BORN: Trondheim, Norway.
BASED: Oslo, Norway.
AN INTRODUCTION: Slow-burning, R&B-inspired songs that showcase Ogawa’s soulful voice.
THE BEDROOM TAPES EP: I started basically with things on Spotify and SoundCloud. I produce and mix and do everything myself, and I have the guys with me when we play live. It’s all me on the tape. Honestly, in my opinion, I think that the EP was a bit rushed. But the fans, that’s the project they’re really digging. It was basically to make them satisfied, to give something to the audience. The songs on the EP are pretty old, at least a year old. I’m cool with [performing them], because we can play around on the stage. I can sing the songs a bit differently.
PARENTS AND PRINCE: I grew up with my mom. She moved from Trondheim to Oslo when I was about three. She’s probably been the biggest influence in a lot of ways. She’s always played a lot of Prince, and I’d say Prince is my biggest idol, because he’s so cool with himself; he plays with the feminine side of himself, he plays with all of these different things. If there’s one thing that made me begin with music, that’s it: Prince. I used to watch Purple Rain all the time when I was a kid. [laughs] I really love him. Growing up, my mom was awesome. She has this creative energy; it’s so amazing. So I grew up with her, but I moved in with father, actually, when I started high school. He’s a musician too, so he helped me a lot during that period, showed me how to produce stuff and sing.
ON THE MIND: I’m trying to express something that I feel. It could be sensual stuff, it could be sad. But at this time in my life, I’m pretty obsessed, or, I don’t know, caught up with relationships and girls. [laughs]
AN INSTINCTUAL APPROACH: When you have this idea, this creative idea, it usually happens in the moment. If you’re seeing it over and over again and you perfect the bass line or you perfect the drums or you perfect the guitar over and over again, it loses that spark, I think. I don’t want to sit down, make a song, and try to perfect it in an ultimate way. I usually just make a tune, record it instantly, and stick with it. If I don’t vibe with it, I’ll make another one and another one.
THE NORDIC INFLUENCE: Honestly, this is also just my opinion, but I’m not very fond of Norwegian music. I like warm music, good vibes. I feel like a lot of the Norwegian stuff is pretty cold. But at the same time, I won’t disregard it. There’s a lot of good stuff being produced. I’m more into a lot of old stuff, like the ’70s, ’60s, the Beatles. I really love Marvin Gaye. Groovy funk stuff, like Prince, like George Clinton.
WHAT’S NEXT: After summer, it’s going to be totally different, totally new. It’s basically a few singles and then an EP, but it’s a new direction. I’d say it’s a lot more fresh, a lot more me, more vocally-based, not so much guitar and that slacker vibe. It’s more R&B-based. I’ve always been into R&B, especially Marvin Gaye. I just found myself exploring that musical landscape more. I actually worked on something last night. I feel like I’m going in a more funky, groovy direction, but at the same time, it’s a lot more what I want to work with, what I feel inside, how I feel at the moment. There’s a lot of music; I have so many demos. We’re planning a fall release. I think it’s going to vibe with a lot of people. We’re playing a concert at Øyanatt, [a concert program on August 10 that’s part of Øya Festival,] warming up for Perfume Genius.
SOME FINAL WORDS: The most important thing for me, musically and in everyday life, is to be honest, to be myself, trying to be here in the moment. I feel like we’re so obsessed with social media, and everything around ourselves is based on things that aren’t happening right now and are caught up in another time or place. Being here is very important; that’s what I’m trying to do with music.
BEDROOM TAPES (PLAYGROUND MUSIC SCANDINAVIA) IS OUT NOW. FOR MORE ON JAKOB OGAWA AND UPCOMING TOUR DATES, VISIT HIS FACEBOOK.