Glasgow based artist Wuh Oh thunderously brings his music to the electronic dance music genre. His latest single Daddio offers a fresh sound that differs from anything else he has done before. There are striking similarities between him and David Bowie, but way more layers to unfold. His versatility in the EDM scene gets enhanced even more by his colorful, quirky and always artistic music videos. Wuh Oh isn’t afraid to be himself, and reminds us to always be the best version of yourself.
Daddio's energetic style reflects your vibrant personality and nature in a fun and engaging way. How do you think this song as well as others demonstrate who you are as an individual?
I really like the craftsmanship behind art which on the surface might seem simple or 'merely' fun but it actually requires lots of thought and work behind the scenes to hit the beats that make it so. I'm inspired by Andy Warhol's work for the same reasons. I also love Adam Sandler movies, where the humour is stupid as hell, but really a lot of thought went into the delivery and execution to make it work. I'm really into dissecting these kinds of things in the media I consume, as well as the media I'm trying to make myself.
Can you talk a little about the underground electronic scene in Glasgow and the impact it has had on your music? What other artists have influenced your upbeat sound?
The Glasgow music scene is the reason I moved to the city in the first place. The band that first inspired me to start making music is Belle & Sebastian, and the producer that made me want to try my hand at electronic music is Hudson Mohawke. These two acts are on vastly opposite ends of the music spectrum and yet are both from Glasgow, which endears me to the city's anything-goes ethos. Scotland-wise I never really studied the electronic scene beyond Hudmo and Rustie but always loved the melodies of The Delgados, Mull Historical Society, Roddy Woomble's first solo record.
In the music video for your new song Daddio, you have animated trains driving around your body while singing the catchy lyrics of the song. This showed striking parallels to Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer music video. Are you aware of this song? Did it have any influence while you were making this track and video?
Yes! I love the Sledgehammer video, and actually wanted to include even more animated trains going around my head, but we thought it best to just keep it as a nice little homage to Peter Gabriel.
What was it like having your song Life featured on the popular TV show Love Island as a young new artist? What impact do you think this will have on your music career?
It was so funny to me that my song ended up being used over some really unfortunate footage of a guy confessing his love for 'sucking on little white toes'. It was my first big sync and I can already see new people finding me through Love Island, but the precise placement of Life on the show cracked me up. I think syncs in general might be really helpful for Wuh Oh. Just now, I'm planning to put out my unreleased track Stay Tuned, which Andrew Rea uses as the theme song for his super popular Youtube show Basics with Babish!
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I love your flamboyant, unique and intricate fashion style. Can you talk about creating your fits and the importance it has for your brand?
My fashion choices are switching up all the time. As opposed to trying to look unique or different, I'm more interested in trying to find looks and clothes that make me feel happy or confident in myself. It's an ongoing process, and there are already a few looks in my back catalogue I cringe at!
Your new single Daddio merges disco-style synths with poppy upbeat drums and catchy lyrics. What made you decide to delve into a much more poppy sound than a lot of your other previous songs?
I just love pop music. Daddio was my first attempt at adding a proper vocal hook to one of my tracks, and seeing the way it connected with people has encouraged me to delve deeper into the pop realm. Like so many people, I want to make music that can be universally understood and enjoyed, but still includes my own little weird bits.
Can you talk a little about your creative process and the things in your life that help create such captivating music?
I like to stay away from my DAW for as long as possible. I find if I try starting something from scratch in Fruity Loops that doesn't come together quickly, I tend to get discouraged and struggle to see the bigger picture. I'll try to edit and micromanage as I go along, but unless an extremely happy accident occurs, nothing exciting usually comes out. Instead, I'll sit at the piano to figure out my more poppy songs from beginning to end, where I find the process is more fluid. Once the composition is done, often I'll have a clear idea of where I want to go with the production. With my more experimental stuff, I'll spend a few days daydreaming and brainstorming a core concept before taking it into the studio – like, what if there was only one sound playing in the mix at any given time? Can I follow through on some stupid idea no one has bothered exploring before?
Daddio introduces a wonderful blend of electronic fused sounds with psychedelic pop. Can you talk a little about this? Will this be the direction Wuh Oh will take when making music going forward? Is there another style you want to experiment with?
