My guest today is none other than Oneira! She’s also part of Figureless! Her songs included Kite, Leave it and Good night (video above)! Oneira was kind enough to give up some free time to perform this interview!
3.47: When did you first started getting noticed as a singer?
Oneira: Well, I think I’ve just been very lucky actually and it might sound a bit silly… I was totally unknown. Maybe 4 or 5 of my friends knew I was singing and uploading songs on YouTube, I didn’t tell anyone. Veela listened to my cover of one of her songs; she apparently liked it and asked me if I wanted to become a vocalist. I said “Oh yes, why not!”. Thus, a few months later, last December, I became a member of Figureless (a community of vocalists), and was directly introduced to a lot of producers. But I’d say it was especially thanks to DIVERSA, who supports and trusts me since the beginning. He asked me to sing on his album and on other tracks, even though I was just starting… But I still consider myself as a newcomer of course.
3.47: Not silly at all! To be honest we are all unknown and some are only found via SoundCloud or YouTube but it’s great that you got recognized the way you did! That must have been awesome hearing from Veela! Has life changed a lot for you now that you’re part of Figureless? Also what was it like working with DIVERSA?
Oneira: I think I can’t say that my life “changed” but some things did change, not everything. I’m still the same person. I’d say it’s just my environment that changed. I’m now surrounded by people that have the same passion, the same mindset and points of view about life and music, which is great! I’m also busier. And now I speak English more than French or German every day, (Laughs)… Working with DIVERSA is really funny actually. He works very fast, and I sort of work fast as well with him. He’s like “I have a track. Would you like to listen to it?” and I say yes and if I like it, he asks “Would you like to sing on it?” and within a day or so, the song is finished.
3.47: What inspires you as an artist?
Oneira: I think that, like a lot of people, what inspires me is what happened or is happening in my life or around me. The past, feelings, certain situations, people, things like that. But it can also be about films or images. When I work with a producer, I always ask what the inspiration for the track was, before writing the lyrics and the melody, because I want them to go along with the track, in a way…
3.47: That’s awesome hearing that! When I speak to a lot of producers, I always say with the tracks they make, there is always this “feel” you got for each one!
3.47: Who would you like to work with next? Anyone famous at all?
Oneira: In fact, I think I’ve already worked with the artists I really wanted to work with, so my life is almost complete, (Laughs).
3.47: Now that is rare to hear! You truly are lucky to have done that! Okay would you want to work with again?
Oneira: I really wanted to work with NoneLikeJoshua. When he asked me to work with him on a track, I think I couldn’t have been happier. Other than him, working with the producers from City By Night Records (Soular Order, Selerac, O S L O, Izzard, Aeuria) is just amazing. I love them! They do not think about money or fame, just music.
3.47: When it comes to a track, do you get a lot of them and have to decline them? For example the beat might not be to your fitting or are you open to all types?
Oneira: Yes. Every day I receive collab requests and therefore I have to decline some of them. It’s not simple at all, because I don’t want to sound rude or mean when I refuse to work with a producer, and I kind of feel guilty about not accepting sometimes. If I refuse, it can be for a lot of different reasons… If the track sounds too happy, I probably won’t sing on it, even though I’m a happy person in general, (Laughs).
3.47: That reminds me of Veela saying the same thing in one of her Q&A’s saying if the beat is happy I can’t work with it! I know what you mean by feeling guilty because I think that can happen everyday with other situations! But you know, sometimes it can’t be helped and it’s not like you’re saying I’m never going to work with them again!
Oneira: When the beat is too happy, it’s really hard to find lyrics that are not cheesy like “I love you baby, you’re the only one” or things like that. That’s why I think… With something “sad”, you can explore and try more things.
3.47 What was your reaction like when you saw the feedback coming in about your music?
Oneira: To be honest, the reaction is still the same now… I’m always surprised when people like it, because I don’t really know what to expect actually.
3.47: I say take it in slowly and just ride the wave of emotions!
Oneira: (Laughs), will do!
3.47: If you had the power to run your own music label, what would you call it?
Oneira: Mmh, I’d say “Juicemachine”. Don’t ask me why, (Laughs).
