Interview Oceaán: ‘I Don’t Feel That Things Should Be Limited’

This 20-year-old Manchester producer is being talked about as the new SOHN. Take a dip in Oceaán.

Oliver Cean’s music isn’t a good match to a disgusting, K Cider-spilling night out at the Manchester producer’s namesake club, Oceana. These songs he’s so far sporting are more serene, gloomy cuts that occasionally shake up the system and give a jolt of force. Previously giving his attention to bands, the 20-year-old has spent six years caved into a makeshift studio in his bedroom. Song after song emerged. Only now is he beginning to think about where these tracks end up.

“I’ve got friends who are like ‘Oh right, you like electronic stuff?’,” he says on a rare trip down to London. He says the project’s been “serious” for a good five years. But only recently did he coin the aqueous name, in turn refining clever productions into actual, forward-thinking pop tracks.

First came ‘Neéd U’, a deftly applied debut that couldn’t hide its outpouring of romance. Since then, Cean’s productions (he won’t divulge his real name) have only gotten slicker. Remixes for Swim Deep, MØ and Woman’s Hour were odd in that they barely resembled any of the original tracks. In the latter, Oliver’s vocals are at the very centre. Nothing interrupts. It’s his song, basically. “I don’t feel that things should be limited, or the idea of a remix should be adding one single sound. To me adding vocals always seemed like an obvious thing,” he says.

He speaks about his music with serious intent. That’s not to say he’s clouded by grand goals, but he comes out with declarations like “bands use vocal techniques that almost mask insecurity” and “it’s so important to strip things back,” there’s clearly a wealth of knowledge behind these early efforts. “I’m just trying to write the music that interests me - without sounding stupid. I like my own freedom to do what I want to do, without having any limitations. Whether it’s darker, lighter or more commercial next time round, it’s not really an issue for me.”

Taken from the April 2014 issue of DIY, available now. For more details click here.

Tags: Oceaán, Features

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