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INTERVIEW: Ollie English

RAD LIFE

INTERVIEW: Ollie English

Jason Katsaras

Local talent Ollie English has been making waves recently across Adelaide with his silky blues tunes. Currently working on his debut EP, Ollie encapsulates what Adelaide has to offer to the blues revival that has been happening in recent years. 

More than happy to have a chat with us about his music and prospects for the future, Ollie told us that the remainder of his EP will feature a band of some description, which has us excited. While we’ve only heard the release ‘Winter Sun’ from Ollie, this song demonstrates the young musician’s ability to purvey raw and deep emotion through his music.

Ollie has also recently performed an astounding cover of Ray Charles classic ‘In the Evening’ for The Road Trip sessions, which was released today

Ollie English being interviewed by RADL music writer, Jason Katsaras

Ollie English being interviewed by RADL music writer, Jason Katsaras

What pushed you towards music to start off with, as early as you can remember?

Yeah I was a classical guitarist so that was like the first thing I really got into. It wasn’t 'til I was a teenager that I listened to blues and I really got into it.
 

So that was through school?

Yeah, I guess also at a young age mum would put on like Zeppelin and James Brown and I’d just be jamming to that, having heaps of fun.
 

From being a classical guitarist, at what point did blues come into the picture?

I think it was like really early on, I don’t know exactly know when but I definitely remember hearing old Robert Johnson and Eric Clapton and all the old blues people and thinking this is great.
 

Following on from that, we’ve heard through your social media page that you're very inspired by the greats of blues, but are there any particular modern blues artists who you look to for inspiration?

Nah definitely, I think there’s definitely like a revival going on with sort of older styles and bringing them back with modern kind of perspectives. I reckon Hozier, I think he’s a really good example of someone that broke through. Um Leon Bridges inspires me, Benjamin Booker’s pretty good as well.
 

Yeah he’s fantastic.

Yeah he has like a really interesting sound, oh and also Gary Clark, Jr.
 

Cool! Well we’ve heard and loved your track ‘Winter Sun’ and we’re very excited for the upcoming release of your debut EP. Is the style of this song going to be present with a lot of other songs on the EP?

It’s actually just that song, because everything else has a band in it. Like I’ve been recording with a couple of people so.
 

So it’s kind of a standalone song in that regard?

Yeah I guess. It relates to everything but that one was more of the sort of older delta style kind of acoustic blues, and yeah the rest of the stuff has got band in it, so (I'm) pretty excited to show that.
 

With those upcoming songs, has that been the same people in the band for each new track?

I guess yeah, because I’m working with a couple of guys called Craig James and Dean Edwards. Craig I know was in one of the original Fab Four Beatles cover bands and traveled the world so it’s really exciting. I mean he’s recorded in Abbey Road and everything and has such a wide range of musical knowledge; he’s helping me now to craft my stuff together.

So it’s so far been him on guitar and drums and then Dean who’s the sound engineer I've been working with, he plays a bit of drums as well. It's Kinda between me and Craig at this point of recording.
 

Awesome to hear, As a young person we often find that there is a lot of music fighting for your attention all the time with contemporary genres seeming to be everywhere...what would you say blues and roots music has that sets it apart?

I know it’s a bit biased coming from me, but I really believe it’s the most soulful genre. Respectfully though I mean every genres different ... it's soul music, it’s about nothing other than just looking at your emotions and really kinda digging deep.

 

You can find out more information about Ollie English’s music on his Facebook page, or his Triple J Unearthed site. If you want to see Ollie play for The Road Trip Sessions, click here

The Singer/Songwriter is often gigging at the 'Winston bar', so keep an ear to the ground on these platforms for his next appearance!

Header image via The Road Trip Sessions