3.47: Damn I was going to ask what the story was behind it!
Oneira: It’s just a private joke actually… I think that people won’t find it funny, so yeah, I’m sorry!
3.47: What would you say has been the weirdest request you had?
Oneira: I think I haven’t been asked weird things yet… And hopefully it won’t happen! *fingers crossed*
3.47: Never say never! I remember speaking to an artist recently and she was asked to sing in a different language which she can’t speak!
Oneira: Oh really? Oh God… That kind of sounds interesting though!
3.47: When it comes to being independent, what would you say are the advantage and disadvantage you have?
Oneira: The advantage is that no one tells me what to do. I can work with people I want to work with and sing on a lot of tracks of different styles. The disadvantage may be that, by working on different things all the time and just doing vocals, I feel a little bit lost sometimes, as though I didn’t have a home or something… But that’s why I also write and sing my own songs or cover some songs when I can, to kind of prove (myself) that I can do things alone as well.
3.47: I like how you said that about feeling lost and not having a home. It sounds more personal that way! Is there any of your songs that are more about your journey in life or is that something you would rather leave to writing for a book if that ever happens?
Oneira: I think that my lyrics are really personal actually. Every song I write captures a particular moment of my life I believe. I find it great that producers never ask me why I wrote this or this. They just accept my lyrics. And it’s better like that, to let people guess what the lyrics are about… There is only one person that knows the story behind every song.
3.47: Are you playing live events or is that something you want to do?
Oneira: I had my first live performance last January and will probably have another one next month in June! Just with my loop pedal and my guitar/ukulele. When I record vocals, I do that alone in my room. And I usually sing alone. But to sing in front of people that are here to listen to you… This feeling is weird but really cool. I’d like to do that more often.
3.47: How was it like performing live for the first time?
Oneira: I was REALLY nervous. Alone, on stage, with my guitar, in front of more than 200 people that I didn’t really know… The funniest thing was that, because I was nervous, my voice was trembling, and some people said “I love your vibrato!”… It wasn’t natural, (Laughs).
3.47: What’s your favourite song at the moment?
Oneira: Well, I’d say ‘Enola’ by Selerac, from his latest EP ‘Streetlights’. This guy is amazing.
3.47: She knows good music! What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Oneira: “Do not show off.”
3.47: And have you been before?
Oneira: I don’t think so. I hope not! It’s one of the things that I fear the most actually…
3.47: What advice can you give to others who want to be like you?
Oneira: To be like me? Oh God, I hope no one would like to be like me because they’ll surely regret it, (Laughs). But you mean becoming a singer? I’d say this: Do not try to imitate other artists, because people will notice it soon enough. You can be influenced by other artists, of course, but do not try to sound exactly like them. And actually, I also say that to myself all the time…
3.47: (Laughs) No way you’re cool as anything! Do you see yourself doing that quite a lot then at times when doing the cover songs?
Oneira: Not really. Most of the songs I covered are from male singers, so I can’t really try to sound like them. And I don’t want to/can’t sing like someone else. I think it’s something that you have to accept as a singer, even though it can sound harsh: You have your own voice. Deal with it.
3.47: Does anyone else in your family sing?
Oneira: Yes, everyone, except my father. I really learnt how to sing thanks to my older sister. She unconsciously taught my other sister and me how to sing harmony.
3.47: Any chance we will see your family doing a collab with you then? Never know could be the new Jackson family!
Oneira: Well, I tried to record a song with my older sister, but it’s kind of impossible every time because she always laughs… And my other sister is pretty shy. But I’ve already recorded something with my niece, (Laughs)!
3.47: What do you do in your spare time?
Oneira: I listen to music. Sing. Talk to other people. Read some interesting articles on the Internet. Go on Tumblr. Drink tea and coffee. And study… Since I started making music, I think I totally forgot what boredom was… Always have something to do.
3.47: Drinking tea and coffee! A lot of people take the mickey out of us English because tea is meant to solve all problems! Do you have any special tea and coffee you like to drink or just the standard stuff?
