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Interviews, Music

Interview: Owlle: France’s Electro-Pop Daughter Waves Her Own Flag

By: Sasha Kalra (@sashakalra) –

 

One of the many interesting facets of French electro-pop sensation Owlle is that her birth name shares the name of country she calls home, and is now also the title of her debut album, released in late January and already receiving rave reviews.

Naming an album after your first name isn’t ordinary – and that’s precisely what sets her on the precipice of taking the world by storm.

“It’s wasn’t an ego trip but just like a reference to where I come from as well as who I am,” Owlle says. “I’m French and I say that with pride.”

Her style is a hot topic on music websites around the world. She has a dark, edgy side to her vocals but counters it with a lighter, mellower sound. Throw in some electronic, groovy instrumentals with quality production and you have ‘Dream Pop’ – the genre that Owlle most identifies with.

So what exactly does ‘Dream Pop’ reflect?

“It reflects what I am and how I think too though,” Owlle remarks. “I’m constantly day dreaming!”

She counts the music and style of the 1980s as a major influence on her sound and style. She isn’t an artist who fits neatly into one box but, for comparison’s sake, her vocals are somewhere amongst the likes of Lykke Li, Fever Ray, Kate Bush and Grace Jones.

“I feel that we live in an era that has less spontaneity in this respect and I regret it,” she says. ”Their music (‘80s) and acute sense of style was so extreme and free.”

The music and style of the 1980s played a significant role in developing the songs on Owlle's new album, France.

The music and style of the 1980s played a significant role in developing the songs on Owlle’s new album, France.

Extreme, free, and spontaneous; these powerful themes come to the fore on France, and her refreshingly non-contrived use of social media mirrors this. In an era where labels, managers, or brand handler regulate an artist’s Twitter account, Owlle stands out. She puts herself out there, endearing her personality onto her fans. Her live performances enhance that connection, an element of unpredictability that ensures a spot on the 2014 concert “bucket list”.

“Nobody dictates what I have to post on my sites or say or not say,” she says. “I’m no muppet …. I know the risk of putting yourself out there, you expose yourself to all sorts of responses, but that’s the rule of the game and it’s cool.”

Her candor was one of the drivers that pushed “Ticky Ticky”, an extremely danceable electronic tune with pop vocals,  from a not-so-visited Soundcloudpage to radio stations in Germany, Denmark, and Italy. It marked a big change for the singer who previously dabbled in mellower, calm arenas. “Ticky Ticky” is anything but calm.

“Ticky Ticky” will always be very special to me. It’s a combination of my dark and joyful sides,” Owlle explains. “I started to understand the impact of this kind of music on me and people too especially when I performed on stage.”

“It’s only a start – a good one – but just a start and in no event do I consider myself ‘arrived.”

She’s right; her arrival is still impending. But if she continues to stay in the fast lane, it’s only going to be a matter of time. Until then, sit back, relax and enjoy her unique brand of ‘Dream Pop’. It’s far from ordinary and after speaking with her, it’s clear that she wouldn’t have it any other way.

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