For a long time I was only making instrumentals. It was only after sitting on the Daddio track for a year or so that I finally had the idea for the vocal hook. Since then, I've been really enjoying trying to take my experimental ideas to an accessible place. I think that's where the fusion in Daddio comes from though. It was originally way more weird, with no dreams of making it outside of the Glasgow clubs! These days I've become more pop-oriented, writing the hooks first and having fun with production afterward. Lately I've also been making lots of extremely sparse beats that leave space for a rapper to come and do their thing with. If I like what's going on, I'll do anything I can to help.
How long does it typically take you to create a song from staring at your EDM software to recording it completely in the studio? What do you think the biggest challenge is as an artist during this recording process?
Sometimes it takes as little as half an hour. Other times it can take years of revisions until the track finally feels right. The hardest part is not losing confidence but instead keeping faith in the core idea long enough to see it through. It takes effort to maintain the love and excitement you had when the idea first came to you.
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What is the importance of creating such refreshing, psychedelic and creative in-depth animation for the music videos of your songs? How do you think this has and will affect your exposure?
Sometimes people equate 'coolness' with aloofness, but I never want my music to come across as cold or distant – if anything it's the antithesis. It's important to me that the visuals reflect this. In electronic music, some people expect a level of seriousness and reverence and might be put off by the more cartoonish elements of my videos. This is exactly what I want to challenge. Things are grim enough as is, and I would rather my videos pursued a more wholesome and carefree worldview and celebrated sincerity.
Performing live whether it be at concerts, clubs or festivals is such an important aspect of the electronic music scene. Can you speak on this and the influence it has played on your rising success?
Live performance was always a primary driving force in getting my career off the ground. With my sound being so eclectic, it was an important means for people to contextualise what it is that I do. A silver lining of the live music industry grinding to a halt last year is that I've had plenty of time away from the clubs to hone my craft and curate a far more cohesive, dance-ready setlist. When I left there was a lot of cool head nodding going on at my shows. My new show is a party all the way through.
Some of your songs such as Daddio, Life and Softstyle have a more electronic pop sound while others such as Zita and How Do You Do it? are more trap. Can you discuss this contrast and not wanting to be tied down to one specific electronic style?
One thing all these tracks have in common is that I wrote them a long time before I was given the platform to release at a major-label level. They essentially comprise a greatest hits set of the tunes I made purely for me and my friends in Glasgow, as opposed to sitting down to curate a collective body of work. In the evolution of my career, these were the tracks that got me recognised but as I've continued to develop professionally, I've been able to channel my eclecticism into a more refined and recognisable sound. Having grown up in the internet age, I've such a vast variety of influences that it makes sense to me that my music's a mosaic of them all. As a new artist I know it's important not to constantly bounce between genres every time I get excited by a new sound, otherwise I risk alienating my audience between records. The best way I've found to tackle this is to capitalise on the excitement of a new track by diving headfirst into the creation of a family of records to surround it whilst I'm still in the flow.
Your music, aesthetic and fashion sense are all very gender fluid. Can you talk about this and the importance of normalising this idea into society as well as branching away from restrictive binary social norms?
In my opinion, so much of the gender-binary is arbitrary. My friend always likes to bring up how in Victorian times pink was a 'boys' colour and blue was a 'girls' colour and now only 100 years later it's ingrained in our collective consciousness that the reverse is 'true'. I think this is a good example of how so much of our policing of gender aesthetics is baseless. To me, 'masculine' and 'feminine' are more like artistic movements or styles like art-deco or modernism. We've clearly assigned attributes and definitions to these terms, however they aren't inherent states of existence but more like modes of expression. I just pick pieces that I like and don't worry about the rest. People should be able to do what they want.
What is the future for Wuh Oh? Do you have music you're sitting on waiting to be released? Are you planning any tours in the next couple of months?
My current plan is to continue releasing singles to set the stage for a number of full length projects I have that are waiting for their time to shine. The projects are very episodic, covering distinct periods of the evolution of my writing. One of my projects encapsulates that initial period of time where my music was unjaded and blissfully naïve which I think holds a certain purity that comes across in the sound. Another is a more jagged and experimental venture where I have the space to explore and push against the boundaries of what I think electronic music is capable of. The most recent body of work I am working on represents the culmination of my journey so far, bringing my re-discovered love of pop music into the fold and where I want it to take me in the future.