It is refreshing to see new talent entering our industry, especially when they enter the industry with an ethereal yet upbeat debut alternative pop single. OH ROXY has just launched her debut single “This Is Me” which is a dreamy piece of alternative pop which drives home a message that is rooted in finding one’s identity and being confident in it. In light of her debut single, we decided to send through some questions regarding why she decided to pursue a career in music, how tough the industry can be and her plans for the year.
Seeing as we’re titling this piece “Who Is OH ROXY”, I think it would be apt to ask what lead you to the point of deciding to embark on a musical career?
After Matric, I set off to Cape Town to study vocals at the Campus of Performing Arts. Only there did I realize that music was something that I wanted to pursue and do for the rest of my life.
You placed in the Top 9 of Season 10 of Idols and most people would most likely associate you with this accolade. Did you adopt the moniker of OH ROXY to distance yourself from your performances in Idols and create your own success without piggybacking off a talent show?
Idols was the best time of my life. Getting to Top 9 at 19 was the craziest achievement. Since season 1, I’ve always imagined what singing in a competition like that would be like, so I auditioned in 2014 and we all know the rest of this story. In Idols, you can’t really show people what you’re capable of nor can you show them your true self. Lots of people perceived me to be Amy Winehouse (incredible compliment!) but I didn’t want that, I wanted to be my own artist and I wanted people to see me that way. That is where OH ROXY came into play with “This Is Me” – sort of like an introduction song to the real Roxy. I loved Idols and what they did for me was unbelievable, but now it’s time to drift from ‘Roxy McVean’ and be known as OH ROXY!
With Idols in mind, your debut single “This Is Me” is the antithesis of the type of pop music created by singers that took part in the show. It diverges away from the world of commercial pop music and explores the uncharted waters of alternative pop. What influenced the sound of the single and what message are you trying to bring with the song?
“This Is Me” is completely opposite to most of the songs released by Idols contestants. It really has to do with our music influences. I love rock and indie music. The more different and unusual a band is the better. I’ve always loved experimental music that is far from the norm, purely because of it’s uniqueness. I just want people of all ages to listen to my stuff and be like, “Yas this is so weird?! I love it!” And have the best jam to it.
The South African music industry is tough and it often breaks artists that are lacking in ambition, so what kind of mark are you planning on leaving on the industry?
‘This is Me’ is a really special song. Most of it was written in minor so it’s already something completely different and experimental compared to your normal pop songs. The message behind “This Is Me” is really just an introduction to the real me. Like I said before, I just want to show the public who Roxy is after idols, and I feel like this song will really get that message across.
You’ve signed a global artist and publishing deal with David Gresham Records – how did that come about and what do you hope do with this deal?
The South African industry is the hardest to break into. There are 1000’s of us trying to get record deals and our songs on radio but damn it’s difficult! I was lucky ( or fortunate) enough to be signed to David Gresham Records and it still feels unreal. Andrew Mitchley heard my song on Soundcloud on Wednesday (at that time I was independent and had put my song up to get a reaction from people) and boy did I get the best one, because that Friday David Gresham Records phoned me and said they were interested in signing me. Legit almost died. Couldn’t even reply I was freaking out so much.
One final thing, what are your plans for the rest of the year and can we expect more music from you in the forthcoming months?
OH ROXY is busy with an EP at the moment which will be finished by the end of April. Year plans – play as many festivals and shows as we can!