Never afraid to experiment sonically, Opiuo has garnered a reputation as a leading founder of funkadelic bass music, pushing the envelope and exploring the depths of his musical creativity. “One of my absolute favourite items in life is a kaleidoscope. It’s full of colour, never the same, always morphing layers upon layers of spinning swirling shapes and vibrant light,” says Opiuo. “So when I sat down to make an intro to Syzygy 02 I knew I wanted something that begins with the smallest moment of a sound, working up slowly with everything around it into an infinite world of bendy, blending, sonic infused bassadelic adventure” he added.
We sat down with Oscar Davey-Wright—better known by his stage name, OPIUO—to pick his brain about his new single. Read the full interview below:
Where did the word “Kaleidoscope” come from for this creation? Is it at all related to your recent Syzygy project?
It was what felt right at the time. The song name Kaleidoscope is what I imagined when I made the intro sound, a kind of turning of shapes. And syzygy is just one of the coolest words I have ever stumbled across. It is a perfect relationship between me, my music, and the people who hear it. I just couldn’t resist.
Many of your songs, such as Snorkle and Ginger Lizard, contain modulated vocals, guitar riffs or horn sections. “Kaleidoscope” seems to focus more on a digital synthy buildup, and a deep, wavy bass. What brought about the subtle shift in your sound?
I’ve always loved being transported via music on a dance floor, and when making Kaleidoscope I wanted to do exactly that. To make it seem like you’re at the very beginning of an insane adventure into the wild mysterious unknown. I love bass, and deep music, so wanted to go there. Don’t you worry, there’s plenty more modulated vocals, guitar riffs, and horns to come!
Is this the type of production a direction you feel like you are headed in?
Not at all. I just try what feels right to me at the time. I don’t have any planned direction ever, and that’s what makes me love what I do day after day.
The single is accompanied by a prismatic, multi-colored, and absolutely psychedelic video! How did the visual aspect come to be?
I put a call out to my fan base for creative visual artists, and what came back was incredible. But I couldn’t look past Dr Foothead. His style spoke to me and I hit him up right away. We worked a few ideas over some time then he let loose and made that wonderful piece of moving art!
Will Kaleidoscope be part of an upcoming studio album, EP or something similar?
What started as a follow up ep to Syzygy 01 expanded into a longer release. I just couldn’t resist. It is the first single off an album baby!!
I’ve heard you grew up playing in bands, what genres and instruments did you play?
Played drums most of my life. Started out with the typical grunge rock, ska, punk vibes. Was huge amounts of fun. No way did I expect music would become my whole life! And I try to incorporate drums into everything I do live still to this day.
What past musical experiences, or other experiences in general, have informed your current productions?
Getting out into the world is literally the biggest inspiration on anything I do. Meeting people, and seeing how we interact to each other, art, all types of real life experiences. It’s all so inspiring and I take away so much from it.
Speaking of bands, the Opiuo Live Band and Syzygy Orchestra blew people out of the water at Red Rocks and other events. Can we expect any similar live performances in the future?
I never like to do anything for too long. I get bored. So to be honest, I don’t even know what’s around the corner! But I bet it’s going to be even better than last time.
What’s the craziest festival or show you’ve ever played and why?
Burning man. There’s nothing like it. My first one many many years ago changed me for the best forever!
After his first ever set at Voodoo Festival in New Orleans this October, Opiuo will set out on tour across North America this fall in support of Gramatik. He will also be headlining Denver’s newest venue Mission Ballroom with support from KOAN Sound, Haywyre, Maddy O'Neal and Guggenz. Find all tickets for the tour here.
‘Kaleidoscope’ is out now.
Interview compiled by Colin Eldridge
Paragraph text from Opiuo press release