Olly Sholotan – Soulful Grazing

Olly Sholotan – Soulful Grazing

 

ARTIST NAME: Olly Sholotan

 

SONG TITLE: Soulful Gazing

 

ALBUM TITLE: Soulful Gazing

 

RELEASE DATE: February 21st, 2020

 

GENRE: Pop/Hip-Hop

 

Facebook

 

Twitter

 

Instagram

 

Website

 

Imdb

 

Deezer

 

Amazon

 

Apple Music

 

iTunes

 

Spotify

 

Olly Sholotan is a Nigerian-American musical artist, producer, and actor.

 

 

His music is an eclectic and energetic blend of elements from all genres of music. From modern-day Pop and Hip-Hop to old school Soul, Gospel, and RnB, Olly is always looking for new modes of expressing ideas. Playfulness and exploration are at the core of his work.

 

 

Olly spent his early years in Lagos, Nigeria before moving to Houston, Texas at the age of ten.

 

Growing up constantly surrounded by the American sounds of Michael Jackson, Otis Redding and Motown as well as more contemporary Nigerian artists like P-square, Dbanj, and Olamide; he then spent his adolescence surrounded by the rich Houston arts scene attending the Kinder High School For Performing and Visual Arts with a concentration in Musical Theater. All of this allowed him to come to contact with many different styles and types of music; all contributing to his deep love for interesting rhythms and an ear for catchy melodies.

 

 

 

Even though his love of music was present from a young age, his focus was mostly on acting and dancing training for Musical Theater.

 

During his later college years, he started “playing around with songwriting” as well as producing and the rest became history.

 

While continuing his career as an actor in TV and Film, he is also producing and writing music.

 

 

 

His debut EP, Pre – K was focused on the exploration of sound using only synths to create a story. Pre-K draws large inspiration from Daft Punk’s Random-Access Memories, mid-two thousand era gaming montages, as well as more classical music pieces. Jive, his second EP, was an eclectic project combining elements of pop, funk, and electronic.

 

 

He recently released his third independent project – Soulful Gazing, which is a mix of pop, hip hop, and gospel elements. Creating good music that tells a story regardless of genre limits has always been at the forefront of Olly’s music.

 

 

“I wonder how many genres I can shove into a song and still make it slap” – Olly
.

.

.

Discuss your composition and melody.
I learned relatively early in my life that I have an innate sense of melody so pleasing.

 

 

Melodies come naturally to me and that’s something I’m very proud of.

 

I can come up with a catchy melody that sticks in your head for at least a week.
.

.

.


State the name of your producer and elaborate on the project.

I produce all my music myself! I find that it gives me more general control over the final product and allows me to make decisions on the fly.

 

It’s happened a few times where I burst awake in the middle of the night with a new idea and it’s really nice to be able to just hop on Ableton and be able to change things just like that.
.

.

.

Discuss the lyrics of the EP.
All these lyrics are deeply personal; like as much as I do love a good mindless bop, on this EP every bop has a story behind it. I think stories are what take a song from just being fun to listen to sometimes to being enjoyable to experience time and time again.

 

 

Humans have this innate attraction to stories and whether they register that story consciously or subconsciously they feel it.
.

.

.

Elaborate on your music career.

I think the most exciting thing about my music career is the fact that it’s just starting. I’ve been an actor for some time and have always had a deep love for music but as far as competing in the professional space I’m new and it feels like the sky is the limit.

 

I’m obviously a bit of an optimist so I’m more excited than I am scared! But it’s obviously still a bit daunting.
.

.

.

Brief us on how you are reaching fans with your music.

Instagram and Twitter are my main modes of reaching any fans. I’m responsive on both. I’m also releasing merch with the EP!
.

.

.

Discuss your motive behind making music.

I know my experience with growing up and entering the “real world” really isn’t that unique, any friends I talked to about it all felt the same way but had a hard time explaining how complicated the experience is; both exciting and terrifying.

 

With this EP I wanted to give listeners a chance to feel those complicated feelings with me; I think there is nothing more powerful than being moved to feeling something with a piece of art. Whether it’s intense joy and excitement and it makes them bop their head or whether it’s sadness and it makes them cry. That right there is absolute magic.
.

.

.

Discuss your songwriting.
With most songs, I tend to write the chorus first. A hook or melody just pops into my head usually with no real words and then I mumble it into the voice recorder app on my phone. After the part is done the rest is just building out the track in my DAW.

 

My verses are usually the very last part of a song I write, and it takes me a minute while bridges almost come naturally.

 

Sometimes I know exactly the style of song I want to write before I put anything on paper; like with ‘Deuces’ I knew I wanted a gospel hybrid type track and with ‘Fast Lights’ I was absolutely sure I wanted a pop-y feel-good song. But with ‘Fading’ that song kind of just formed itself.

