Owl City is back with his brand new fifth studio album 'Mobile Orchestra', sounding better than ever and embedding a plethora of different genres within his sound.
Speaking to Female First in a brand new and exclusive interview, the talented musician talks about how he's progressed as an artist through his years in the industry, how he managed to bag such brilliant collaborations on the record and more. Read on to find out what he had to say.
Your new album 'Mobile Orchestra' is out now - what can you tell us about the sound on that record for those who haven't yet heard it?
It's more diverse than my previous albums, at least that's my hope. I did a lot of work with collaborators and guest vocalists and they really added a great deal of heart and soul to the album and I believe it makes it all the more special.
What about the title 'Mobile Orchestra' - where did that come from? The artwork is really eye-catching.
Thanks! I travel and make music all the time and that's what the title means. Inspiration doesn't care about convenience so I often find myself working in hotel rooms, on airplanes, trains, tour buses, backstage in the green room, even outside on the patio at my house.
Can you tell us a little bit about the creative process behind this album?
Well I set out to create something different, that was the key thing - different from my past albums. I wanted to experiment with new ideas and new sounds, even delve into new genres a little bit. If you listen to the album, hopefully you can sense some influences from across the board, pop, rock, hip hop, even a little country.
What has the response been like to the record so far?
So far so good, although I tend to keep a healthy distance from reading the response I get online. Just like anything, people will criticise what you do for no good reason, and people will worship the ground you walk on - both dangerous things to dwell too much on. I read somewhere that 5% of people hate your work, 5% of people love your work, and 90% listen and just get on with it. I like those stats.
This is your fifth full-length album - how would you say you've developed and evolved as an artist and musician since your debut?
I know a lot more now than I did when I was 18 years old, making music in my parent's basement. I didn't have a clue how to write a song back then, I knew nothing about studio gear and the tools of the trade. Now I like to think that I know a lot more about the technology side of things, what the actual knobs and buttons and sliders do in the studio. I love production and my favourite part is working on an arrangement and building the instrumental part of music so I have a lot of fun trying to polish my craft in that way.
You worked with Aloe Blacc on first single 'Verge', what was that experience like?
It was really great. Aloe is one of these guys who is on another level professionally and I think he added so much value to the song. I try to imagine the track without his voice, and it just feels middle of the road. He really took what I began and brought it to the next level.
Sarah Russell, Hanson, Jake Owen and Britt Nicole also feature - how did these collaborations come about?
In all cases, I was almost done writing each given sound and I just had a lightbulb go on over my head, and I thought, "I'll reach out to this or that artist and see if they might be interested in collaborating". I feel so lucky to have been able to work with all these amazing artists and again, I feel like their involvement really made for a better album.
Where do you continue to draw influence and inspiration for your music from?
I read a lot, I spend a lot of time digging through the Thesaurus and Dictionary believe it or not. So many cool words in the English language, usually I can find all the inspiration I need from just browsing through a book.
Going forward is there anyone on your wishlist you'd love to work with?
Enya, Thomas Newman, James Newton Howard, Travis Barker...
What definitive aims and goals for your career do you have going ahead?
Honestly I never thought I'd make it as far as I have so I'm just thankful for where I am now. If I can keep going for a few more years, I'll be more than content. I'd like to score a film someday, that's definitely on my bucket list.
Finally what's next for you?
I'm headed to Japan next week for Fuji Rock. Beyond that, I'm just thrilled to kick back and have a good summer!
Owl City's new album 'Mobile Orchestra' is out now!
Tagged in Owl City