Putting their own unique spin on the indie-alt genre, Oya Paya recently dropped an unmissable new EP, alongside some equally awesome music videos.
We spoke to the band about their new music and plans for the future.
Tell us about the origins of Oya Paya. How did you guys meet and what’s the meaning behind the name?
Oya Paya is a multinational DIY outfit that loves spicing up lives!
Bassist Saam and drummer Ashwin met in college back in sunny Singapore, where they began making and producing music together and started hinting at the idea of forming a band.
It was the creative hub that we call LIPA that actually brought us together. Saam met guitarist Max when they both started but it wasn’t until their final year that Ashwin arrived and things became #Spicy really quickly.
The origin of our name comes from a simple childhood team game played in Singapore called “Oya Paya Som”, where you’d play your palm facing up or down and the ones showing the same “side” would be teamed up together. Whenever the three of us play it, we’re always on the same team!
Who are your biggest influences and what kind of music do you aim to create?
Our biggest influences have been our friends but in terms of artists, it ranges across many genres. The likes of Kendrick and Tyler the Creator, to the Chili Peppers, to Metronomy, to The Internet, to Anderson Paak. And not to forget the golden influences in The Beatles, NWA, Beach Boys, Nirvana, Pinback.
What bands or artists are you listening at the moment?
Flyte -- they are incredible musicians in an amazing band. Steve Lacy because he is in a league of his own and he’s only 18.
Hiatus Kaiyote as well as Tom Misch as they’re arrangements and melodies are so so so tasty, highly recommend albums ‘Choose Your Weapon’ and ‘Beat Tape 2’.
Is it true you were having some issues with band members moving countries? What’s happening and what does it mean for the future of the band?
Ashwin has had to leave the UK as his student visa is due to run out at the end of the year. This unfortunately restricted him in working hours so he requires a working visa to return to the UK. We’re working on it though. With a crowdfunding plan, we aim to raise enough money to bring his bum home.
It won’t stop us from creating and releasing music though as we’ve been writing and recording from different countries since the beginning of the band.
This was always a major concern for us but also a source of motivation. It’s one thing to lose the drummer of your band but it hits harder when it’s the closest friend you’ve made. This has made us push ourselves into a driven work ethic to find opportunities to get Ashwin back in to the UK so we can not only start playing live again with relentless jamming but to also smash him at FIFA when he gets back. The journey isn’t over for us and we’re looking forward to dropping new tunes and playing live again, it’s only a matter of time.
We hear you’ve got a new EP out, tell us about it!
Yes indeed! Its was out Friday 25th August 2017. The ʊyə paɪyə EP is released on all your friendly digital stores. The EP will consist of the 2 tracks we released on SoundCloud earlier this year, “Just Around The Bend” and “Trip Advisor” and a brand-new lead track “Put My Record On”. If you listen to BBC Merseyside you might have already heard a sneaky preview.
True to the Oya Paya way, we will be releasing a music video shortly after to go along with the EP.
Subscribe and check our YouTube page for all the spices!
How do you usually approach songwriting?
Our writing process is an odd one. Some songs are written in the rehearsal room, while others are written without all 3 of us being in the same place.
We tend to send each other sessions so we can each spice it up in our free time as well. It’s a constant process really. We like to be quite ambiguous in our lyrics as well and not be too direct about underlining themes so listeners can interpret subjects in their own way. we tend to not make it about love but I guess if you listen to a song and the lyrics mean something different to you the subject could be about whatever you want it to be.
What’s been you most interesting or memorable experience while playing as Oya Paya so far?
Most interesting? The Cavern Club on the 19th of July 2017. Hands down one the best shows ever and it was such an honour to headline a well-known venue, that has been graced by the greatest musicians of all time.
Most memorable? Greendays Cafe!! The friendliest gig ever played! It was a tiny room on the 3rd floor packed to the streets in ground level! A number people had to listen to the gig from the stairs too. We ended up asking the cops for a lift home because we had too much gear and no cabs wanted to take us. Also it was the first Oya Paya headline gig!!
Any more plans for making more music now your new EP’s out there?
We won’t ever stop making music. We’re hoping to release more music at the start of next year….