If you’ve been reading Essentially Pop for any length of time, you’ll have come across our pieces covering the music of the interestingly named, Sp8ce Owl. His most recent single, ‘And So It Begins’, comes with a gorgeous music video that takes us all over the world in the space of a day, and we were absolutely transfixed by it. You can read what we said here, but in the meanwhile, check out what Sp8ce Owl himself had to say, in response to our questions.
Thank you so much for agreeing to speak with us!
We’ve been writing about your music for a couple of years now, and invariably, your videos are stunning, and perfectly matched to your music. The latest one, ‘And So It Begins’, is such a lush visual feast, what inspired you to shoot in those locations?
Thank you for the opportunity to share with you, and I appreciate the coverage you have given to my music so far. From the start ‘And So It Begins’ felt like the beginning of something that was building into something more, but that build was subtle and patient. As the song started to develop so did images start to come to my mind. The first images I saw were of a distant memory of mine when I went to Dead Horse Point. As my mind started connecting the song to this place it soon developed into other places, and the concept and themes became more concrete. I then share these ideas with the extremely talented Michael Perimutter who brings his own creative force to these ideas and in the end the combination comes together and we get the video for ‘And So It Begins’.
If you were somehow able to follow the sun through its daily journey across the world, would your ideal locations be the ones in your video, or do you have other favourite places you’d like to see on your journey?
What a great question! There are so many ideal places on the planet, and the ones in the video hold a special place for me. For this journey I would begin and end by oceans. Oceans are what I feel most drawn to. The most revitalised by. So we will start will a sunrise over an ocean and end with a sunset over an ocean. Moments like that make it easier to stay completely in the moment by being absorbed by the sheer perfection in those moments. Now for all the places in between let see New Zealand would be a great place to start. Going over the South Island stirring Tolkienesque images as we move up to the North Island to Rotorua, and Hot Water Beach a place I think about often. I then move up to Australia and The Great Barrier Reef with the most beautiful underwater seascapes I have ever seen. Color and Beauty so powerful it takes the mind a minute to register it is real. Then up again and over Japan and the natural landscapes that look manicured by some divine hand. Up again and to the west through Southeast Asia. To the Temples of Angkor and the perfect sand beaches of Thailand with the mix of salt water and exquisite food in the air. Now over the Indian Ocean for a breathe of sea air before moving into the Bay of Bengal and into India. A place that sparks curiosity in me and images of the celebration of Holi with all its colour come to mind. Back over the Indian Ocean and into Africa were the movements in all the different kinds of music stirs something deep in my core. Then up again and over the Mediterranean and into Europe. As I am going over Italy I see seaside towns that look like they come from the pages of storybooks. Then over Zurich to see a city I truly love, and memories of the slight hint of chocolate aroma in the train station. Over to France now stopping over Paris to see the Louvre. Over Britain to now be over the Atlantic Ocean as we go to Iceland and the black sand beaches I hope to one day squeeze my toes into. To now the home stretch and into The United States and the landscapes I am most familiar with. As I cruz to the end of this journey we reach our final destination above a redwood forest that skirts the ocean in Northern California where we will watch the sunset. I enjoyed this journey hopefully no one got motion sickness along the way.
Who or what most inspires you to write your music? And what about in your day to day life?
I think the desire to express and process my emotional experiences through music as well as a desire for an outlet for creative expression drives me to try and create. Taking inspiration from artists like Peter Gabriel, Prince, David Bowie, James Brown and the other artists that have such a unique and defining sounds that become unmistakably them, and as they themselves evolved so did there music. I also get inspiration from the natural world. The ocean and redwoods are two of my favourite places to gain inspiration from.
What has been the best piece of advice you’ve been given? How would you advise someone who asked you how to get into the music industry?
I think the best advice I have been given simple put is when it comes to your music career no one should put in more effort than you do.
The advice I would give to someone who wants to get into the music industry is try and listen to music critically everyday. Listen to all different types of music. I put a random shuffle on once I land on a first song that speaks to me, and just listen. The more musical genres the better. Also, listen to music you don’t like or understand enough times that you start to like it, understand it, or know why other people do. Every time you listen to music it can be an opportunity to learn. Music is infinite possibilities there is something inherently exciting about that.
We’re coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic now; how has the past 2 or so years treated you? What lessons have you learned that you can take away with you into “normal” life? And what have you learned you can do without?
The past two years have felt like a mix of things both good and bad. The fear that was so dominant during the beginning of the pandemic was palpable having a wide effect on most aspects of life. Showing me how damaging living in fear is to the mind as well as the body. The sadness that comes with tremendous loss of life that occurred from the pandemic. The alterations in lifestyles also took time to adjust to, but it gave me the opportunity to be extremely focused on creating music. In this reflective state I also became more aware of the things I am truly grateful for.
I learned to not take for granted the times we get to spend with our loved ones, and also how much I missed hugs.
I learned that I didn’t need to be as dependent on my car as I was.
How did you come up with your nom-de-plume? Do owls hold a special significance for you?
Sp8ce Owl came about from me trying to create an identity I could believe in more than I believed in myself. Something I could put irrational confidence in. Something I could build a story around. Melding realities into each other ending on the other side hopefully with something entirely new. A version of myself not burdened with all the things I still carry with me. Strong when I feel weak. Confident when I feel I can’t be. Something I can eventually build myself into.
Early on when I was first exploring making music, and the Sp8ce Owl identity was in its conceptual stage owls seemed to always be present when I was making music. As it became more apparent the ideas stated to spark in my head. Some of it had to do with what I felt was the inherent mystery there was that surrounded owls. Things like their silent wings adding to mystery. To me they embody grace and a power that often has a beautiful subtlety to them. These qualities give owls the ability to spark my imagination, and is why they are significant to me.
Finally, and I ask this of everyone I speak to, what question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview, but nobody ever does? And what’s the answer to that question?
What non-musical influence has had the most influence on you musically?
The non-musical influence to influence me musically would have to be the fiction stories I have read. My love for the craft of storytelling has a significant impact on the approach I take to creating music. At some point in a song’s creation I try and create some kind of narrative around it. It can often be a narrative that affects the cover art and videos. I believe doing this connects me to the song in a unique way that can guide me in musical directions I might not normally go. It is a process I really enjoy.