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Arthur O'Donovan

RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW ARTHUR O’DONOVAN WHAT HAPPENED?

Hiya Arthur thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

Ever since I was a toddler, I’ve been obsessed with music. It was always something in my life and I felt deeply emotionally connected to all it’s elements. When I was 17 it was the only answer to “what are you going to do after school?”. I hadn’t thought about it too much, I just knew. Since then, I’ve been involved in the music industry in one way or another.

Introduce us to you and your musical history.

My name is Arthur O’Donovan, I’m 24 and was born in Leicestershire. I’ve been singing since the age of 4, picked up piano at 9 and guitar at 17 and wrote my first song when I was 13. I needed to perform a song at a church for Christmas and I didn’t like any, so I wrote one. I used to perform almost weekly when I was 17 and 18 but had 4 spontaneous lung collapses and 2 lung surgeries to prevent further collapses.

It wasn’t till I was 21 that I could properly sing again. I used the time in between to learn how to produce and perfect my craft of songwriting. I released my first EP REBIRTH that featured mainly acoustic elements. My album AWAKENING however that released in March was more experimental and I used my voice as an instrument a lot, there’s also a lot of elements taken from a variety of genres.

What was life like for you before music?

Because I’ve been doing it since I was very young, I’ll answer it from 16-year-old me before music was serious. I was a smart kid and loved science and math, so I was very interested in going into Pharmacy. I always wanted to help people and look after them. I like to think I’m doing that now but through music. 

What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?

There’s so many, I grew up listening to the Beatles in the car and Michael Jackson. There was always a song I listened to throughout my teen years called Swirling by Mark Petrie. It’s an instrumental track that feels like hope, love and life wash away pain, suffering and death. I felt like it was a wake up to how emotionally connected I am to the roots of sound.

Arthur O'Donovan

Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?

I feel like I’m just getting started. Although I’ll always want my artist career, my main focus is to be a producer/songwriter and work with a variety of artists to bring their worlds to life and helping their voices shine.

What’s the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry? 

They say it takes 7 times before a name or a song sticks. Whether that be 7 times mentioned across radio, heard on social media or seen on a billboard. I think it’s true because I end up listening to artists after I’ve seen their Ads a few times cause the Ad gets stuck in your head. 

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.

I’ve never broken a bone in my body. I’m allergic to fish. Italian food is my favourite food.

If you could wish for one thing to aid your career what would it be?

I’d love to work with a few upcoming artists and produce, write, or feature with them. Music is an industry where connections help massively. As I said earlier, I want collaboration and being “in the kitchen cooking” to be the main focus of my career.

My new Album Awakening is made not just for the people but for the music industry to showcase my abilities as a songwriter producer.

Do you ever worry about people taking things the wrong way or cancel culture?

Not really because my music comes straight from my soul which vibrates pure love. I think cancel culture unfortunately decreases free speech and takes words out of context and increases fear. In my song fear, I refer to how kids can receive gender reassignment treatments, although more of an issue in the U.S. the rest of the world is catching up. If children can’t drink alcohol or get tattooed, buy cigarettes etc. They shouldn’t be able to make life changing decisions. Adults can live how they wish but children are vulnerable. I care about the wellbeing of individuals and want children to be protected. A potential cancellation there, but life’s too short and these silly distractions distract us from real problems.

Do you believe in any conspiracy theories?

Quite a lot. It’s extremely hard not to. Since I’ve been an adult, I feel responsible for reeducating myself and finding out the truth, in everything. Knowledge is true wealth. My journey has lead me on a path where truth is my only salvation and I feel responsible to share awareness with who I can. My lyrics throughout the album especially the tracks: Mornin’, Awakening, Smile and Fear; cover a variety of topics that could be labelled conspiracies. I’ve found that all it takes to see truth is shifting perspective.

What was the worst experience on stage?

Shortly after my first surgery I attempted a small performance and there were lots of little intervals throughout the songs so I could catch a breath. The audience were incredible and very supportive considering my circumstances.

Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about. 

I speak fluent French. I have a bit of an English accent, but I spent 8 years of my life and education in France. 

What are the next steps you plan to take as an artist to reach the next level?

Improving my social media presence and maintaining a steady flow of content. Reaching out to more and more artists to work on music with them and probably working on my own singles for the future. 

We have noticed a lot of bands and artists don’t use X (Twitter) why do you think that is?

I don’t consume social media that much and I barley go on X myself. I’d imagine it’s because it’s a platform focused less on media compared to Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.

I hear you have a new album, what can you tell us about it.

Yes, I do, the album “Awakening” is a journey piecing all the songs together to represent what I’m about. Half the songs talk about knowledge, perspective and truth. The other half are written more intimately focusing on love and romance. I wrote and produced each track myself. On multiple tracks my voice can be heard within the instrumentation as I wanted the songs to have new and unique sounds.

The intro song Mornin’ features Daniel Chettoe’s voice for a script I wrote. He’d been on Britains Got Talent and has such an incredible tone of voice that the album needed to be introduced by him. I wrote the narration to mention each track that would feature on the album. The cover art was incredible too, I described what I wanted to the artist and what visual elements I wanted to represent the songs, and she delivered a masterpiece. 

What was the recording process like?

I recorded everything in my own home studio and each song was created simultaneously. It was a lot of fun, I started off with the drums and bass line for most tracks and built it then around the hooks. Fear was probably my favourite track to record due to how different it is to anything I’ve written before. I also got a lot of samples from recording my friends which allows them to be a part of my work. I like everything to be perfect, so vocal recording takes quite a long time till I’m 100% happy with it.  In Mornin’ my fiancée introduces the album saying the words “Awakening”. It was important that it was her voice as she’s inspired me to get to where I am today.

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

The bounce in beats. Whilst writing this album I began falling more in love with Kanye West’s work, Dilla, Logic and Jon Bellion. I already understood the importance of percussion and drums and wanted to keep getting better and better at beat making. Adding bounce to most of the tracks got me moving and smiling away at my work whilst making it.

Would you change anything now it’s finished?

Not at all, the love and care that went into each song was perfect for the time. I’m moving forwards and working on the next thing. I love the craft of making music so the moment I’m done with a track I can’t wait to get started on the next. I gave so much of myself to Awakening that it captures 24-year-old me sonically how a photo would visually.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

If there are artists that like my work, please feel free to reach out to me, I am more than welcome to collaborate and I love having a new challenge. Thank you for having me.

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