RBL: What is the meaning of your name? How did you get it and what is the significance?
John Ov3rblast: First, I would like to thank you for the invitation to have an interview with Rude Boy webzine and your subscribers. I started taking part in private rave parties as a DJ and party organizer many years ago with friends using the nickname Vlast, which is the first four letters from my surname. When I decided to evolve as a music artist, almost 7 years ago, I had already changed my nickname to Ov3rblast for several reasons.
Ov3rblast for me means the sound atmosphere, the aura, which is hidden underneath every track I am composing. The listener has to explore the sub noises, the layers of melodies, to make the connections between all elements in any track of mine or even in my live performances. At the end he or she will experience another dimension of listening where there are no borders or genres, only the rhythm and the emotions.
Ov3rblast means music for the mind, your body, and your soul all balanced to give the deepest feeling of freedom and escapism to the listener, dancer, and sound explorer. I also believe in the power of numerology, that is why I am using number 3 instead of E.
Can you tell us about the music scene in your area? How is it like? How are the other artists?
I’ve lived in Manchester for the last three years. The city has a huge music legacy from 90’s and so far hasn’t lost it’s feeling. The music pulse is alive and beating. Every night you can experience many musicians from all the genres in pubs, clubs, music restaurants, and in the streets. Manchester is music itself.
The music scene in Manchester from my personal point of view is a hybrid. From Jazz to Funk to Deep Tech to Breakbeat it’s as organic as it can be. As an example: you can experience live performances from bands that blend Jazz with Hip Hop or Dubstep.
How did your friends and family first think about your career?
Few understood what I was trying to do. My hard work and dedication proved that I wasn’t wrong and I have chosen the right path for my life. Believing in yourself and knowing what you have to do are the first steps for this long journey. You don’t need approval from anyone.
What are some of your favorite brands out right now?
I am not following any brands but if we speak about my music equipment a Macbook with DAW Ableton is my choice. I am updating my sound equipment with the new Roland Aira series which will give me more freedom to create live and direct in my live performances. I’m also using iPad applications for this reason, Touchable 3 gives me the flexibility to work on the fly with all my samples and manipulate them through my ‘’experimentalism’’ performances.
For virtual synthesizers, everything from Native Instruments and UHE are my basic tools. I am working with all the plugins from Sugar Bytes which allow me to reform any kind of sound. I try to evolve and update my equipment, digital or hardware. I have changed my setup many times depending where I am heading with my project.
Who are your top five favorite musicians right now?
I don’t have a top five so I’ll mention what keeps me going when I’m walking the streets of Manchester or winding down in my room.
Deepchord (USA) for his deep organic soundscapes; Autechre (UK) for their older releases and they’re the most interesting EDM duo I have ever experienced; I’m still listening to the godfather of ambient sound Brian Eno; I love to listen to the sounds from Warmth (Spain), a multitalented artist that has a lot to offer to the scene; there’s also Discknocked (Spain), an artist that can walk through several genres; and Am.Light (Romania) and his deep emotional frozen soundscapes. The list has no end. Music is my life, and every day and night I have a soundtrack for it.
What keeps you going in this tough music economy? How has it changed you overall?
What keeps me going is the music, the passion to express my thoughts, my dreams, my fears, and my love. When I am working on a project I don’t think a lot, I feel, I dream, I meditate. There is a kind of music competition between artists. Who is going to have the most followers, plays, likes, etc. I try the hardest to avoid it. I focus with all my love into music creation and enjoy the moment into this private dimension. I started a digital label four years ago (Spaceal Orbeats Records) to protect my work and my vision and to keep my independence and to work in the industry with a safety net that a label provides.
What are some of your focuses outside of music? Do you have family or other businesses around?
I love photography so you might find me wandering around the city with my headphones and my camera exploring hidden shots or even the clouds. I am inspired by cloudscapes, by the way they float and change. I am a vegan and I am researching ways to get closer to nature, to the source. I love watching documentaries alongside huge cups of tea. Lately I have discovered my passion for indoor gardening, I am already in it with all my heart. I still have a morning job at a hotel to support me.
What separates you from the next artist in the business?
I don’t like to compare myself with other artists. Each artist has something to offer and something to say. I prefer to speak for my vision without trying to flatter my work. I don’t try to separate. I try to connect with everything, everyone, and everywhere. But if I had to answer somehow, I would say that I do it for the music, for life, for my soul. Music is my savior.
What advice can you give to the other small artists that are just starting out?
I can’t give advice. I am not a teacher but I could speak as a lover of music creation. Be yourself, be unique, think and create out of the box, search for sounds everywhere, respect music and the scene, don’t do it for the money, make art, make your music your revolution, and change the world we’re living in through your music. Make it happen.
Are there thoughts of signing to a major label or distributor yet?
The last 5 years I have been released on more than 35 labels across the globe and I am running my own label with the precious help of other artists. Right now I am focusing on my live audiovisual performances and working on several releases without thinking where I have to be released. I have thought about major labels and I believe in time it will happen.
What do you think the future of music industry will look like?
Vinyl is back, parties are going stronger, new generations of artists are coming from the underground, and new genres and hybrids are coming to the surface. Electronic music is becoming deeper and more thoughtful, less aggressive, and coming with a rush. The independence that artists have through the social channels like Bandcamp and Soundcloud have given us new ideas to promote and find our target groups. Connections are everywhere with everyone. The distance has vanished. I see right now a major call for live performers through audio and visual aspects taking over the scene.
Where can we find you and connect with you? Can you tell us your social media links etc?
The easiest way is to search my artist name, John Ov3rblast, on Google.