Interview: edbl

Every Thursday Del Owusu interviews someone on the Fresh On The Net radar. This week, edbl

It’s been two years since we last spoke Ed, how are you?  

I’m very well thank you, Del! Keeping busy as ever, and delighted to have gone full-time as an independent artist at the turn of the year. I hope you are well also!

I’m great, thanks for asking! 

Congratulations on the release of Pizza Express: Live In London how does it feel? 

Thank you! I’m delighted its out in the world. The gig itself was a tonne of fun and my band are incredible, plus I think the material translates really well to a live stage, so I’m glad everyone – who hasn’t been to a show yet – can hear and experience it. PX have been awesome to work with too and it was an honour to even be asked to perform at their Jazz Club in Soho.

You released it in collaboration with Pizza Express, as you are now are signed to their label PX, what’s your favourite track from it? 

I’d probably have to go with the Lemar cover, If There’s Any Justice, I think mainly because its a totally new release as opposed to a live version of one of my released tracks, and I really love what we did with it. If I had to pick an original I would probably go for Cigars because I think you can really feel the energy between the band and features Alfie and Jarki on that one.

What was the easiest and most challenging part of recording it? 

I guess the easiest part was the fact that all we had to do was play a show how we would usually and we got a record out of it. And funnily enough I’d say the most challenging part was probably the same – knowing on stage that what we performed was going to become a record – it was quite nerve-wracking for sure!

It’s a live recording, featuring some fab collaborations, what’s your favourite memory of putting it together? 

My favourite memory was seeing all the features hang out and connect – we were at the Jazz Club for most of the day setting things up and sound-checking etc with all the featured artists so seeing them all in one room always brings me joy because everyone is so down to earth, as well as all being incredible artists in their own right.

It’s also been mixed in a relatively new technology for Apple Music – Dolby Atmos – how did it feel hearing it in that way?  

The Dolby Atmos mixing was an incredible experience to be a part of – PX actually invited me to the Dolby studios to sit in as it was being mixed in atmos. It was such a crazy experience because I sat in the middle of this room where all the walls are speakers and you can hear the trumpet at the back on the right, backing vocals on the left etc. It was a very immersive experience and I’m delighted to one of the first artists using this mixing technique.

As mentioned before, it’s two years since we spoke — what big lessons have you learned since? 

Very good question! Subconsciously I think I’m always learning to an extent, through writing and producing on my own and with other artists so regularly. I’m also always trying to not be too hard on myself if I wake up one day and don’t feel inspired at all or don’t want to work on music, particularly since going full-time. I struggle to give myself time away from it on the rare occasions where I don’t feel up to it, but I think it’s really important to be okay with that.

What’s been a big “pinch me” moment for you?  

I’m fortunate to say there’s been a couple recently – first and foremost getting to perform at the iconic Maida Vale studios for BBC Introducing in December, such a historic place and a massive bucket list moment for me for sure. I also got invited to a writing camp in Tokyo at the beginning of May, which was an incredible experience – travelling with music is the ultimate dream for me!

Post COVID what’s been something you’ve come to appreciate as an artist?  

I actually think COVID made me realise I can do a lot on my own. I’m such a sociable person and the project is so collaborative, which I love, plus generally unless I’m working I would never choose to be on my own. Having that forced upon me and having nothing else to do but make beats not only improved me as a writer/producer but also made me more comfortable and confident in creating full pieces of work on my own.

What are you listening to at the moment?  

I recently finished Dilla Time, J Dilla’s autobiography, which I absolutely loved and through reading it I became obsessed with two playlists on Spotify ‘produced by J Dilla’ and ‘J Dilla Instrumentals’ – I’ve basically had those two playlists on repeat.

What are you looking forward to next?  

I’m super excited about the next instalment of the edbl & friends EP series, which has some really exciting collaborations on and some music in a slightly different pocket to my usual stuff. I’m also going on a five-date UK tour in October, which I can’t wait for!

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Del Osei-Owusu

Del is a songwriter, producer, keyboard player arranger and musical nerd from South London, Del comes from a gospel music background but listens to anything, everything and nothing. Read More

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