 

 

I’m also very big on improvisation when I can like if I get stuck songwriting wise, I’ll just put the instrumental on repeat and mumble random melodies and I’ll often find something cool.

 

Both the intro and bridge of ‘Deuces’ were completely improvised; there was space in the music that I knew I wanted some vocals to be present in, so I just went for it.
.

.

.

Elaborate on your work and achievement so far in your music career.
My work so far has been as a singer, songwriter, producer, mixing, and mastering engineer. And that really is something I’m proud of the fact that this entire EP and all my music to date have been for the most part all me.

 

 

I do want to start collaborating more though! I’ve worked alone mostly out of the understanding that I still want to grow as an artist first before bringing someone else into my space, but I think I’m now at the point that I want to be pushed by someone else’s style and energy.
.

.

.

Tell us your opinion on using rhymes dictionary or writing software to develop lyrics.  
I’ve never heard of any software writing music; I just use my notes app and my voice recorder.

 

 

I’ve heard rhyming dictionaries are great especially for rappers looking to get better at freestyle so I may invest in one.

 

In general, tools are just that: tools; and if at the end of the day you’re able to make a phenomenal piece of art with something then it serves its purpose.

 

Everyone has their own process and I think we as a culture need to get away from the idea that there is only one way to do things. The beauty of the technological age is that there are so many resources available for people to create.
.

.

.

Discuss the music industry.

I’m not going to lie and pretend I have extensive knowledge of the music industry. I think it’s daunting, but I also think we’re existing in a pretty phenomenal time right now.

 

I know I’m not saying anything particularly groundbreaking or new but we exist at a time where the barriers for entry and just getting lower and lower, so it really is becoming a playing field where the most talented are able to shine. More and more it’s becoming less about money or connections or equipment but it’s more about how effectively you’re able to reach your fan base with your talent. And if that talent is strong enough and if that fan base is passionate enough then you can be successful.
.

.

.


Elaborate on how you prepare yourself for a recording session
.
Since I only have a bedroom studio and my recording hours can only be specific hours my writing sessions and my recording sessions are usually separate.

 

So, since I’m coming into recording sessions pretty cold, I just do vocal warm-ups and look over my lyrics to get in the right headspace.
.

.

.

Brief us on your preference in terms of tempo as in up-tempo, mid-tempo or slow tempo.
I’ve found that I instinctively make pretty mid-tempo music; like unless I sit down and am like “this song will be up-tempo/down-tempo” what usually comes out of me is something pretty middle of the tempo spectrum. It has been fun to push that though, and sometimes songs really do just NEED to be faster or slower so it feels right and so I try not to stress too much about the tempo of a song unless it just feels off.
.

.

.

Discuss your shows or live performance.

As of this moment, I’m yet to do any live performance of any of my music. I’m still working out logistics/figuring out booking managers and all that. But I come from a theater background so I can guarantee there will be an excess of energy.
.

.

.


Send a message across to your fans and supporters.

I am just getting started, the best is yet to come and thanks for sticking with me on this little journey! Also, my merch goes live February 27 so check out my Instagram for deets!
.

.

.

Discuss the storyline of the EP.

‘Soulful Gazing’ is an EP about Love and Aspiration. As I was graduating college, I knew I wanted something to work on to make the transition into the “real world” make more sense and so I just started writing! This EP came out of that. You know that feeling right before you go to bed and you lay awake staring into your ceiling; at some point, the roof opens up and you see into the stars above and see all your life ahead of you and all the dreams you’re yet to accomplish and all the love you’re about to feel or even are feeling right now.

 

It’s overwhelming, beautiful, scary, exciting and confusing all at the same time. I couldn’t think of a word or phrase to describe that; and so, I came up with one: Soulful Gazing.
.

.

.

Tell us what makes this EP unique from others.

I really do think that with this EP there is a little bit of something for everyone. Stylistically it takes the genre from Rap to Pop to RnB to Gospel to Heavy Autotune. While genre-wise I would categorize it as pop, I do a lot of genre-bending throughout it; which I’m proud of. That wasn’t really a goal I set out to do or anything but as I was finishing it up and I was re-listening to the songs I remember thinking “Woah, that sounds almost like a completely different artist that’s really interesting.”
.

.

.


Tell us the themes of most of your compositions.  

Like I said earlier this EP is very much about aspiring for greatness and love.

 

One of my favourite lyrics is from ‘Fading’ and I say, “infinite ambition is free” and that is a statement I try to live my life by. Life is too short to dream small and I think it’s so important to aspire infinitely. And love, in my opinion, ends up being a byproduct of that aspiration; along the way you long for it and sometimes it finds you and sometimes it misses you. That’s life.

 

 

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign In

Register

Reset Password

Please enter your username or email address, you will receive a link to create a new password via email.