Holyoak alias Oliver Holyoake beweist mit seinem eklektischen Signature-Sound, dass Trip Hop, Blues, Alternative und moderner Art Rock eine perfekte Symbiose ergeben. Sein EP-Debüt „Before“ spiegelt den Facettenreichtum des Künstlers wieder: Tiefe Bässe, rhythmische Sample-Layer, energische Synthesizer und die eindringliche Kopfstimme des Australiers verbinden sich zu einem entspannten Hybrid-Mix, der unter die Haut geht. Mit dem heutigen Release gibt es nun auch das erste Video zur EP. Nachdem der Musiker in seinem Elternhaus in Sydney mit klassischem Rock aufwächst, experimentiert er in seiner Jugendzeit vor allem mit der Musik seiner Blues-Idole und Garage Rock-Helden wie Black Rebel Motorcycle, The White Stripes oder The Strokes. Holyoak spielt in mehreren Bands und beginnt schließlich Philosophie und Marketing zu studieren. Mit einem erfolgreichen Uni-Abschluss in der Tasche taucht er in die Werbwelt ein und arbeitet schon früh für internationale Brands in Sydney. Nebenbei wächst das Interesse des Singer-Songwriters für Hip Hop und elektronische Produktionen. In stundenlangen Studiosessions verliert er sich erneut in der Welt der Musik und entscheidet sich schließlich drei Jahre später seinem Leben einen neuen Anstrich zu geben, seinen Job zu kündigen und nach Berlin zu ziehen. Dort findet er seine kreative Identität und wagt sein Glück als Produzent. Das Resultat ist eine vielseitige EP, die Lust auf mehr macht. Ich traf das junge Talent zum Interview und sprach mit ihm über vergangene und neue Herausforderungen.
What is the new video about?
The basic idea was for us to play with the theme of the song through the movement of the dancers, that theme being the lack of self confidence and safety net that comes with leaving everything you’ve known. The director Alex did an amazing job developing the concept and later painting the picture using the lighting and coordinating the dancers. I think we captured a really fitting but slightly strange mood thanks to the unbelievable dancers. On the shoot day I had a wicked flu and a fever but it was definitely worth it!
What was before?
A strange mix of comfort and a type of success that never felt like I could do it for forever. So there was the suspicion in the back of my head that something had to change eventually even though what I was doing went really well and everyone around me was always saying: „This is what you should be doing and you’re good at it!“
Are changes healthy although everything is going pretty well?
Yes! I think they are really fucking difficult but also amazing for your brain and soul. It depends what your goals are and where you wanna end up. I think it is actually nothing wrong with having the „working for the man“ kind of job. Some people have their thing that might be like working in a company or building houses or something like that. And that’s good. But I think when it’s not yours, even if you’re good at it, even if it’s like an acceptable thing, then you can feel it and you should change.
Why Berlin? How came up this decision?
It was some stupid Internet thing I’ve seen. Some sort of blog article about different things happening in Berlin. And it got planted in my head, this amazing postcard of an magical artistic city. Combined with the fact that it’s cheaper and that a bunch of my friends at home actually speak German and I always wanted to live somewhere that is not an English speaking country.
And how magical is the reality here?
Definitely not exactly like the internet but it’s a really unique city.
What makes Berlin so unique?
I think the history of this city accidentally created the perfect environment for art. Of course less and less because it’s getting more expensive. But once that perfect environment is made by these crazy historical things that go back hundred years, then it’s kind of weights and the matter just like grow organically.
Your first falling in love with music?
I think music started for me when I started playing. When I was 15 I bought a guitar cause I thought it would help me to get a girlfriend and it never worked. Not yet! (Laughs)
How long is the way from blues rock to hip hop?
10 years long. But strangely organic. There is no moment of like „I don’t like that music anymore and I like this music.“ I still love blues music and rock n roll and all that. But that’s a music actually hold the same place and culture different times, like hip hop is the rock and roll of today. It’s where in my opinion the most exciting cultural changes in the sound modern music are happening. Someone like Kendrick Lamar is a rockstar. He is the Paul McCartney of now. That’s amazing because you can have types of music that sounds completely different but the spirit of music is actually in a similar place.
Your musical identity in three words…
Crusty. Synth. Singer.
One day I’ll come to Sydney, I should…
Easy! Drink coffee!
Ok! Where is the best coffee place then?
This is important! Let me think… Klink in Clarence Street.
What was your tactic to survive the winter in Berlin?
Head first in! I went 12 kilometre run in the forest and it was snowing! It was awesome. I think it’s the best thing because there is still no routine for me here. So rather to protect myself I pretend that it is not that cold that it is.
Old-fashioned vs. hip
Sweet vs. salty?
You can’t wait to…
…play in a venue with a really good sound system!
You discovered a venue in Berlin you would like to play?
You can’t really know until you play. But when you go on stage and the fall back is perfect and then you just forget about and you have just this direct connection of exactly what your music sounds like to the people then you can focus 100% on the performance. But maybe the bigger room at Musik und Frieden.
What comes next?
I’m releasing my new video now and then in the next months it’s planned to drop out a second EP. This year I am determined to release 3 or 4 EPs and at least the same amount of Videos – I’d also love to produce some more bands. I’ve recently been working with the amazing ZAP and collaborate with other beatmakers, singers and creative people.
Last but not least: Your question?
Should I keep doing what I’m doing and how I’m doing it?