ONUR’s music is instantly captivating. It’s complex and layered, driven by sexy, dance-heavy beats and shimmers with a young energy that was also palpable in his answers to my interview questions. London-based currently and highly inspired, ONUR is off to an insane start as a musician, already playing sold out shows after the release of his debut EP, A Millennial Rhapsody. Check out our discussion below and be sure to keep up with him as he’s got “an absolutely hefty pile of music” he is finishing up now!
MFL: A Millennial Rhapsody has three bold and unique tracks. How and when did you know that these were the three tracks you wanted to represent your debut EP?
ONUR: They all represented different facets of my life, in the most me way music could.
Each of them also pushed my production and songwriting capabilities, and I think they stand as three incredibly great tracks.
It’s weird, like you just know… I can’t really describe it, other than, it just made so much sense at the time.
MFL: What sort of feedback have you received for A Millennial Rhapsody and has the release of the EP lead to any shows this past spring and current summer?
ONUR: I mean, the feedback has been amazing so far, from critics and regular listeners alike.
After playing a sold out EP launch, I had about 6 more shows lined up. They were all packed, some even sold out. That was an insane feeling, given that I’m not anywhere near stardom yet haha.
I’ve got two Sofar Sounds gigs coming up and a couple more venues to be confirmed by August for the start of the new semester, but that’s about it on the gig front for now! If you follow my Spotify page, my gigs get updated regularly!
MFL: You mention that you grew up in a white middle class school and stuck out because you were of a different ethnic background. Where is your family from and how do you feel your ethnic origins influenced your music?
ONUR: My family is Turkish. So you can imagine I’m the abomination of the family, gone in to do music with my life haha.
I don’t really think my ethnic origins have affected my music in such an obvious way. I was born and raised in England, therefore most of the culture I’m drawn to is British. But I’m naturally drawn to more haunting sounding things and music with minor melodies, I think there could be a link between the melancholy that Turkish music has, which is a mixture of Arabic, flamenco, western traditional and so many other genres. As opposed to the more happy melodies you hear in Brit pop.
MFL: Do you recall any particular moment in your life when you knew music was going to be part of it?
ONUR: Honestly, not really hahaha.
It was ALWAYS there. My mum distilled a love for art in me from such a young age that I couldn’t pin point a particular time in which I knew music would be a part of it. However, after I wrote my first ever good song around the age of 18, I decided that I actually might have a chance at this professionally.
MFL: Who have you collaborated with for mixing and recording and how did these collaborations begin?
ONUR: Well the entirety of my last EP I collaborated with an extremely talented producer/writer called LJ. He initially started following me because of a Sofar Sounds gig I did a while ago, but because he kept popping up in my stories on Insta, I did some digging, only to find a link to his Soundcloud. After hearing the first song on there, I DM’ed him and we pretty much hit it off straight away.
MFL: How did the remix of “Beamin” come about and how do you feel about having one of your tracks remixed?
ONUR: Haha it’s funny, a lot of my mates are also music producers, so usually I’m really hesitant to give them anything cuz I don’t want them to do a better job at producing my song than me haha.
But of course it’s very humbling that someone would actually spend time doing that. So I’m very grateful for it.
MFL: Are there any musicians or albums that you could say are the “soundtrack” to your summer?
ONUR: Hmmmm, not any album in particular no. I don’t listen to new music that much haha.
I pretty much listen to obscure electronic music, or flamenco if I’m not listening to more commercial stuff. But I’ll always go back to my favourite albums :
D’Angelo – Voodoo
Disclosure – Caracal
Prince – Purple Rain
Justin Timberlake – FutureSex/LoveSounds
MFL: Finally, what have you been up to since the release of the EP and what is in the pipeline?
ONUR: I’ve been gigging!
I’ve played a few shows so far with my band, and a lot more to be played, I’ve got two Sofar Sounds gigs coming up and a couple more live gigs to be announced (follow the insta @onursevigen to find out more 😉)
I’ve got an absolute hefty pile of new music that I’m just trying to finish up at the moment. All I know, is that my trajectory has been straight up so far, and I plan to keep it that way. So the next releases have to be as good, if not better than my previous releases.