Interview: Oscar Key Sung
One half of Oscar + Martin, he’s produced for Banofee and Ghostpoet, and has made some fucking good dance tracks, raising the benchmark for bedroom producers. Oscar Key Sung is a name to watch this year. Renowned for his spacious R&B pop songs that have reached international acclaim, the Melbourne-based singer/songwriter/producer is one the most prodigious talents in Australia’s thriving underground music scene. We chatted to him about his namesake, influences, and making music that you can simultaneously cry and dance to.
What’s your real name and where does the name ‘Oscar Key Sung’ originate from?
My real name is Oscar Vicente Slorach-Thron . When I started making the beats and songs that became the Key Sung thing, I was trying to use my vocals as the source for pretty much all the sounds. So a lot of layers in the sessions were called things like “Key Sung”, “Drum Sung”, “Mouth Click”, “Mouth Snare” etc. Then calling it “Oscar Key Sung” sort of related to my first solo project, “Oscar Psuche”. It just kind of made sense to me at the time, the name game is a hard one haha.
Describe what Oscar Key Sung sounds like to someone who has never listened to your work?
Some Dingus singing like a girl. And you can cry/dance to it!
Your music is almost genre defying. What were your main musical influences whilst working on <3 Symbols Beat Tape?
I think when I was doing that beat tape it was being fairly insular. I was responding to the limitations of working with tape loops and the keyboard I was using, and whatever loops I made by chance. In a way the process and hardware itself generated the tunes, not so much conscious influences. It was just a fun little bunch of beats to pop up for free.
I tend to like different things about different genres. I like a lot of the sounds used in alt ambient sort of stuff, like Christian Fennesz for instance, but I really like the grooves and feels of hip hop and dance music. And I love pop but I don’t like the epicness of it usually. I’m pretty much just making what I like, and that’s a reflection of my values. Like anyone, I have my own personal values about what’s good and bad about music.
You’ve been getting a lot of praise online for your work, how has that helped with your music career? Do you feel pressure because of the level of expectation?
I’m happy to be getting reviews and stuff, I appreciate it heaps! But I don’t want to think about it too much. Like you said, it would start me thinking about expectations and then I’d probably get sad and the songs wouldn’t flow from a natural place. Ideally I can keep being myself and have that validated, rather than try and fit something I’m expected to.
Knowing where you are now, where do you think Oscar Key Sung will ultimately be?
I’m not physic!
And lastly, what happened to Martin?!
As part of the Red Bull Music Academy Club Nights, Oscar Key Sung is supporting LA producer, Kingdom on the 14th of February at Boney, Melbourne:
Words by Naomi Jane