Oneira: I drink green tea! And coffee… I’d say any type. I think it doesn’t really help me to be more creative… It just keeps me awake!
3.47: Do you have any other hidden talents?
Oneira: I don’t think so, (Laughs). It may be hidden for me as well…
3.47: Hey I say writing those deep lyrics is pretty good of a talent!
Oneira: Aww, thank you! I wish I could write better though. As English is not my mother tongue, my vocabulary is kind of restricted or limited, in a way.
3.47: If you had the chance to run YouTube, what would you change about it?
Oneira: I’d say the dislike button. I really love the fact that on SoundCloud, it doesn’t exist. Some people believe that clicking on that button give them superpowers or something like that, or simply that their opinion is worth more than others…
3.47: Yeah it’s true and I think at times people just press it for the sake of just pressing it. If you dislike it at least say why and help someone improve on what they are doing wrong.
Oneira: Yeah… Or just let it go!
3.47: You make music as well which is really awesome, how long have you been doing that for?
Oneira: Well, I decided to play the ukulele 3 years ago (because it only has 4 strings, so it seemed simpler…) and the guitar last year in June. I can also play simple chords on the keyboard. I learnt everything alone, by ear especially, so that’s why I’m not really good. I really started writing my own songs with an instrument as soon as I received my microphone in December 2012, with the song ‘Kite’ which was the first song I’ve ever written on my guitar, even though I didn’t know how to play at that time, (Laughs).
3.47: Wow you are pretty talented been able to play all those instruments! Is there any other instrument you want to take on next?
Oneira: I think that what’s important for the time being is that I need to learn how to play better with the instruments I already mentioned, before starting with another one…
3.47: So I notice you’ve done a song based on Skyrim called Dragonborn! Are you a hardcore gamer yourself?
Oneira: I really do love video games! I kind of grew up with them, once again thanks to my sisters who were more into video games than me actually. It’s one of the only things that brings us together…
3.47: Very true it does and I gotta admit I meet some really cool friends off xbox live! It’s crazy how something like that can bring us together or even make new friendships!
Oneira: I totally agree! I met some good friends thanks to video games as well… They will probably read this interview, (Laughs). So hi you!
3.47: Apart from Skyrim which we know you like, what other games do you like playing?
Oneira: Some of my favourite games are Zelda Ocarina of Time on Nintendo 64, Tales of Symphonia and Sonic Adventure 2 on GameCube. We almost had all Nintendo’s consoles at home. Some people are surprised when I say that I really love Grand Theft Auto… I also love playing online video games too, such as Guild Wars, League of Legends or Minecraft… Even though I’m a noob sometimes. And it can sound weird but I think that kind of shaped my musical tastes as well.
3.47: Your sisters sound like they are just awesome! I think a lot of people loved Ocarina of Time for just been the classic it truly is! I was looking at Sonic Boom and was thinking what have you done to the Sonic crew?! I should give Minecraft another go, I seen loads of people playing it without taking a lot of breaks! Is that a hint that we might have a new song based on a game?
Oneira: Minecraft can really be addictive, but it sort of hurts my eyes after a while, seeing cubes everywhere… I’d like to cover a song from Guild Wars 2 pretty soon. And I already have a recording of a song from Sonic Adventure 2. I already covered 2 songs from Final Fantasy too. And I might write another song about one of my favourite games, yes… The stories of video games are always so complex and interesting.
3.47: What can we expect from you in the future?
Oneira: A lot of collabs probably. And I just hope I will improve! I’d like to be able to produce my own music one day, and not always be dependent on other producers all the time.
3.47: Well that sounds exciting! You never you might be able to bounce idea off another producer! Any words you want to say to your fans out there?
Oneira: I don’t really like the word ‘fans’ to be honest, I’d rather say ‘listeners’. I want to say thank you, just for the simple fact that you take time to listen to what I do, it’s just awesome! Thanks for believing in me. I feel blessed.
3.47: You know I may just relabel that question as that now! I like it! Ladies and gentlemen Oneira! Thank you for doing this interview!
Oneira: No, thank YOU!
3.47 would like to say a massive thank you to Oneira for spending the time doing the interview! Until next time guys!