Pic by Mike Van Den Toorn
We chat to Multi-instrumentalist Oded Nir about his cool new album ‘Rooftop Conversations’…
Hi Oded, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
I’m great thank you, going through exciting times!
What can you tell about your new artist album “Rooftop Conversations”?
Its a very personal album, showing the range of styles and musical genres I have been involved with making over the years. I have been active in music business for almost 24 years now and have played so many different types that it really came out in the album. My first album ‘Midnight Snacker was more down tempo and trip hop and melancholic, I think Rooftop Conversations will make people move more and also surprise my audience as it has such a variety of vibes.
What were the inspirations behind the project?
I wasn’t really planing to make an album at first, the market as changed into a singles driven on and I have been working within that. I met with a well known Dutch photographer Mike Van Den Toorn and said to me “Oded why don’t I make an album cover for your next album?”.. So that’s how the project actually started – with an album cover! Lol! But on the music side, after 9 years with no new album released, I really felt that at this point in my life I had something to say and some new stories to tell.
What’s the story behind the album title?
I grow up on a rooftop in Tel Aviv and my early jam sessions were always high in the sky. I’m also a resident artist of Amsterdam’s number 1 sky bar of Madam on top of the Adam Toren Tower, so it’s basically a musical conversations on the top of Amsterdam. And I also just liked the name.
How was the recording and writing process?
It was a pretty interesting project to do, it moved between different studios to a house in the country side in the south of Holland that I rented and moved my studio around to work with dub, jazz, funk artists from Holland to USA. A pretty exciting and sometimes exhausting process during one year of recording. I have also worked closely with Richard Earnshaw that mastered the album and was a fantastic reference throughout the whole process. a responsible adult is always important to have around to tell your the truth 😉
Out of all the tracks, which was the most challenging to make and how did you over come those challenges?
I think Amsterdam Nights was the one I worked the longest and hardest on. I was dealing with it on and off for years til I found what I was looking for. I tried different instruments and solutions but til Cece Noir came along with her sax I had tried everything from electric guitar and pianos but nothing worked. Until it was perfect I didn’t let it go and I think its important sometimes to compromise on your music.
Tell us a little more about the various collaborations on the album and who is involved?
It was fantastic journey with great artists, from the jazz world I’m featuring the ‘lady Miles Davis’, Miss Saskia Laroo on trumpet on ‘Rooftop Conversations’ and Warren Byrd from USA with his keys and scatting vocals on ‘That’s The Scat’ and my old time friend and Soul music vocalist Chappell sings on ‘Again & Again’. vocalist Kirsten Berkx from Amsterdam’s TV programme The Voice featured on ‘App Time’, the talented young Sax player Cece Noir on ‘Amsterdam Nights’ and MC King Dread James on ‘Power Of The Hair’, who is the only artist from the first album that made it to the second LP… A nice happy bunch of people! 😉
When producing music do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than working on your own?
I think during the last years I have learned to try to work individually with an artist. That way I can get the best results from each one. In the past I I was naïve enough to think that everyone should work in my way or take the high way. Today, well, I work very differently, it must be an age thing.
You got to play with a wide range of genres – how did you get to balance all these different influences in a cohesive way?
I spent so much time working on each genre, mostly in bands or with different music producers back in the day when I was a session bass guitar player. It really gave me the ability to swim easily around the different sounds. I also like so many different types of music that it comes naturally to me I guess.
What role does Amsterdam play in your music?
Amsterdam has many faces and the most different nationalities living in one place. The diversity is so important to grow musically, being open to be influenced by different cultures, the range of beauty and culture here is inspirational to me and that is just what I needed.
Any plans to hit the road?
I’m starting in London on May 3rd, then after that Tel Aviv where I have couple of Jazz festivals planned, very exciting to take my music around the globe.
You also DJ, tell us what we can expect to hear from a typical DJ set from you and where do you most like to play?
My sound is warm and organic, from lounge to soulful and nu disco, I’m a big fan of the house classics as well, so you can expect all of these types of grooves. Its also accompanied by my live bass guitar improvisations, so its usually a pretty groovy gig, but also a lot of dinner time vibes as well. pretty wide range of sounds. I love playing the Adam Toren (Amsterdam Tower) on the top floor of Madam where I’m actually holding my new album release party on the 20th of April, a beautiful spot for it!
What else is happening next in Oded Nir’s world?
I’ve been so busy with this album project and my career that I’ve neglected my personal life a bit, so I’m going to give that a bit of attention next. Musically I’m busy creating some projects for the sync world and writing music for theatre too. I think as an artist you need to experiment and reinvent yourself all the time in order to stay relevant. I hope I can do it again!
‘Rooftop Conversations’ album will be released on Traxsource Exclusive April 26th / Full release May 10th 2019 on Suntree Records.
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