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Q&A: OBLVYN talks riding asteroid belts, propagating plants & evolving her sound identity

Watch an exclusive live video set of the Monstercat artist's 'Dream Theory' EP

  • Miki Kitasako
  • 12 April 2022

Canadian artist OBLVYN has caught our ears recently, in fact, ever since she landed her debut release with Monstercat and joined their rolodex of artists. She followed up with an eight-track sophomore release ‘Dream Theory’ EP last November that is leading with strength in 2022.

Emerging from Canada as a fresh and newcomer artist, OBLVYN’s DIY, home-brewed style that mixes audio and visual appeal, gives her fans a relatable experience that really does exude what her personal, sonic journey is about.

Her skills and aesthetics live in a mirage of a mystical outer-space, where bubble-gum hues and melodic soundscapes fit within the loose confines of future bass. Technically, she’s honed her native skills since a young age through classical piano and punk rock guitar training which she now translates to her current incarnation as an electronic producer.

Last year, we had the pleasure of learning her tricks and tips on how she curates content for artists that are looking to one-up their social media game. And today, we are exclusively premiering a 20-minute full-length performance that complements her latest ‘Dream Theory’ EP.

While listening and watching her technically savvy and musically electric live performance, we get to know the artist known as OBLVYN as she starts to break out to the world through Monstercat.

What are you listening to today?

"My taste is so broad, but the music I’m really enjoying and seeking out these days is more progressive. I love finding artists that expand the boundaries of sound design and technicality in expression, rhythm, and harmony. Electronic music is making huge strides right now, and I’m enjoying all of it."

We hear you’re an introvert that loves to hide in her studio, but our readers want to know 3 things about you that nobody else would. Go.

"I spend a lot of time on my own, creating things and existing on the internet. There aren’t a lot of things I do outside my studio, but I’m currently having success propagating plants and growing my jungle. I’m also a serial binge-watcher, and I’ve probably watched The Office twenty times by now."

You’ve grown through classical piano, pop-punk, jazz-pop, and now electronic music. What set off your career decision to be an electronic music producer?

"I’ve found that electronic music provides so many possibilities for creating as a solo artist, and it lets me be as expressive as I want."

How would you describe your sound, and what does your sound identity mean to you?

"I would say my sound is like riding a spaceship through an iridescent asteroid belt. In my current Instagram bio, I try to describe it as 'genre-bending hyper-focused distant future bass'. My sound is constantly evolving based on what sparks joy and the result of experimentation, but I think its essence remains the same."

You debuted your first release, “Alive,” with Monstercat. How has your journey been with the label so far?

"So many things in my life have changed since my first release with Monstercat. My career has definitely accelerated since, and I’ve connected with more people with my music. It feels like I’ve been welcomed into a community of like-minded music lovers."

Where did the name OBLVYN come from?

"To me, OBLVYN means embracing the unknown and the desire to go beyond boundaries. The name was in an old shortlist from when I was exploring solo projects. After a few years, when I finally devoted my energy to electronic music and tried to develop a moniker, I came across this list again and knew right away that it was the one."

You’ve said before “music isn't my only medium of art”. Tell us more about what other forms of art you send out into the world?

"Hah! I know which tweet this is referring to. I’m definitely not a culinary artist. But still true, I also am a visual artist. I loved to draw and paint when I was young, and now I’ve been making more digital art."

Has the pandemic thrown any life-changing challenges your way, or have silver linings surfaced instead?

"I’d say a bit of both, but definitely more silver linings. Most of my significant career successes happened over the pandemic. I really started grinding on music during that time, and it certainly has paid off."

What's the story behind your 'Dream Theory' EP and how did you come up with the name?

"‘Dream Theory’ EP is based on some of my dreams and my curiosity with the concept. I’ve always found dreams so interesting, and I’ve had some really cool and strange ones. ‘Dream Theory’ expresses my feelings toward ideas like subconscious exploration, simulation theory, time perception, and inter-dimensional travel. Like the Alan Watts quote in the intro track, 'What was it like to wake up after never having gone to sleep?'"

Your studio looks like your personal temple. Can you share some tips and tricks about what makes your studio a unique space for you?

"My environment is a big factor in creativity, and I tend to get fixated on achieving the right vibe. The aesthetic also helps make videos look cool. I have many different lighting options, like coloured LEDs that I can change depending on my mood. Most of the time, it’s an organised mess with instruments and clutter, but having everything within reach is when I get the most done."

And lastly, tell us a bit about the live set you’ve recorded for Mixmag Asia.

"The live set is a performance of my ‘Dream Theory’ EP in its entirety, with a synchronised light show. I created a kind of synaesthetic experience for people who want to immerse themselves further in ‘Dream Theory.’"

Watch OBLVYN's live set performance of her 'Dream Theory' EP below.

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