Feature Interview

Looking To Daisies: Opiuo

When creating a music style that inspires writers to flex their full arsenal of synonyms and adjectives, you’re undoubtedly met with a few strange interviews to match. In a recent chat with Superbalist is Rocking the Daisies international guest, Opiuo, we discuss future colonies on Mars, time travel, the invention of new musical instruments and manage to scratch the surface of the man behind the music. Take the time to familairize yourself before his performance on Friday night in the Electronic Dome.

Angela Weickl: Growing up in New Zealand, what musical influences encouraged you to pursue electronic music production and what were your biggest challenges in the beginning of your career? 

Opiou: I grew up around the early years of New Zealand electronic music and culture through festivals on my parents land, and multitudes of parties thrown by their friends. It was awesome to see and hear electronic experimentation from such an early age. 

My biggest challenge early on was being confident what I was doing was ok, as I hadn’t heard music quite like it at the time so it was scary to play it for people. Also, being mostly deaf in one ear didn’t help. but I soon overcame and treated it as a blessing not a curse. I have to mix in mono, which I think helps production. 

AW: What was the defining moment when you knew this wasn’t going to be a hobby and that you” would be able to make a viable career out of your music?

OP: The moment I paid my parents back a loan from the money id made from playing shows. 

AW: In terms of South Africa, even though information is freely available, there are people who still think we all have pet lions and we are a little backwater. What is the most common misconception about New Zealand that you are confronted with in your travels?

OP: That we are all hobbits.

AW: What knowledge do you have of the South African music scene and what are you looking forward to most on your forthcoming visit?

OP: I’ve been friends with a few South African DJs and MCs for years, so they’re filled me in on a lot of the music, but I’m still super excited to immerse myself into your musical meanderings. Im also planning on collaboration times while there. 

AW: You” have mentioned in past interviews that you don’t really listen to the music that gets sent to you because you spend so much time in studio making your own, what would be the best way for a young artist to get your attention as opposed to taking the “listen to my mixtape, bro” approach?

OP: Make stuff that’s original. Put it out there. Be proud of it. People will pick up on it. It’s easy to see pure love for what you do and instantly will show uniqueness and genuine passion. 

AW: With the recent closure of Fabric, under the guise of rampant drug issues, what is your stance on drug consumption in the party scene and what are your thoughts on iconic venues or festivals being blamed for perpetuating the problem?

OP: I think people are going to take drugs no matter what, whether the clubs are there or not. We’re in a culture that is constantly evolving, experimenting, trying to find new ways to see & hear the world we live in, and also escape their reality. I don’t think festivals are perpetuating the problem, so long as they have the support readily available for the unfortunate who do get too high. They’re a shit load safer than being too wasted down in a dark city alleyway that’s for sure. Instead of spending billions on the drug wars, governments should invest in education, rehabilitation and harm reduction. 

AW: A lot of electronic artists and DJs are opening up about depression and mental health issues, how do you stay healthy and happy while on the road?

OP: Lots of sleep and eat well when you can. Take time out to exercise (which I need to do more of myself). Surround yourself with friends who are in your life outside of music as well as those that are in your musical world. Make sure the good outweighs the bad, or it might be time to have a little break. 

AW: You’ have been chosen as part of a group of humans to populate the first colony on Mars, but it is stipulated that you may no longer make music. If you chose to go, what profession would you choose as part of your new life? Or would you rather stay on Earth?

OP: I’d rather stay on earth. Music is my life.

AW: If you could invent a musical instrument that does not already exist, what would it be and why would people want to play it?

OP: A “glintonique flasticonamator”. Which sole purpose is to turn the minds radio waves into jelly wobbles that spurt out spastically tasty aural and oral treats onto those who surround it. Who wouldn’t want a go?

Check out our 10 acts you shouldn’t miss at Superbalist in Rocking The Daisies.