Hamish Downie’s Five Questions with O & O

Editor Note: Hamish has another in his series of Five Questions With…

Hamish came up with this idea because he was accumulating too much material for his Famous News Sushi column and asked if he could do these mini-interviews. Why would we say no?

Thank you Hamish for being such a trooper for us. We really appreciate all for your hard work.

Let us know what you think of these interviews in the comments below.

I recently found out about this Americana duo based in the UK via the sister of one of the members of the band. Namely, Naomi McDougal Jones, who I interviewed last year for her film, “Bite Me”. You can check out her interview here: https://www.tggeeks.com/blog/2019/07/17/five-questions-with-naomi-mcdougall-jones/

Not to cause any more sibling rivalry (I also have a very creative sister)… so I better give the brother and his band the attention that they richly deserve…

So, without further ado, here’s the duo – O&O!

TGG: Could you please introduce yourselves and your group to our readers?

O&O: Hello! We are O&O, a Country/Americana music duo based in London. Obadiah is originally from Colorado and Orian hails from Israel, born and raised. We met while studying at The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA), in the same class, and we connected within the first few weeks of our first year. Obadiah joined Orian’s pop band and later Orian sang backing vocals in Obadiah’s rock band, but we wrote a lot of songs together in many styles/genres as part of the course and extracurricularly. When we graduated, we took a job performing nightly on a Caribbean-bound cruise ship in order to continue to perform and work together. It was really in that environment, performing for thousands of new passengers each week, that we honed our vocal harmony blend and sound as a duo.

TGG: I have to ask… What was it like working with Sir Paul McCartney?

O&O: In our final year at LIPA, we were chosen as two of eight songwriting students from our class to have individual, 20-minute songwriting feedback sessions with Sir Paul McCartney.

Obadiah: I was the first of the eight to meet Paul that day and so I was, understandably, quite nervous. The Beatles have always been my biggest influence and greatest musical love, so I was really meeting my all-time hero. But Sir Paul has been around the block a few times and he knows how to put you at ease, which he did almost immediately. It also really helped that I had a purpose for being there and so we got down to business and I played him two original songs (one of which Orian and I had co-written), which he gave me some direct feedback about. As I was leaving the room, Paul told one of my lecturers, ‘He’s a good songwriter’. So that’s the only accolade I need, really!

Orian: Obadiah got to go in twice because he came with me to my one-on-one session to accompany me on guitar. What I’ll never forget was that Obadiah and I were singing a song for him that we had written together and suddenly a third voice joined us – it was Paul singing along with us! When the day was over we had a group photo with Sir Paul and we saw him again at our graduation ceremony when he handed us our diplomas.

TGG: What a wonderful validation! Now, I’m sure we all have high expectations for the music… so, can you tell us about your latest song, “Dancing On The Floor”?

O&O: ‘Dancing On The Floor’ is a different kind of drinking song. For this song, we delved into the world of vices to question why we humans are often drawn to do exactly what we shouldn’t. The opening guitar riff, which sprang to hand almost fully formed, was the inspiration and driving force of the track. Recorded at our favourite studio, The Cabin (Liverpool), we had free reign to crank up the distortion controls and it shows our ‘rockier’ side. We just released a brand new music video for this track, which was so much fun to make and features all types of cool guest performers from YouTuber Rachel Oates to Country Hits Radio DJ Matt Spracklen and some amazing dancers, such as Shakara Brown who has been in Thriller Live on the West End.

TGG: That song is so catchy! I have to ask… What drove your decision to make Americana music in the UK?

O&O: When we were in Liverpool we weren’t very aware of the Country and Americana music scene in the UK. After we had finished working on cruise ships and wanted to write and record some new songs as O&O, this was the sound that came naturally to us and we recorded ’Traveling’/‘Coming Over’ (our first single). We decided to move back to the UK and to live in London because it was somewhat central to our two home countries and, legally, we wouldn’t need to jump through as many hoops to live there. But we got really lucky because the Americana music scene in the UK (including Country and Folk) has been growing and blooming in recent years. There is so much great talent here and it is a pleasure to be part of such a supportive and vibrant scene.

TGG: And finally… How can we best support you (where can we follow you on social media? buy your stuff, see you on tour, etc)

O&O: The BEST question! Thank you! Please follow us on your preferred (or all) social media platforms (links below) and listen to our music on your preferred streaming or music download platform; subscribe to our YouTube channel to get our latest music videos, collaborations and tutorials; and, lastly, check out our website for upcoming shows and more information.

Website: https://www.oandoduo.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oandoduo
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/oandoduo
Twitter: https://twitter.com/oandoduo
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/oandoduo/
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/7DQx9zp1YQHjziBAn8L5zG
Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/o-o/161075230

TGG: Thanks O&O!!!!

Extra: Here they are singing “A Case of You” with Hollie Rogers

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