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DIGITAL STORIES

MSM Meets: Wuh Oh, Scottish Avant Pop Artist Who is Fresh on The UK Dance Scene

By Alice Hingley


Shoes - DR MARTINS Trousers and Jacket Set - Ahluwalia

Wuh Oh is making waves in the UK dance scene with his uniquely jubilant sound and exciting visuals. His new release ‘Daddio’ exudes happiness and mirrors the characteristics of his iconic sound. Receiving acclaim from institutions of dance music including Annie Mac and i-D Magazine, he’s truly one to watch.


Speaking to us from his flat in Glasgow, it is safe to say Wuh Oh’s energy is bright - from his colourful shirt to his warm aura, the conversation is effortlessly fun and flows naturally as he tells me what inspires his music and what exactly makes Glasgow’s music scene so special.


Let's start from the beginning, where did the name Wuh Oh come from?


The name Wuh Oh came from my first batch of music; one of the tracks had a sample of a kid saying ‘Wuh Oh’. It made sense to me because all of my favourite music happens pretty much by accident.


What would you say are the three biggest influences on your creativity?


It definitely changes from era to era. First of all, my happiness. Although there's this myth of the best art coming from immense emotional turmoil, my confidence only comes when I'm happy. Other things would be the music my friends are making. I have a bunch of peers like Sega Bodega, who I’m constantly spying on. I have a little competitive streak. So that that keeps me going. Another thing I like to do is go on Pitchfork. I'm an absolute sucker for Pitchfork, I'll go on there every day.


The track ‘Daddio’ is designed to make you feel happy. Would you say this is your primary motivation in making music?


From a selfish point of view, I make music to make myself feel better. Ever since I started writing music at ten years old, about two weeks after I’d written a song I would guilt trip myself. I'll have this endless cycle of making a piece of music and then worrying that I may never be able to make a good piece of music again. So, I have to keep making music to keep up my self esteem. By putting myself through so much anxiety and stress and pressuring myself to make music, I hope at the least the product of my labours is something that will make other people feel happy when they listen to it.



You've said that you want to make your own sort of idealised version of pop. What is it about deconstructing pop that makes you so excited?


It's not so much about deconstructing as it is about a fascination with extremely successful music through the years. In the sense of why it works, and a kind of understanding on a melodic, structural and production level - all of the details that make popular music so popular. It's an obsession with pop music and making the most effective piece of music possible, but also making it cool. My ambitions are slightly different from what the genre of hyperpop has become. Hyperpop has ended up with all of its own tropes and sounds which are kind of mainstream. Hyper pop is, ironically, deemed left of centre. Whereas the thing that's exciting for me in pop music is trying to be the most centre you possibly can be, but in the most exciting way possible.


How do you decide what types of sounds to blend within your tracks?


I'm going through a period of wanting to build a more consistent sound world than I have before. I'm working on a body of work and I want everything to sit well together. I've compiled a playlist of all of the influences of a specific sound that I want to work with and it tends to be songs that were popular from the early 2000s when I was first listening to radio. There's a lot of the Sugababes, Basement Jaxx. Finding the similarities between these artists has been helpful in defining exactly what I'm looking for. There's something in that “poppy but a little rough around the edges” UK sound that I'm really interested in at the minute.


I've heard you're playing with Fatboy Slim next month, how are you feeling about that?


I am shitting myself! I'm opening, so my job in that situation is to get the crowd going. I'm trying to strike a balance between keeping the crowd happy and trying to make it worthwhile as a Wuh Oh set, and not just a generic warm up DJ set, but I'm also petrified about playing my own music I can imagine it's pretty painful to see a crowd not respond to something that you've made, as opposed to seeing a crowd not respond to some random tune that you picked from last year by somebody else.


Full Set - ZHONG STUDIO Shoes - Dr Martins

What’s the Glasgow Music scene like?


Well, since lockdown it has been pretty much non-existent. There's an intense electronic scene that goes on around the nightclub Sub Club. There's a huge kindof techno culture here, and big cultural institutions like King Tut's WahWah Hut which cover the singer-songwriter side of things as well. I found that I never really fitted it perfectly into any of the Glasgow scenes. But thats always felt right to me, because I feel I don't have any desire to read anybody else's coattails to get to where I want to go. I'd rather I was just my own thing.


What’s your favourite thing about working with other creatives?


Collaboration is a really nice way to put your ego aside and think about what serves the end product the most. If you're collaborating with the right people, they will tell you when your idea sucks, which is really nice. When making music by myself, I didn't really have that constant feedback at first. You go down a rabbit hole and obsess over things which weren't that great of an idea to begin with. It's nice to have good collaborators to kind of keep you in check a little bit. The times where I've learned more about what my artistic voice sounds like are the times I’ve asked for feedback. Having self belief is such a big part in taking risks, which separates me from other artists.


When can we expect to hear some new music from you?


I am working on an EP right now which will be coming out soon. I may put out a single from it in the next couple of months! There's also different bits and pieces of remixes that I've done which should be coming out soon, and I've done some writing for other artists which may see the light of day at some point as well.





Credits:


Photo & Edit @russiansandgod

Styling @oliverjosephjames @eve.rajah

Makeup - @feycarlaa

Set Design - @skyehalsey_

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