Words by Teddi Barker
Upcoming singer/songwriter OXLEE has just released his new single, ‘Traction’! His second track to be released pairs slick production with the second instalment of a story established in his previous single, ‘I Don’t Get You’.
We had the pleasure of catching up with OXLEE about his career, his influences and aspirations in anticipation of ‘Traction’.
Where in the world are you based?
I was born in the UK and lived there until I was around 7. I then moved to Brisbane, Australia, for a better life. I’ve lived here ever since and call the city home.
What inspires you when you write music? Do you feel the same things inspire you otherwise in life?
I’ve never really had consistent support in my life, and for me, music is exactly that. No matter if I just went through a break-up, or just won the lottery, writing is the way I express those emotions, and sometimes I just write songs for no reason at all … It’s kinda weird, like a relationship with myself where I get to express how, or what, I’m feeling during that current situation.
What messages are close to your heart that you hope to share through your music?
Right now, the message I really want to get across is that you should follow what makes you happy and make that a reality. A lot of people have told me to give up or to try something else, but music is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do.
Although I’m only young, I’ve had heaps of knock-backs already, and some of those even got to me at the time, but I know that deep in my heart this is what makes me happy, and even if the world tells me otherwise, I’m never going to stop. I want other artists, singers, actors – anyone who has a dream – to chase it no matter what. If that is what truly makes you happy, then no matter what the outcome is, you will enjoy the process and journey.
Would you say you have a particular style or genre of music that defines you?
I mean, yes and no. I believe that everything we make/create is art and unique in some form. I’m sure I’ve taken ideas and genres from all over the world, but what makes it art is creating something new and different.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
Definitely Michael Jackson, to start with … I think his music is so powerful and inspired me from a young age: I even had tickets for his show right before he passed. I think Kyle, Tobi Lou, and Amine are also at the top of my list. Then, it would have to be the K-pop genre; I think it’s such a cool style of music and is underrated in English speaking countries.
When it comes to your music, do you feel like there was one specific moment when you realised you were on the right path, or are you still trying to figure it out?
Well, you want to know something crazy? I think this song is exactly that for me. My whole life I’ve been performing in pubs and making music the way other people wanted me to. I think this single, ‘Traction’, is finally me being me and making the music I want to. I’m no longer holding back because I’m afraid certain people won’t like it as much.
What has been your favourite venue to play so far?
Probably Studio 301 in Sydney. Last year I got the chance to perform at one of their networking events, and I had such a good time playing for some music peeps in Sydney.
What would be your dream collaboration?
Definitely Tobi Lou. He’s been such an inspiration to me and writing with him would be amazing! Then probably Justin Bieber or even Aussie local, Ruel; I think he’s got such talent and I would love to see what we could come up with.