-headlining Red Rocks. How do you feel co-headling Red Rocks for the first time?
Opiuo: I have done two other support shows, one was for Grammatik and the other was for Papadosio. I’ve done two opening shows but it’s a very different reality because it’s not so much your show. It’s still an amazing experience, I think every time you get to play at a place somewhere like Red Rocks it’s insane.
It still goes down as my favorite place in the world to play. I love Emancipator and I love his music, I love everything about what he does. For me, it’s a perfect fit.
iEDM: Any solo plans in terms of touring coming up in the near future?
Opiuo: I did a couple of years more focused on the band recently, and now I’m going to do a period of more solo. Just because I like to keep both alive. I like to keep inspired in both. I still will do both at the same time but I just kind of focus on one a bit more than the other. I’m going in to just being excited about ridiculous electronic noises again. Where I went through a stage where I really wanted to make songs with more instruments and I am going to continue to do both. So at the moment I am focusing on some solo work. I’ve got a bunch of EP’s that are going to come out.
But yeah it’s just really fun to make ridiculous electronic noises. That’s where I came from, you know. Just dirty sounds and things you can’t make from an instrument. That’s the cool thing because I love instruments because you can’t make the vibe of them, the real true human vibe. And I love electronic noises because you can’t reproduce that live. It’s just so involved and ridiculous. It’s pretty much impossible to replicate that live, so I love both. I’ll be doing a solo tour in the US starting in September, I can’t say who it’s with.
iEDM: Are you playing any other US festivals that you’re excited for?
Opiuo: I’m going to New Mexico next week for one and I’ve never been there, so I’m excited about that. I’m playing the Eclipse in Oregon, so I’m really excited about that. I’ve seen one eclipse before. I’ve done Symbiosis before but an eclipse is just a completely new experience for every single person on this planet who’s never seen one. It beats anything you could possibly do, I reckon. It’s in line with falling in love, it’s just crazy, like what? how is this even possible? I’ve got Shambala in Canada. I’ve got another one in Seattle that I’m stoked about, Summer Meltdown.
I’m lucky. This year i’m playing Camp Bisco and Infrasound, festivals that I like personally. Ones that I like myself and thats cool because when you go to a festival that you want to be there for it’s even more amazing. You can feel yourself in the crowd when you’re playing or when you’re walking around, it’s like I want to be here.
iEDM: A fan named Seth Knop said he reached out to you after your set at Gem and Jam and said your set meant a lot to him and moved him. How does it make you feel when a fan reaches out like that?
Opiuo: It’s actually kind of hard to comprehend most of the time because when you have that really small interaction with someone they really cant explain what something felt like to you. I’ve kept letters and emails and things like that and thats when I can sit down and can take it in. Ive had people walk up afterwards at a festival one time, and said that their friend had died sky diving and I was their favorite musician and they danced their friends ashes in to the dance floor at that festival when I was playing and I cried.
You never really know how far it goes and that’s the cool thing because when you finish a song its then your guys’, it’s not mine anymore and thats the beautiful thing. When people tell me that stuff, every single time it does make a big difference. It feels amazing, it’s surreal. I’ve still got music today that I’ve had my whole life and if I met some of those artists I don’t even know what I would say to them. And I have to remember that, because when you're on the other side you sort of forget what it’s like to be able to say that to someone. You can take it on but you never really truly understand what they’ve gone through or are trying to get across. So if you see Seth thank him, give him a hug.