Where were you at 22? Playing shows at Hoxton XYZ or for intimate audiences at Sofar Sounds? Nah? Well that’s exactly what our latest interviewee Onur has been up to over the last few years. Growing up listening to a blend of MJ, Prince and Classical Music, this young artist definitely has an eclectic influence base, but as we discover, tries not to become an imitator of those he looks up to.
Sitting down with the Londoner, we got to hear more about his artistry, (describing it himself as Suave) as he tells us why he started making music in the first place: “Genuinely, because covers didn’t suit my voice.” he says laughing. It’s this line that we realise even though artists have the confidence to bare their souls in released music, they’re human and just as self-conscious as anyone.
Continuing the theme of music in his life, he went on to study Music at University commenting on the transition of theory to practise: “My uni course wasn’t exactly the most demanding, (academically) so it’s really just up to the individual to put themselves out there and get better. I’ve always just done music since the beginning of my university career, whether it be gigging, writing songs, playing for other people. I was never really in uni a lot. Rather out in London putting my skills to practise.”
As the conversation moved onto practise, we spoke about the importance of performing for a live audience. “It’s not only about being heard. It’s about playing that bad gig where no one is listening and bouncing back from it. You really gotta put yourself in uncomfortable positions to become a seasoned performer, and I believe that with the amount of gigs I did from the age of 18-21, I really found a sense of confidence and calmness for when I’m about to perform in front of people.”
His new single "Beamin’” is a strong debut for someone so early on in their careers, which shows clear intent about how serious he is about his craft. The subject matter of the single stems from a long-term relationship break up. Onur laments “I was so committed to that relationship that I never really spent the obsessive amount of time to actually develop an identity within my music. I always drew inspiration from artists like Prince, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake etc. but my music basically sounded just like theirs. And I think Beamin’ really symbolises my departure from trying to be like that.”
As our conversation drew to a close, Onur hinted at plans for an EP release next year, which we’ll be very sure to keep an eye out for, and leaves us with his idea of success:
“Success to me, means that I can do music as a career for the rest of my life.”
Beamin’ will be the first of a collection of singles to be unveiled one by one every month and leading up to an EP planned to be showcased at the beginning of next year. Be sure to keep an eye out on Onur’s socials: