Interview with Oscar Jennings
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
My family has always been very musical. My mum and aunts have played in a band called the Henry Girls since before I was born, and my dad plays saxophone and believes strongly in the value of learning and listening to music as much as possible. If I hadn't gotten into music I'd probably be pretty boring, studying maybe.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I'm a huge fan of movies, so watching movies and exploring different aspects of film and art has always been a big source of emotional and narrative inspiration for me. Some of my songs have been directly influenced and inspired by certain movies and TV shows.
How long has your band been around?
I've been performing and writing songs since 2017, when I was 14 years old.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I'm based out of Derry, Ireland, so I come from a city that has a well-documented and controversial history, but the most influential part of where I grew up is how encouraging, like-minded and musically/artistically inclined most of the people that I know are. If I had been raised in an environment that didn't breed creativity then I don't think I would have had much interest in making music.
How did you come up with your name and what does it mean to you?
Well, that was my parents' decision, so you might have to ask them.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
The shows that to me feel the most memorable are the shows where I feel like I have made a real connection with the audience. This is something that so far I've found more often with smaller shows, where it feels as though everyone has bought in.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Stendhal Festival is always a wonderful experience, and a place that's always looked incredible to play in is Dalhalla Ampitheatre in Sweden.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
I think getting to see Talking Heads to do a proper gig would be fun.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting started and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
I would tell both to have the confidence to really commit to it if music is what you want to do. The most effective strategy is trying.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
My single 'I'll Wait is a song that I really care about. It was my first released song and it was extremely satisfying to write and produce an original piece of work, especially one that is so emotionally charged.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I have a song 'Song With No Name' that is very long, has a lot of loud singing, has an odd structure. I probably like it more than anyone else. My song 'Black Sky' is occasionally a crowd request.
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
I write songs fairly spontaneously and sporadically, without a consistent process. I am inspired by relationships, people around me, other art, emotions…
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I very rarely write music with a message in mind, but I feel like most of my songs are an attempt to communicate the way I subconsciously view myself and the world.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Yes! My new single Wouldn't Be Seen Dead is released on the 14th of July, and my debut EP of the same title is released on August the 2nd.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
You can find my instagram @oscarjenningsss, and all the usual streaming platforms for my music.